How To Use Your Camera With Strobes?


Film Photography with Strobe Lighting


Lesson Info

How To Use Your Camera With Strobes?

So hot shoe mount. This is the one that people are the most familiar with, because this is what we have on most of our digital cameras. And most 35 millimeter and 645 formats are gonna have hot shoe mounts. So let me just grab mine here real quick. Alright. Let's bring out the Hasselblad too, why not. So, hot shoe mounts are this little place on top of your camera where you would put your flash or your trigger. And they are connected to your camera electronically, so that when you fire your shutter they fire your flash or your strobe. They're up there, they're awesome. Like I said our film cameras that we are using are older. The hot shoe mount on my Contax, for example, gets kind of wonky and every once in awhile it'll misfire (laughs) and it will short out my strobes. And my strobes will just start flashing like crazy. So, you know, it's just the fun quirks of working with old equipment. Sometimes they work great sometimes they don't. When they don't, I'll show you some work arounds.

Being film photographers, I always say, makes you a better photographer. And some times it makes you a better photographer because you have to figure out the hacks. (laughs loudly) So, that's a hot shoe mount and that's how those work. And where's my trigger? So, yeah you just slide them in on top. Alright? I think everybody is familiar with a hot shoe mount. Now some film cameras have cold shoe mounts. So let me show you those real quick. We'll get these guys out of the way. So and we'll bring out my Hasselblad. So this is the Hasselblad 503. And with this camera I have the prism on top of it. And I like the prism because it just helps me focus...lens cap. So I can be up here it's easier to look through. And you'll notice that it has a little mount here on top. This cold shoe mount, however, is not connected electronically to the camera. So if I just put this up here and fire the trigger, nothing's gonna happen. If I put a flash on it and fire the trigger nothing's gonna happen. Fun fact, I actually didn't know that at first (laughs loudly) when I got this camera. 'Cause like I said I learned all this myself just going through the motions. So, if you have an accessory that has a cold shoe mount on it, like I know for the Pentax you can get that great handle, that wooden handle. And it also has a cold shoe mount on it. Different cameras can have them in different places. One of the Mamiya 645s, I think actually has a hot shoe mount on it, but it's on the side in this kind of weird place. So you just gotta look for this stuff. But if you do, if you're working with a camera or camera accessories that has a cold shoe mount so normally there's gonna be place on the camera where you can sync your light, your trigger, your flash to your camera so that when you do hit that shutter it'll fire. So what you need in that situation is you just need a sync cord. And they look like this, a little male to male. There's different kinds of sync cords I should show you. So sometimes they can look like this. Sometimes they can look like this. So if you're ever unsure of which cord you need for your camera, you can always just go into your camera store and ask. But basically you just plug one end here and connect it to the camera there. And then you're ready to go. And now when you fire this camera, it'll fire the trigger or your flash. So that's what a cold shoe mount does. I gottta get it out. (laughs loudly) And then there's some cameras that don't have either. They don't have a cold shoe mount. They don't have a hot shoe mount. So what do you do in that situation? So...oh this camera is a beast. It's so heavy. So like the Pentax67 or the Rolleiflex, which is my favorite, I use it all the time. So these cameras, there's no place just to attach a flash. And so in this situation, you just have to look. Every camera has a little place where you can attach a sync cord to. And it looks a little different. And sometimes you have to search for it. And sometimes you have to look on the Google at the camera's manual, but it's always there. So on the Rolleiflex, this is where you fire your trigger there's this little place here where you can, just again, plug in that cord, and then you're ready to go. That's how you do it there. And on the Pentax. Where's the Pentax? The Pentax, you're over here. And you just plug it in and you're good to go. Now one thing that people always ask me is when you are in a situation like this, you know, what do you do? (laughs loudly) And there's a couple of things. When I'm using this camera with lights, or when I'm using the Rolleiflex with lights I actually always put it on a tripod. A)these camera are really super heavy and it's just easier. This ones not so heavy, but it's just easier for me. And then I'll just let it hang there and it's fine. But, what I just wanna really drive home is that no matter what camera you're using, there is a way to connect it to your lighting. And you can use a wireless trigger. You can use a flash, however you want to do it. Oh and here this is a picture of that spot on the Hasselblad where I connected that cord.

Class Description

To get the best portrait straight out of camera you need to control your light. Family and Newborn Photographer, Sandra Coan, walks through how easy it is to use lights with your film camera for the most control over how your image ultimately looks. In this course, Sandra will talk about how to approach your photo shoot by thinking about not only your subject but also the film and the light you want to create.

You’ll learn:

  • How to sync the flash with your film camera
  • How to meter for your subject and the light you’re adding to the image
  • How to choose the best film based off what you’d like the final image to look like

Throughout history, photographers have been using flash with film cameras. In this course, Sandra will cover everything to give you the knowledge to start taking portraits with your camera and strobes.


a Creativelive Student

Wow! with a lot of online stuff out there one can become rather overcome with too much information, however, the way Sandra presents her courses is just perfect! Her honest and simple and easy to understand approach was just what I needed. Not once did I think she was just going through the motions, she really loves what she does and it shows. To be able to rewatch and rewatch was also a key for me. Since I have dyslexia I have to take things one half step at a. time. After completion of the class I had a new found confidence when using strobes. A must have.

Micah Hewett Images

Out of all the classes I own on Creative Live, Strobe Lighting with Sandra is my FAVORITE! She is an incredibly kind and gifted teacher. She explains everything on a simple level and then gradually build to more complex issues. I am 100% happy with this course. Thank you Sandra!!

Gabby de Janasz

Sandra Coan is a lighting genius! I loved watching her high-energy and super informative class. I learned way more about studio lighting than I ever thought was possible. I'd definitely recommend this class to literally any person in photography, not just studio photographers. Thanks Sandra!!