Having had now thousands of people over the years come to my Speedlite/Speedlight workshops and seminars, I am pleased that I have done my little bit to help others realise the usefulness of portable flash.
I often say at my events, even in bright sunshine, a photographer using flash is probably doing the correct thing (with the right techniques of course), and is not an idiot, as those who do not understand the benefits may presume with all that ambient light around.
But of course, this time of year in the UK as we head for another spell of hot days, it does not come without its issues for the flash user.
I am speaking specifically about those situations such as encountered at events, social gatherings, weddings, fashion shooting to name just some, where it is all too easy to end up with very hot flash units, Overheating and potentially burning out components.
This happens at some stage, no matter the product, although some are better than others.
Being aware of that I have learned to take care and do the right things to avoid problems.
Good technique and placement, will reduce the work your Speedlights have to do in both firing rate terms and power needed.
Some units have a temperature monitor, cutting the flash off before it overheats too much, and causes an expensive repair bill.
Of course that is going to happen at just the wrong moment:(.
I tend to hold my hand in front of the units head to gauge the temperature at various times between shots, using accumulated experience, as that gives me a warning of when things could soon become problematic. Be careful though as you can burn your self.
Shooting less but better quality is a great help. Some ay be surprised just how few shots you might need to take in fact.
And the other thing of course for everyone if it is possible is to use the ‘pro’ approach of ‘two of everything’ where possible.
So two cameras, two lenses and yes if you have them two Speedlights. Simply swapping between them in the hottest of environments inside or out, will extend the shooting before problems arise.
And if you do not need it, disengage external battery packs that top up the capacitor asap, choose your moment more and shoot less images.
It all helps, except for the poor old photographer who will probably remain hot and overheated:). At least till the job is done.
But don’t be out off, flash is often the answer to better quality out of camera, less post capture and certainly if time allows more creativity.
There are some other things that help, but these should be a good start when you are faced with heat related problems.