Posted on: 2010-12-15 09:03:00 -0500

A friend with a D700 recently asked me for advice on purchasing a flash bracket. Brackets were a critical piece of kit back in the days and when digital sensors started falling apart at ISO 400. But they’re not as necessary with a camera that has the high-ISO capabilities of the D700 combined with fast glass. The role of the flash bracket is to keep the flash above the camera so that the subject's shadow cast by the flash falls behind, not to the side of, the subject regardless of whether the camera is in portrait or landscape orientation. This shadow only occurs when using direct light from the flash. Modern flash technique is to crank the ISO and rely on light bounced off a nearby wall with direct flash light completely masked off. This eliminates the possibility of side shadows, results in a much more pleasing image since the wall acts like a giant soft box, and drops the flash bracket from a critical to a nice-to-have item. I’d recommend a Pro or QRS model from Custom Brackets with a kick stand. There’s an in-depth tutorial on bouncing the on-camera flash at Planet Neil titled Flash Photography Techniques.