Join Levi Sim for an in-depth discussion in this video Line-of-sight discussion, part of Flash Photography: Nikon Speedlites.
- The number one thing you need to understand about using the Creative Lighting System and letting your camera's pop up flash control these off-camera speedlite units is that they need to be able to see each other. It's a line-of-sight communication. It uses infrared light to send the power changes to the flash. And the thing about it is that the sensor on the flash needs to be visible to the pop-up flash on the camera. The trick is, on this flash, the sensor isn't this big read light on the front.
It's actually this little tiny circle on the side next to the battery door and it happens to be right in the perfect spot to cover up with your thumb when you hand this flash to an assistant. So, make sure that this little sensor is pointed towards the camera's pop-up flash. The red light on the front is just the ready light and also an auto-focus assist light. Remember, it's this little guy on the side. This little sensor is really quite sensitive to the communication from the camera, though, so in an instance like this where I'm indoors and I've got ceilings and walls to work with, I could pretty well put this flash anywhere in the room and it'll probably pick up the light coming from this pop-up flash.
If I'm having some trouble, I can use bouncing techniques, it just hits off the light off the ceilings and it hits off the walls and is gathered really simply in here. The time I have the most trouble with this is working outdoors or working with another modifier. If I put the flash in something like this beauty dish over here, I just need to make sure that the sensor is rotated around, facing back towards the camera. If I'm outdoors, I've got a lot less opportunity to bounce the camera's flash off of things.
So, I just have to pay extra special attention to make sure that the sensor is facing towards the camera. When I put it on a light stand, if I switch the light stand to the other side of the scene, I just need to rotate the head and have that sensor facing back the right direction. It's a little thing and you'll have some frustration at first, perhaps, but it just works so well that it's worth learning and remembering to do.
You'll also find out how to set up your Nikon camera itself to make the most of the speedlight—one of the most liberating photography tools you can buy. Levi Sim helps you master the controls, including the camera and flash modes, flash modifiers, and accessories, and creative options offered by a speedlight: soft light, hard light, and bounced light. By the end of this course, you'll be able to make great light in any situation with your speedlight. If you don't have one yet, you'll understand just what model is best for your needs and what features you'll use the most.
- Why use a speedlight?
- Powering a speedlight
- Choosing the right camera mode
- Choosing the right flash modes
- Using flash modifiers
- Creating soft and hard light
- Accessing Commander mode
- Positioning the flash off camera
- Using an ITTL extension cord
- Extending battery life
- Controlling ambient light
- Using speedlights with third-party radio triggers