As anyone who has followed my posts is painfully aware, I am a big advocate of creating and controlling the light which is responsible for making our photographs, both in the studio and out in the wilderness.
It has always worked better for me than jerking around with the development to attempt to compensate for random crummy lighting.
Electronic flash is possible to use in some outdoor situations. But flash bulbs are superior in some ways. Since they have a much longer duration, flash bulbs have the effective light output of very expensive and prohibitively heavy studio electronic flash packs.
Apparently, spelunkers use flash bulbs all the time to illuminate cave photography. The technique is to open all shutters in total darkness, then fire off an enormous bare bulb in the middle of the cavern.
JandC is selling old flash bulbs for a while until the supply runs out. Because of age, not all will actually fire (I know the feeling). And I believe I read somewhere that someone, I think in Ireland, was still manufacturing them (?).
But I was thinking just the other day of a tv commercial I worked on (part of the crew) many moons ago, which featured an old-time still photographer using flash powder.
So I did a web search and came up with several hits, including this:
Who knew, in this modern age of exploding Muslims and extremely vigilant authorities, that all this stuff was still available?
I could really make some wonderful night photography with some of these products.
And what a great way for a lonely old man to insure having some of the nice boys from ATF over for tea. Real soon.