Know your Flash To Be A Source of Light In Photography

When shooting with a hotshoe flash, there are some common questions. How should I adjust the settings on my flash? How to manuals and TTL modes affect my images? What is a flash sync, and more importantly what curtain sync first and second curtain sync? Where should I flash my point? Is the flash zoom? All these questions and more will be answered in this tutorial.

Flash Modes

When operating your hotshoe flash in manual mode, you are basically setting the power of the flash. Most flash units allow you to decided whether to use the maximum or the minimum power it can supply along with steps in between.

Like camera stops, flashes also have stops. These are referred to as flash power, and are measured in fractional increments: 1 (or full) » 1/2 » 1/4 » 1/8 » 1/16 » 1/32 » 1/64, etc. Practically named: Full power, half-power, quarter-power, etc.

Moving one step along this scale (from full power to half-power, or from half-power to quarter-power) is one stop difference. The same change in exposure as adjusting your shutter speed or aperture one stop.

Depending on your particular hotshoe flash model or brand, half or even third-stop power increments might be possible, ust like in-between shutter speed and aperture adjustments. On some flashes, the power can be set directly from the flash and is indicated on the flash LCD screen.

Other flashes (especially the smaller ones with no LCD screen on the back), can only be set through the camera’s menu, or are completely controlled by sensors in the flash. Getting a flash that is compatible with your camera, can make your life a lot easier. Not only is there added convenience, but you’ll also enjoy extended functionality.

Flash Modes Menu

When changing power of the flash, it is important to remember that you do not really change the amount of light the flash emits. Flash fires a burst of light is constant. When reducing the power of your flash, you could actually change the time duration of the flash light emitting bursts. Thus, increasing the increasing strength of the flash means you make it turn on the flash is just a little longer.

Another fact is that the amount of flash lamp may explode with full force differ from one model or another brand, and a variety of power settings between full power and minimum power is also different. For example Canon 580 EX is more powerful than the Canon 430 EX at full strength, and offers a variety of power settings that go from full power all the way down to 1 / 128, while the Canon 430 EX can only go as low as 1 / 64.

For Canon flashes, E-TTL stands for “evaluative through the lens” metering. When you set the flash to ETTL mode, the flash actually emit light before firing the actual flash exposure is used to sign up. This is the first light is known as a pre-flash. Then measure the amount of light back through the lens and compare it with the original amount of light emitted, taking into account the distance between the camera and the subject being photographed. Based on the facts and then calculate the strength of the flash should be set in order to register the correct exposure.

The following figure shows two different flash settings: In the first picture, the flash is set to manual mode at 1 / 2 power. In the second picture, the flash set to ETTL mode, which means that the camera will set the flash power automatically in accordance with a framed scene.

canon flash ettl menu 1

canon flash ettl menu 2

Remember, when your flash is set to manual mode you are the one in charge. Meaning you set the flash power and it stays the same from one shot to the next until you re-set it once again to a different power. In TTL mode, your camera works with the flash unit to determine the power needed for a specific scene, and that power does change from one shot to another if necessary. So if the scene changes, the distance to the subject changes, or the available lighting conditions change, a flash in this mode will detect it.

Flash Sync

Flash sync shutter speed was initially referred with a faster one in which cheap flash cameras function well. Getting everything just good enough complicated to be used for.

Flash sync now on your flash usually refers to fire the flash in, relation to exposure with you. This is best long exposures are shown with imagine, such as 6 seconds. The flash may fire Just after the first shutter curtain you truly open, or just before the fire could be the second shutter curtain closes you Start. for first-curtain sync flash, cheap flash will fire the shutter will open. For the second curtain flash sync shutter would you will wait until opening cheap flash marks the Six Seconds Before that for flames.

Second Serving Airways particular purpose inexpensive to create certain effects ON Final image.

If the subject of cheap camera mobile phones you no, It will not care if the flash fires, first curtain sync or second curtain sync mode mode. If there is motion, then after a flash fire in, first curtain sync mode illuminates the subject of cheap would freeze after the curtain first in point is really open, cheaper then the ambient light will illuminate any motion that occurs during exposure.

After the flash fire in the second curtain sync mode will allow recording for you Just Before closing film Until the second curtain flash  blast freezing illuminate their subject. Can you picture tells the story of a street in Rear All-Subjects within, Final picture.

If a subject is moving left to right and you’re using first curtain sync, blur will appear to right of your frozen subject if you’re using an appropriate shutter speed. If you’re using second curtain sync, the blur will appear to the left of the subject. If you’re having trouble getting blur, then slow your shutter speed down. Don’t be afraid to extend your shutter speed to 1/2 second or beyond.

Both shots below were taken with the flash set to 2nd curtain sync:

Photo by Aaron Shumaker

Photo by Aaron Shumaker


Photo by The Journeyman Photographer

Flash Zoom

Flash Zoom Wide Spread refers to how light will flash. Some flash units have no zoom option. In, zoom mode Auto flash, the flash will detect the length of the focus lens of the camera body mounted on you, cheap adjust the flash light emitting deployment viewpoint match your lens.

To do that, the flash range changes in the flash tube betwen The truth (light) cheap diffuser (PART plastic front of the flash). If using a zoom lens YOU, multiple flashes can adjust this distance back as the increase or decrease the length of the matching FOR YOUR new Focus. If YOU use a prime lens so the flash Clearly Only One get the adjustment.

The different brands of cheap flash Various models offer a zoom range coverage. For example Canon 430 cheap 580 series offers a 24mm focal length range can be used FOR Pls 105mm lens is used with at compatible EOS The full frame (35mm) DSLR. If YOU use a small DX (APS-C is also called) sensored camera, used range covered by 15mm TO 65mm.

you can also set the flash mode to manual zoom. With this way you can determine the zone of cheap flash zoom setting is set to spread to zoom focal length available for your closest lens’. You can also use manual flash zoom for the creative purpose flash zoom setting viewpoint Of The different is for you to control the spread of light lens. This allows you to zoom flash, low light of a particular scene your part.

Flash Direction

Some flash models offer you a way to bounce the light burst off of walls, ceiling, or reflectors to soften the light instead of having it illuminate your subject straight on. These flashes have a tilting and/or rotating head that can be moved up, down, left, right and sometimes all way around. How far your particular flash can tilt and pan depends on the specific model you have. For example: Canon’s 580 series flashes can tilt from -7° (downwards) all the way up to 90° upwards, while their 430 series can tilt up to 90° upwards.

canon speedlight flash direction

Having a flash with a head that tilts and rotates is very useful so that the burst of light can be manipulated in a way that hits your subject from different directions rather than straight from the front. Bouncing flash off walls and ceilings can make your scene look more natural by softening shadows. Usually this results in more flattering light.

If you’re in a location where the ceilings are too high for the light to make it back to your subject, you can try placing your hand right behind the speedlite to throw just a bit of light forward. Some flashes come with built-in bounce cards for this purpose. You can also attach your own diy bounce card to your flash with a rubber band. And of course, you can also try bouncing your flash off a nearby wall.

Generally you will want to point your flash in such a way that it hits a spot on the wall or ceiling that is roughly half the distance to your subject. If your back is very close to a wall, you can try pointing your flash head up towards the corner where the wall and the ceiling meet so that it bounces back at your subject. One other way to experiment with is turning your flash head all the way to the back facing the wall right behind you, to bounce light back at your subject from the front.

tips make photo with flash