It is a rather unusual title to begin with, but it is a very important lesson learned while shooting none-stop for 7 hours. You should always use dry cells, not rechargeables when shooting long events and in dark conditions for your flash unit.
Believe me, I am all for being green and healthy to the environment. I am also about cost savings for the work that I do. It is OK to spend on the things that matter. But, if I can do without it, I am OK with walking away from it. But, after participating in a family event which ran for 7 hours over the Memorial day weekend – 7:30 pm to 2:30am the following morning, I can say unequivocally, I would have been better off shooting with dry cells, not rechargeables in my flash unit. Given it was evening time, my flash had to work extra hard to introduce light into a scene which would otherwise be too dark to be captured with my camera alone. It would have also been difficult to freeze motion without the flash and resulted with lots of blurry pictures. The result of the increased level of light and the short sync speeds was that it wore down my flash units rather quickly. I burned through about twelve rechargeable batteries before the night was out. I have stopped short of mentioning the actual battery brand that I have used but I believe any mainstream dry cell would have been better than being interrupted during an event to get more batteries.
So, I take this as a lesson learned and one which will not be repeated for long events with the need for flash – use dry cells, not rechargeables. But, if you have no other choice but use rechargeables, ensure you have lots in reserve and that you have a charging dock to restore the ones you have expended as quickly as possible.