With the increasing popularity of speedlites, there is a new generation of photographers (maybe even you) who are just beginning to learn the proper and creative ways of using these powerful tools. One piece that comes along with learning about speedlites is learning the proper language as well. Let’s discuss quickly the difference between two pieces – the Hot Shoe and the Cold Shoe – and what better way then defining these two pieces.
A hot shoe is a speedlite mount that has terminals to communicate with the flash. These may be as simple as a PC jack to connect a radio slave or as complex as a full TTL connection.
A cold shoe on the other hand has no connectivity, and is just meant to hold the flash in place.
So what are the benefits of using Hot over Cold?
When using the hot shoe on your camera with a flash, you sometimes get those harsh shadows that are not pleasing to the eye. Now, we are not saying there is anything wrong with using that flash, however, there are other options out there to take all the great things your flash can offer - and take them to another level! Some of these other options include using a cold shoe. The benefits of using a cold shoe over the hot shoe can be explained in a few words - Get Your Flash Off Your Camera. This allows you to control your light in ways that leaving your flash in the hot shoe would not allow you.
Get that flash off your camera!
By taking your flash off your camera, you are able to have a moveable studio that is lightweight and portable. Portable softboxes such as the Westcott Apollos collapse down like umbrellas and pop open like a softbox. These allow your speedlites to become a POWERHOUSE light source. Also by moving that flash, you are able to play with light, position it and control it however you want. This allows you to immediately become creative with your lighting!
Tune in next week for "Glasses Glare - evil or not?"