View Full Version : How to use your flash..

10-31-2009, 07:57 AM
Hi there,

I'm looking for some tips/tutorials for using flash units. I was taking photos at a wedding today and wasn't happy with many of the ones taken with the flash on.

I have a 550ex canon flash (older version of the 580ex so has a lot of similar features) and a 30d (I used the 17-85mm efs lens most of the day) so a reasonable combination.


10-31-2009, 09:47 AM
Hi dmagick I have no useful advice to give you but I do know that Marko did a whole podcast on it:
71 – Portable flash (http://www.photography.ca/blog/?p=525)

Flash sync speeds – Photography podcast #47 (http://www.photography.ca/blog/?p=96)

10-31-2009, 10:43 AM
Here is one of the most popular off camera flash sites. Be warned, entry may prove costly! Flash (http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/2006/02/welcome-to-strobist.html)

10-31-2009, 02:30 PM
Yeah it seems like any time someone asks a question about flash or lighting in general in a forum thread out come the links to the strobist site.
I am also unqualified to advise really but the biggest improvement to my flash photography has been using i-ttl with exposure comp (body) and flash exp comp to adjust the foreground vs background/ambient light mainly in fill flash scenarios. You can get some really dramatic lighting looks if the ambient light is not too harsh (ie. indoors or outdoors at sunset or on overcast day). I guess what I mean is that I like simple speedlight flash the most in situations where you almost don't really need it, usually diffused, and preferably off camera if you can pull it off. Otherwise it just looks harsh.
I am currently reading Joe McNally's The Hot Shoe Diaries and it's sorta helpful to me since it only discusses speedlights (not studio lighting) and is based on Nikon equipment.

11-02-2009, 07:33 AM
Thanks for the pointers - I'll have to re-listen to the podcasts.

That book sounds interesting - thanks for the tip!

11-12-2009, 05:29 PM
Before I can give any tips or suggestions, it would be great to see some images:) Based on conditions, you may not have been able to do any better that what you did. The FEC allows you to get a little more creative and balance the amount flash with the ambient light.

Generally bouncing the light and changing the angle of the light makes a photo a lot more interesting.

02-05-2011, 11:19 AM
Don't forget Joe McNally and Syl Arena for advice. Their books on using speedlights and lighting in general are tremendous sources of useful inspiration -- Syl's "speedliter's handbook" recently got published and Joe's "Hotshoe Diaries" was published in 2009. FYI, Syl is to Canon speedlites what Joe is to Nikon's. Martin Bailey did an podcast interview (http://www.martinbaileyphotography.com/podcasts.php?ep=276#Ep276) with Syl recently that I found quite interesting and I definitely recommend giving it a listen. Despite Syl being a Canon guy, the early portion of his book has some basics for anybody holding a camera, basics that Joe assumes everybody has or should have. (not me, uh uh)

Click this (http://pixsylated.com/category/gang-light-multiple-flash-photography/) to go to some of Syl's specific bits on gang/multi-Flashes

02-05-2011, 12:38 PM
I have no experience with flash, however I've heard that a very good site is Strobist (http://www.strobist.com).

02-09-2011, 06:38 PM
Sorry if this has already been presented, but, not having found any references in the forum to Joe McNally's two "Control of Color" lighting vids on the Nikon site, I thought I'd provide the links. They were/are very fascinating to watch.

Control of Color, Part 1 (http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Techniques/fy1hs59m/1/Control-of-Color-Part-1.html)

Control of Color, Part 2 (http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Techniques/fy1hs59r/1/Control-of-Color-Part-2.html)