How unhealthy is flash?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sincere, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    I am currently doing an internship where we are doing lots of product photography. There´s 3 big flashes on a tripod that are being used about 150times an hour(each and in synch) and i am standing about 3-4 feet away from them.

    This procedure will go on for the whole next month like this.

    Discuss.
     
  2. adolan20

    adolan20 TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure there is no risk unless you're staring directly into them you could have some eye damage, or if you have a history of epilepsy in your family a seizure could result but it's very unlikely.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As long as you aren't looking directly into the light...I don't know that it would do any damage.

    Although I have heard that some people do experience dizziness and\or discomfort when blasted with repeated flash.
     
  4. chris

    chris TPF Noob!

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    The only danger I can think of would be from the UV component in the light from the flash. Studio flashes typically have a relatively long duration, possibly as long as 1/200 sec, though most would be 1/1000 sec or less. Using 1/200 sec as a worst case multiply this by 3 and by 150 times per hour and you get 2.25 secs exposure per hour so I wouldn't worry too much about that. You would pick up more UV exposure just walking around outside for a few seconds.

    Having a flash go off close to your eye can be temporarily uncomfortable and possibly disorientating but unless you have a condition such as epilepsy that may be triggered by repeated flashes then I don't think there would be any permanent damage.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    You're going to die. Unless you're putting your face on the head nothing is going to happen.

    :roll:
     
  6. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    Well...as long as you are not at risk of electrical shock (standing in a puddle of water holding the flash)...then I'm sure you'll be fine. Obviously some people are more susceptible to epileptic symptoms/dizziness/etc than others...but you can judge your tolerance and take your time if you need to.
    Good luck.
     
  7. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    The thing is, its about 25 flashes (where all three go off at the same time) a minute, about every two seconds a flash. This will go on for like a good month like this..
     
  8. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am one of those, and I also came here to report the fact. I felt queasy, dizzy, a bit sick to the stomach ... and I am sure that if I (personally) were in your situation, sincere, I'd end up with a real and true migraine. The situation that you are in would not do me any good!

    By the way, are you coming up north for the meet-up? Have you made up your mind? It is some 6-7 hours (drive/train), but hey, you are in the same country, after all! You should be here!
     
  9. GC Jr

    GC Jr TPF Noob!

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    I think you'd just get a headache. I've experienced repeated flash and it gave me a really bad one.
     
  10. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    I don't know how much stock to put in this but I read an article last week about modern society's reliance on artificial light being harmful because exposure to light affects levels of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is responsible for maintaing sleep/wake cycles. That part of the article made sense. But they lost me when they implied a connection between leukemia in children and the use of nightlights. They pointed to studies that concluded that leukemia is almost nonexistant in places where children sleep in natural darkness. It makes me wonder what factors weren't taken into consideration in these particular studies. The doctor who runs the website is a little on the kooky side. Many of his ideas are beyond ridiculous.

    Realistically though, I cannot imagine there being any problems. Some people are sensitive to bright lights or flashes of light. Certain forms of epilepsy are the most extreme examples. Other people just get headaches from bright light. I've worn sunglasses religiously for so many years that my eyes are pretty sensitive to bright light. Just knowing the flash is coming is enough to make my eyes water. Just another reason I prefer to be behind the camera and not in front of it. :D
     
  11. cameramike

    cameramike TPF Noob!

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    try it, set your flash off a buncha times in a row and see if it bothers you.
     
  12. AluminumStudios

    AluminumStudios TPF Noob!

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    The UV exposure topic is an interesting one. Radiation (of all kinds) exposure (as far as I know) is cumulative and you can receive an unhealthy dose all at once (the fraction of a second that the strobe goes off) or over time (like laying in the sun.)

    If you are getting an unhealthy amount of UV light your skill will react by producing melatonin. If you start thinkin you are tanning a little, or freckles start showing up or becoming more prominent, then the strobe is having an effect and wearing sunscreen would be a good idea in my non-expert opinion.
     

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