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Flash Settings: TTL

Lesson 9 from: FAST CLASS: How to Shoot with your First Flash

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

9. Flash Settings: TTL

Lesson Info

Flash Settings: TTL

So let's now talk about flash settings getting our flash set up properly. There's as I mentioned, there's T TL flash, and then there's manual flash. Okay, so let's go through t t l And to do this, I'm gonna grab my other camera. That has my flash. I'm gonna grab my, uh know what? I think I'm just gonna grab my other flash. All right, so this flash is a Nikon flash, and this is the Nikon SB 5000. So this is nigh cons Newest one at the moment. You know, the cannon world you're shooting like the 600 e X or the 4 30 e x. Nikon has a whole line of flashes to and again, everything I'm gonna say here. I'm just gonna talk at the high level. I will show the detail buttons to push, but that only pertains to this specific flash model. Even within the Nikon flash world, all the buttons and dials air different. And it drives me crazy cause I own every single Nikon flash they've ever made. And I'm like, Oh, yeah, this one. How did they don't have a button consistency. You'll find the same thing with...

cannon they're not consistent with buttons. You'll find the same thing with the annual Nuo go or whatever that other flash model is, or or even this other one, this Amazon basics flash. They all have different buttons, so don't worry about the buttons as much as the concept. Okay, so this I'm gonna turn the flash on. And if you look here on the very top, it'll say Which flash mode? So here we're in what's called a t t l. And there's some other stuff after it in the night. Come world, there's TT lbl and there's this other thing called FP. Don't worry about that other stuff For now in general, the one thing I want you to think about is just t t l. All right. So how do I change that? Well, most camera, most flashes have a button. It's called Mode the mode button. So if you just push this in this case is the right side of this multi selector. If I just push the mode button, I just keep pushing it with my thumb. You can see him changing the flash moods. Now this this flash. Actually, I think it has six modes and ah, I only care about two. I care about t t l and I care about him. Oh, so there's him in his, um, manual mode. So what is t t l? Let's just start with t t l a t T l t t l sends for through the lens metering. And if this system is going to take a picture of me, here's what happens in T TL mode. You aim the camera, the camera, then you would go to take a picture in TT Elmo. This flash actually sends out a what's called a sample pulse of light or a pre flash ping like this before the shutter even opens. It goes ting. And it sends a reflected amount of light back to the camera than the camera makes a decision very quickly. And it says, Ooh, that's dark. Hey, flash add more light. And so then when it actually takes the picture of the flash adds more light, okay? And it happens this fast. Uh, right. It happens that fast. That fast. It's like sent out a pulse of light. It measured it and then actually takes Took the picture. I can't actually see you guys right now, So I hope you're still there. So that T TL is very cool because you don't have to think very much about the process. You're like, Oh, please, Canon, please Nikon do it for me. And the truth is based on where we worked 15 20 years ago. Flash technology has really come very far, and it does a pretty good job most of the time. All right, so I say T TL is easiest, but it's not always best. And it's not always best because of my last bullet point here. It's not repeatable and consistent. You will see this all the time when you shoot T TL flash. Especially like if you have toe photograph on event. I'm talking about a wedding or bar mitzvah. Ah, fund raiser. You know, someone comes up and they're wearing a black tuxedo. T TL looks at that black tuxedo and goes, That's really dark. Add more light. So now the black tuxedo brightens up. But what happens? The person's face and then right next is the bride and the brides wearing a white dress. And what is t t l do there. Oh white thing. Reduce the brightness And now the dresses darker. But also what happens? The bride's face. Very, very dark. So T TL isn't consistent. You'll find this all the time. Take a picture here. It's a little bit brighter. Take a picture there. It's a little bit darker. I use T. Teal and I use it a lot, but I use it usually when I'm traveling. You know, I go toe on vacation with my kids and we're at the beach. I know that my kids are gonna flip out on me if I'm like, stand there just a few more minutes while I'm in manual mode. Shutter speed aperture manual 1/3 power minus, You know, And I take my picture and I'm like, Hold on, hold on yet another third of a stop up. Okay, hold on. You know, you see, t tl mode allows you just go take the picture. And then if you're shooting raw a lot of times and raw, you can kind of come back to it and fix your exposure in post processing if it's not spot on. So I kind of think of detail like this, details like, yeah, pretty close. I think I got it. good enough. I'm on vacation. I want to move fast. Or maybe I'm shooting sports or I'm working with an athlete and stuffs really dynamic. T TL is going to do a pretty good job most of the time, but it's not consistent if I want to repeat that exact scene over and over and over again. Details Not the right way to do it. Because any movement, like if the subject moves from this side of the frame to that side of the frame T T ells impacted also by what's behind the subject. Okay, this this hear t tl is the cause. I think of most frustration with new flash photographers. It's like I bought this $600 flash and I have $1000 camera. Why does my photo look horrible? Well, T tail is a part of that. I'm not saying details. Bad cause detail works well in the right situation. I'm going to show you today how we can wrangle t t l just to remember that it's always based on what the subject is wearing or how bright the flower is or how bright the background is. Once you start understanding how t t l thinks Oh, well, then you can come right alongside of and make it work for you. But the key is to understand how it's thinking. I used T tl in aperture priority mode, but t t l also works very well in manual mode on camera. I know a lot of people. Like what? That doesn't make sense. You can shoot manual mode like I can pick my shutter speed and aperture and then let the flash do its thing, huh? Yeah, and I do that. Just set your shutter speed and aperture on the camera. That reduces some variability and then let the flash just kind of fill in the foreground in t TL mode. That's actually not a bad way. In fact, when I shoot events, I'm shooting a fundraiser coming up here real soon for an organization, and I'm gonna set my camera up at about a 80th of a 2nd 30 of a second so I can get the nice houselights. This really they've always got these really cool LDDS that makes that background look very, very cool. So I said a little bit longer shutter speed, and I just fixed the camera manual mode and then t tl for, you know, when people come in from the camera, click, click, click, click, click.

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Great fast-class! Mike Hagen got straight to the point and made it super easy to understand!


Great course very informative and so easy to understand.


The class covers exactly what you would expect. Very good basic information about how to set-up and operate a flash on any camera. Mike was extremely personable and communicated very well.

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