Over the course of two weeks, we looked at the use of flash speedlites, both on and off camera.

You should always use manual settings when using flash. Photographers use flash to fill in / work with available light rather than have it as the only light source.

Try not to point the flash at people as this can result in red eye, closed eyes or a subject that is too flat.

When using a speedlite, follow this procedure:

  1. Add the flash to the camera
  2. Light meter as you would without a flash on manual settings. When you add the flash, it won’t overexpose your photos. It’s all about bringing out the shadows. The shutter speed controls the level of available light.
  3. Switch on the flash

Speedlite

The TTL setting on the flash (Through The Lens) means that you’re giving control of the flash to the camera – the camera will therefore how much light you need.

If you want to shoot in any light conditions, you should get a flash that has HSS (High Speed Sync.) If you have too much light, set the shutter speed faster.

Without HSS, the shutter speed on my camera can only go up to 1/250, which means that on a really sunny day when using a wide aperture, you won’ be able to lower the light levels enough. On a speedlite that uses HSS, you can get a shutter speed of 1/8000

If the flash tends to be quite harsh, you can use a diffuser, that usually comes with the speedlite, or use a flash bender, or even put a piece of white paper around the flash.

The speedlite can also be used as a ‘slave.’ This means that it’s not attached to the camera, but placed elsewhere so that you can light up a subject from, say, the side. I haven’t had chance to pratice this yet

We went outside to practice taking some outdoor photos with the flash. First here are some comparisons – without and with the flash:

 

And here are a few more taken with the flash. I thought it was about time that Zig appeared in the blog!

 

Public Liability

This wee we also spoke briefly about insurance for Photographers. If you are doing any type of photography work in public, it’s advised that you get some public liability insurance. This will cover you if, for example, you are photographing a wedding and you lose all the photographs or if someone trips over your equipment. A recommended company is the Artists Network which gives you £5 million of cover for just joining.

 

Criteria covered in this blog:

Unit 01: 2.9

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