Flash Photography for Beginners

Flash Photography for Beginners

This is a 1-day lecture-demo session.

If you are already familiar with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, then you have the fundamentals to dramatically improve the quality of your flash photos.

Itching to shoot better portraits? Better still life and product shots? But can't afford studio flash? Well, itch no more--we'll show you how to produce professional studio photos with affordable, portable, camera flash. Even the pros resort to camera flash in the field or indoors, some all the time and not just occasionally.

How do you control the intensity? Create soft shadows that don't scream "flash photography?" Balance the flash with available light? Or eliminate available light altogether?

The instructor will share the key concepts and techniques behind effective and creative lighting with flash. They will start with simple techniques that improve the results from a camera's built-in flash then focuses on fill flash techniques and on using flash as the key light.

What will be covered

  • Explanation of the principle behind the flash photography
  • The advantages of external flash vs. built-in flash
  • Balancing act of ambient and flash
  • Flash ranges and modes
  • How to use the rear or second curtain
  • How to use high sync for action photography
  • How to use flash modifiers with the flash
  • How to use fill-in flash for various kinds of subject, e.g., shooting people against dramatic sunset
  • Adding a second flash
  • Purchasing a flash

Course Outline

  • Introduction
  • Principle behind flash photography
  • Built-in vs. External flash
  • Portable vs. Studio flash
  • Common parts of a portable flash and their function:
    • Power button
    • Flash mode button
    • Flash power output button
    • Test button
    • Channels (depends on the model)
    • Master and Slave switch
  • Common concepts and terminologies:
    • Flash range
    • Guide number
    • High speed sync vs Hyper sync speed
    • Flash frequency
    • Flash duration
    • Fill-in flash
    • Front and rear curtain sync
    • Manual flash mode
    • TTL
    • ETTL
  • Camera settings when shooting with an external flash
  • Flash modes:
    • Shooting in Manual flash mode
    • Shooting in TTL flash mode
    • Shooting in ETTL flash mode
  • Off-camera flash:
    • Getting the correct exposure
    • Adjusting the flash output
    • White balance setting
  • Equipment and accessories for shooting with an external flash:
    • Flash-camera compatibility
    • Flash triggers
    • Light modifiers
    • Light stands
    • Other attachments
  • Working with flash and ambient light
  • Adding a second flash
  • Purchasing a flash
  • Other practical applications
  • Solving common problems
  • Q & A

Who should attend

  • Wedding and events photographers
  • Photojournalists
  • Hobbyists

What to bring

This is a lecture-demo class, so no equipment is required to attend this class. However, you may bring your camera, flash and flash triggers if you wish to try your own equipment during the trial shots, or if you have questions about your equipment.


Basic knowlege in photography.

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