off camera flash

Easy Off Camera Flash

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding off camera flash. One of which is that it is expensive, I am here to say that is utter rubbish! I used a 42.99 yn560ii flash gun, a 24.99 softbox, and the wireless triggers from ebay cost a whopping 6.99! It really is amazing what results you can achieve without the expensive branded equipment. Granted you will need a little knowledge of the basics as it is all fully manual, but it is a starting point and one of the greatest ways to learn.

DSLR’s have a sync speed, this tends to be 1/200th or 1/250th but this does vary. Basically this is as fast as you can set your shutter speed before you will see black bars in your image. Using your flash off camera you will notice that no matter what shutter speed you set the flash exposure will remain the same, this is because the duration of the flash gun is so much faster than the cameras shutter speed. You use the shutter speed to adjust the ambient light on the scene. Once you have your shutter speed set, start to play around with the aperture. This will not only affect the ambient light but also the amount of light from the flash getting into the camera so this can be a great way to adjust the brightness of the flash without having to repeatedly keep changing the power setting on the flash gun.

 A scenario where you might want to use your flash off camera would be outside. Image a bright scene, you try to take a portrait of your friend and expose for the background. What you find is your subject has fallen into darkness as the brightness of the background is far greater than the brightness of the subject of the portrait. Ok so just expose for the subject right? Well you could but then you see that the background has completely blown out and you have lost any detail in the sky. In comes off camera flash. Set the exposure for the background and then fill in your subject with the flash. Simple!

We all have styles we like and aim for when starting out, but once you start to experiment you slowly find your own style. Another good thing about everything being manual is that you will learn how to light different situations the more experience you get. Whether you are using your flash as a fill or a main light, you will steadily learn how to balance your flash power and temperature with the available light.

Here is my review of the flash gun I use, the Yongnuo 560ii

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd_DBCVdqzs

So why not have a go today, and see just what a difference getting that flash off of the hotshoe will make to your photography!

 

4 Comments

  • onelifethislife

    Reply Reply August 12, 2013

    Hello Leon! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Flash photography. Let me start off by saying I am somewhat of a novice and realized I need an external flash in order to have my photographic vision come to fruition. I shoot with a Canon (Rebel t3i)/ 600D. I am looking into getting a flash but I am not sure what look for in a flash and I don’t want to spend a ton of money unnecessarily. Can you suggest a few I can look into? Thanks!

    • Lumusphoto

      Reply Reply August 12, 2013

      Thank you for your comment! Good camera choice by the way, all I would suggest is doing as much research as possible but I would personally recommend a cheap manual flash. I feel this is the best value and will offer you a very cheap way to learn and master the flash. Yongnuo make good value flash guns like the yn560ii. Canon’s 430exii is the best value automatic flash but it is still 3 times the price. Any questions you have feel free to mail me lumusphoto@yahoo.co.uk

      • onelifethislife

        Reply Reply August 12, 2013

        Thank you for replying so quickly and providing your thoughts. I have been doing some research and I did see the Yongnuos. I originally thought I should get the Canon 430 EXII or 580 EXII but if I can find cheaper and it performs the same, then even better! Thank you so much for your assistance. It’s very appreciated. I’ll be sure to send you any additional questions.
        Cheers!

        • Lumusphoto

          Reply Reply August 13, 2013

          Anytime! The yn560ii give the same light, may not be as powerful as the 580exii but it can produce results inseparable in the correct hands.

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