Foundations of Photography: Flash
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Shopping recommendations


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Foundations of Photography: Flash

with Ben Long

Video: Shopping recommendations

The external flash options available to you will vary greatly, depending on what kind of camera you have. For example, at the time of this shooting Nikon makes five different external flashes, not including specialty flashes for macro shooting. By comparison, Fuji makes two flashes for their X system. As discussed in the guide number movie, the main difference between flashes will be differences in power. If you give some thought to what kind of shooting you typically do, and how much range you think you'll need, then you can pretty quickly zero in on a flash size that's right for the type of shooting that you do.
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  1. 1m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 35s
  2. 33m 1s
    1. Exposure revisited
      2m 22s
    2. How flash works
      2m 12s
    3. Balancing ambient light and flash
      3m 54s
    4. Shutter speed, aperture, and flash
      4m 11s
    5. Fill and key light with flash
      4m 13s
    6. Understanding flash range
      2m 47s
    7. Understanding flash modes
      5m 16s
    8. Flash sync options
      3m 2s
    9. Some notes about your camera's built-in flash
      5m 4s
  3. 32m 50s
    1. When to use fill flash
      1m 39s
    2. Using fill flash in auto and program modes
      2m 44s
    3. Fill flash in priority or manual modes
      2m 38s
    4. Using flash exposure compensation
      9m 14s
    5. Using fill flash to eliminate unwanted shadows
      5m 46s
    6. Using fill flash to darken a background
      5m 1s
    7. Using flash to supplement ambient light
      3m 48s
    8. Filling in for a bright sunset
      2m 0s
  4. 33m 53s
    1. Shooting a portrait with flash as the key light
      4m 27s
    2. Why use an external flash?
      3m 34s
    3. Flash power and recharging times
      4m 21s
    4. Flash zoom
      1m 45s
    5. Taking the flash off camera
      5m 35s
    6. Using a softbox
      5m 3s
    7. Balancing flash and window light
      4m 22s
    8. Paying attention to the light in the room
      3m 39s
    9. Flash and white balance
      1m 7s
  5. 54m 20s
    1. Bouncing flash to improve lighting
      13m 8s
    2. Alternative options for bouncing flash
      5m 12s
    3. Using slow sync with flash
      8m 50s
    4. Rear-curtain sync
      11m 54s
    5. Using radio controls to fire a flash
      4m 32s
    6. Working with manual flash
      10m 44s
  6. 25m 16s
    1. Building up to multiple flash units
      13m 3s
    2. Adding the second flash for fill
      5m 19s
    3. The third flash as a backlight
      6m 54s
  7. 7m 50s
    1. Which brand of flash should you buy?
      1m 27s
    2. Guide number considerations
      3m 13s
    3. Shopping recommendations
      3m 10s
  8. 42s
    1. Next steps
      42s

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Watch the Online Video Course Foundations of Photography: Flash
3h 9m Appropriate for all Dec 13, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Harsh, unflattering lighting can ruin a photo—and with flash, it's easy to get harsh, unflattering lighting. But flash is a necessary part of a photographer's toolset—after all, the world doesn't always provide you with the best natural light.

Fortunately, it isn't difficult to get great results from flash, and in this course, photographer, author, and teacher Ben Long details the concepts and techniques behind effective lighting with flash. Ben starts with fundamentals that build on exposure principles taught in other installments of Foundations of Photography—simple techniques that improve the results from a camera's built-in flash. He then focuses on fill flash techniques and on using flash as a key light. The course also explores topics ranging from bouncing and syncing flash to shooting with one or more off-camera flash units.

Topics include:
  • How flash works
  • Balancing ambient light and flash
  • Understanding flash ranges and modes
  • When to use fill flash
  • Using an external flash
  • Bouncing flash to improve light
  • Building up multiple flash images
  • Purchasing a flash
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Shopping recommendations

The external flash options available to you will vary greatly, depending on what kind of camera you have. For example, at the time of this shooting Nikon makes five different external flashes, not including specialty flashes for macro shooting. By comparison, Fuji makes two flashes for their X system. As discussed in the guide number movie, the main difference between flashes will be differences in power. If you give some thought to what kind of shooting you typically do, and how much range you think you'll need, then you can pretty quickly zero in on a flash size that's right for the type of shooting that you do.

However, when you're shopping, you'll want to consider if you might ever want to advance to a multiple flash system. If so, then you might want to invest in a flash that can serve as a master to other flashes. In the future, you'll then be able to buy less expensive slave flashes to grow your system. Or maybe you're not sure if you'll ever head toward multiple flashes and don't need a flash with tremendous power. In that case, buying a less expensive slave and saving the option for a master until later will get you started with flash shooting and let you grow into a more complex system as you go along.

If there are third party flashes available for your camera then you might have a more complicated buying decision as you'll have more choices to consider. In these instances you'll want to pay close attention to whether a third party option is fully compatible with your camera. You'll also need to look for evaluations of the candidate flashes and metering systems. You want to look into whether a third party system works as well as the system made by your camera vendor. If all things appear equal performance-wise then you can start looking at secondary issues. What's the price difference? Does one flash recycle faster than another? Does one offer longer battery life then another? Is the interface easier on one flash or another? Are there differences in construction? A metal foot that goes into the hot shoe Is much more durable than a plastic foot, for example.

I actually encountered this one time. I knocked my, a flash stand over and the plastic foot broke off in my flash, costing money to get it replaced. I expect you'll find, though, that shopping for a flash just isn't nearly as complicated as shopping for a camera. You have fewer options and you generally won't find huge differences in competing products. Your main concern will simply be to decide how much flash power you need. If you like controlling your flash manually, then I heartily recommend skipping your camera vendor options, and going for something much less expensive like this Yongnuo flash.

This has almost the same guide number as a Canon 580EX. It's very well built, it has a great interface, but it offers no TTL metering of any kind. No automated metering of any kind. This flash can only be used in manual mode. But, I was able to buy it new from Amazon for only about $80. It can be optically slaved to my other flashes, making it an affordable way to build a multi-flash system. And if you're used to working manually, it's a great alternative to the dramatically more expensive Canon or Nikon alternatives.

There's lots of good review sites out there, so with a little research you can make a very informed purchase. That said, you'll also do just fine by taking the easy route and buying a flash made by your camera vendor.

There are currently no FAQs about Foundations of Photography: Flash.

 
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