Foundations of Photography: Flash
Illustration by

Using radio controls to fire a flash


From:

Foundations of Photography: Flash

with Ben Long

Video: Using radio controls to fire a flash

So you've seen how a sync cord lets me get the flash off the camera and opens up a huge amount of creative flexibility in my flash work. There are limitations to a sync cord though. And you've probably already spotted some of them. I've only got so far that I can go. And you may think well no, the real limitation there is the length of your arms, and that's true. But thanks to flash stands and things like that, I could conceivably put the flash somewhere far away and, and fire it from there if I have a longer cord. So I've got length of the cord.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
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

Using radio controls to fire a flash

So you've seen how a sync cord lets me get the flash off the camera and opens up a huge amount of creative flexibility in my flash work. There are limitations to a sync cord though. And you've probably already spotted some of them. I've only got so far that I can go. And you may think well no, the real limitation there is the length of your arms, and that's true. But thanks to flash stands and things like that, I could conceivably put the flash somewhere far away and, and fire it from there if I have a longer cord. So I've got length of the cord.

It's cumbersome. It's kind of heavy, and it requires a physical connection. If I want to put a flash up in the ceiling or something like that, or on the other side of a, a body of water or something, or just on the other side, outside of a wall, maybe shining through a window. The cord is just not going to work. Fortunately, there are now radio transmitters that are extremely affordable and give you a wireless solution for getting your flash off camera. Now you may find that your camera vendor makes one. I got a Canon camera here, and they in fact make a set of transmitters and receivers specifically for their cameras.

You know you're going to get full compatibility with your flash TTL system. You're also going to have a much lighter wallet afterwards. They are very expensive. So, before I even look at that stuff, I'd check out the third party stuff. It's much less expensive and offers some of the same functionality. I have here a set of transmitters made by Cowboy Studios. So this is a transmitter, this is a receiver. The transmitter just snaps onto my, or slides into my camera's hot shoe, the receiver goes on the bottom of my flash.

That's about all there is to it. I have to turn the receiver on. The transmitter is actually powered by the camera. And I have some options here, some little dip switches here that give me the option of setting channels. In case I've got a bunch of transmitters working with same room, and need to, to I'm, I'm having interference from other radio signals. Once those are turned on, I've now got just what I have with the sync chord except I don't have a chord. So now I've got full flash control without a cord. The downside to these Cowboy Studio units is that they have a somewhat limited.

Wow they really stick a notch you, they have a somewhat limited amount of electrical connection here. I've only got this one contact here, which means I don't get any TTL information and, I cannot change the brightness of the flash from the camera. The camera and the flash can not communicate with them with each other. To use this setup, I have to be using manual only. I'm controlling flash power myself by dialing it around on the flash. I'm used to working that way, so this is a great solution for me. 20 bucks to get a remote flash system.

Here is another option. This is made by these are PocketWizards. This is a company called PocketWizard. If you just Google around, you will find that they make all sorts of different units for different types of flashes. Now, right away, the next thing you're going to notice is that they're more expensive. These start at 150 and go to 250, 300 bucks, depending on what features you want. They're larger but they also provide a lot of different options. First of all, some PocketWizards are apparently easier to get in a hot shoot than others. Some PocketWizards offer full TTL.

So, I get all of the same flash functionality that I am used to when my flash is on the camera, but with the advantage of having the flash of the camera. Also PocketWizards allow me to define groups of flashes. So if I'm creating complex multi-flash set-ups, I can program all that into the PocketWizards and have all sorts of finicky maniacal control. So this is another option. There are other third part options that compete at, more like the Cowboy Studios level. Inexpensive. These are kind of flimsy, but for 20 bucks, I can break a bunch of them before I've paid for a PocketWizard.

So, I heartily recommend getting some sort of radio transmitter for your off-camera flash work. A lot of people think well, I don't need radio, because I'm not doing complex, multi-flash set-ups. But I'm, I'm not even talking about it for that. I'm just talking about handheld, even if all you're doing is handheld off-camera work, just having this instead of that cable is just a, it's a much nicer way to work. So, once you're starting to get ready to get your flash off camera and you're thinking about how you want to do it. Start looking into these radio transmitters.

See what they cost. And see if maybe you like that idea, better than the somewhat less flexible sync cord.

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

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Flash.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.