Okay, true strobists might recoil in horror, but I often prefer using TTL flash to sweeten an image when shooting on location. I get to the final image faster than if I had gone the more methodical route of manual flash.
For some situations, manual flash is the only way to go. For example, when your subject is static in relation to your lights and you have to get consistent lighting and consistent exposures, image after image, then manual flash makes the most sense. But for times where you want to shoot faster, and shoot on the Read more inside...
This image of Amy, one of our models at the Treehaven workshops, came up for discussion with the group of attendees. As a straight-forward on location portrait using off-camera flash, it is ideal for an overview again of how easy the ambient & flash exposure metering is.
The basic approach with this portrait was to expose for the ambient light in the background, making sure our subject is somewhat under-exposed ... and then to add off-camera flash with a softbox. The first question that came up was - how did I meter for the ambient light? Read more inside...
The axioms regarding flash photography that get thrown around most often, are:
ambient exposure is controlled by shutter speed,
flash exposure is controlled by aperture.
While these are true, there's also an over-simplification happening. Then, just bandying around those two statements in a perfunctory manner, we actually lose understanding of how flash and ambient exposures actuallyinter-relate.
My problem with the first statement is that it disregards that aperture and ISO, both control ambient exposure as Read more inside...
Flash exposure is controlled by aperture ... but only for manual flash
Quite often the short-hand descriptions of the fundamentals of flash photography become misleading 'facts'. I frequently see the following statements repeated on the various photography forums and in questions that are emailed to me:
flash is controlled by aperture
shutter speed controls ambient light.
(This is sometimes twisted around to a completely misleading version:
ambient light is only controlled by the shutter speed.)
Even though these descriptions are half-right, they are also half-wrong Read more inside...
For correct flash exposure, 4 things need to be controlled and balanced:
- distance (from the flash to subject)
- power (the flash's actual blitz of light, taking into consideration any diffusion)
Two things relate to camera settings, and two things relate to the flash itself.
To really understand flash photography, it is essential to memorize those 4 things.
If you need an acronym to remember things more easily: PAID
Power, Aperture, ISO, Distance.
There are distinct ways in which flash exposure is controlled though - Manual Read more inside...