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Thread: Flash for beginners?

  1. #1
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Flash for beginners?

    Hi,

    I have a Canon 600D and a 320EX Speedlight - and I really don't have a clue about flash. Can anyone recommend any videos / tutorials to help me get my head around things.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: Flash for beginners?

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Hi,

    I have a Canon 600D and a 320EX Speedlight - and I really don't have a clue about flash. Can anyone recommend any videos / tutorials to help me get my head around things.

    Many thanks.
    Hi David

    There are some great tutorials here on CiC however I hope I am not being disrespectful to this site by suggesting you check out David Hobby's http://strobist.blogspot.co.uk/ site. Lighting 101 is a fantastic guide to getting into flash.

    Hope this helps

    Darren

  3. #3
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Flash for beginners?

    While I agree with Darren, that the Strobist is a great site, it can be quite overwhelming. You might just want to Google "flash photography" and watch the tons of videos that are out on YouTube and Vimeo. Kelby Traing (pay site) covers it quite well too.

    The best thing to do is to dig out your manual and mount you flash on your camera's hot shoe and start shooting. Once you figure that out you might want to get a light stand, clamp and umbrella (these are all fairly inexpensive) and start playing with off-camera flash (which in my opinion is the best way to go).

    I did a small flash workshop at our local community college (it ran over a weekend) a number of years back; and that experience was far better than any online course or book. If this is something that is offered in your area, I would highly recommend looking at it.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 2nd August 2013 at 12:39 PM.

  4. #4
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Flash for beginners?

    On-camera flash can be a remarkably powerful tool, especially when bounced around one's surroundings. So ignore the haters. That said, off-camera flash opens a remarkable list of possibilities. Literally a whole new world of lighting and aesthetic possibilities. Start with reading the manual and some single-flash YouTube videos. This tutorial by Jerry Ghionis is excellent. I recommend watching the whole thing, but if you're pressed for time, watch from 1:16:00 or so for the most critical on-camera flash tips.

    Always remember that there's a world of difference between seeing what to do on the Internet, and making it work in real life. As Manfred said, an in-person class will save you lots of trial and error. But at the end of the day, you have to go out and experiment by yourself.

    One bit of gear I do recommend is a set of color correction gels. These will change the temperature of the flash's light (normally about 5,600K, approximating daylight) to match the conditions. Shade will be more blue, most indoor light will be more orange. Correction gels can go a long way toward making your flash effects more subtle.

  5. #5
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Flash for beginners?

    As someone whose use of flash is rather rudimentary, I have to agree with Manfred that strobist is a somewhat overwhelming place to start.

    A really clear introduction to how flash works is this book. It goes into some techniques more complex than any I use, but it is the clearest explanation of basic principles that I have found, and it gives very practical advice throughout.

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Flash for beginners?

    The Internet contains a plethora of information about virtually any subject. Although the Strobist website has some very good information, it is not necessarily my favorite resource for flash photography information. Here are some resources that I do like:

    Flash Photography Techniques by Neil van Niekert: A series of excellent articles that Neil has compiled into a book:
    http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-pho...hy-techniques/

    Flash Photography with Canon EOS Cameras - Part I: Also a compilation of information. Some of this is aimed at older Canon systems but, much of it is valid for today’s equipment:
    http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

    Canon Digital Learning Center: Multiple web pages: You can navigate to these from this page:
    http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/home/home.shtml

    Here is an example of some of the information:
    http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resou..._article.shtml

    Joe Demb Flash Products Website: This site is proprietary and aimed at the use of the Demb products such as the Flash Diffuser Pro. IMO, for single flash work, this diffuser/reflector is one of the best on the market:
    http://www.dembflashproducts.com/

    I also like the videos that are produced by B&H Photo and Video and Adorama. You can find these by doing a YouTube search. Do a search with “B&H Flash” or “Adorama Flash” as your search parameters.

    B&H:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...be.waJhr-Gpsk8

    Adorama:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...be.WPmaX-vLo8Q

    I especially like this Adorama production regarding controlling fill flash. Among other tips, it illustrates the difference in controlling fill-flash between Canon and Nikon systems. It is very simple, concise and applicable to a photographer with just about any level of experience:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEnAhkL0i38

    Prophoto Life contains a series of very good, free, short video tutorials about various photo subjects. You can navigate from this web site:
    http://www.prophotolife.com/video-library/

    Here is an example of one video regarding outdoor portraits with flash:
    http://www.prophotolife.com/video-ep...r-portraits-1/
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 2nd August 2013 at 03:47 PM.

  7. #7
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Flash for beginners?

    Just to add to Lex's comments on gels; while some may consider that this is an advanced technique, it really can make a difference. These are available from better photo stores and from online sources. My Nikon SB900 came with four gels (two different densities of orange for shooting under tungsten light and two green for shooting under fluorescent lights.

    They commonly come in CTO (Colour Temperature Orange) for shooting under tungsten and come in fractional as well as whole values (I think my loweest value is 1/8 and they go up to full value). I tend to shoot 1/4 or 1/2.

    I also have CTB (Colour Temperature Blue) and I do use these where I have strong north light coming in a large window. I have also used these with studio lighting and will use one on a grid spot to create a cold area in a scene.

    CTG (Colour Temperature Green) - I try to avoid shooting under fluorescents, so other than the ones that came with my Speedlight, I don't use these.

  8. #8
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Flash for beginners?

    One more recommendation--since you're a Canon shooter. Syl Arena's Speedliter's Handbook is a great resource. A lot of sites like the Strobist have a slight bias towards Nikon terminology and gear, since they shoot that system. Arena is the Canon flash geek.

  9. #9
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Flash for beginners?

    Thank you everyone. Much to explore - I think I'm going to be busy for a while. I know I have to remember "it's all about the light".

    What a great bunch you are.

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