Skip to main content

photo & video

How to Shoot with your First Flash

Lesson 19 of 28

Shoot: Light Sphere

Mike Hagen

How to Shoot with your First Flash

Mike Hagen

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

19. Shoot: Light Sphere

Lesson Info

Shoot: Light Sphere

So next is talking about the light sphere and the light sphere is kind of fun and it's exactly as we described it. It actually uses the same, well, this one that I own, it uses the same mount as the Snoot. So this just mounts onto there like this. Okay, light sphere. You can find these on Amazon, and eBay, and Adorama, and B&H. All the places probably have something like that. Again, it just slides on the top of the flash. So let's think, before we take a picture, let's start thinking of some of the logistical issues with shooting with a light sphere. Okay, we think, it's a light grenade. Light's gonna go everywhere. So if you do have yellow walls, this may not be the right choice for an interior shot in a yellow-walled room. But this will work if the walls are a neutral color. Do we have any real directional control? And is it really any different if it's forward or up? Not really, so again, light's gonna go everywhere. So if you need a situation where light does reflect all the w...

ay around the room, this is the tool for you. Let's test it and see what we got. Okay, back to this. And I'm in TTL mode here, but again, just to make the point, I'm gonna switch to manual mode on the flash to show you we can create a nice photo in manual mode. So I'm gonna hit the mode button again, go to M for manual mode, hit OK, and I'm gonna guess from last, I have to guess at a power output. I remember last time, one over one was a little bit too hot. So maybe I start at about half power. Let's see how that works. Okay, there we go. Light sphere, half power, I'm at M56 at a 250th of a second. Okay, my friend, here we go. One, two, three (camera clicks). Hmm, okay. Half power, a little bit too bright. But the overall look, decent, decent. Shadows are okay, they're in the background. If I shoot him that way, you won't get any shadow. So I'm gonna take this one more picture this way and then I'm gonna turn you around that way. That was half power and I think I was standing about here. See, in TTL mode, I didn't have to think through where I was standing. In manual mode, I always have to think, where exactly was I? Was I here or here, because that matters when you're calculating your manual exposure. So I was at half, I'm gonna go to quarter. So quarter power is one stop less of light. That means half the amount of light now is gonna hit him from the previous one. Okay, one, two, three (camera clicks). Alrighty. So here is the first one at half, here is the next one at quarter, and that's looking about right, maybe a little bit less, maybe quarter minus two thirds. So quarter minus two thirds. There we go and push OK. Okay, one, two, three (camera clicks), cool. And then, just to keep things exciting, I'll shoot like this. And one, two, three (camera clicks), okay. I think I was a little bit closer to you on that one. Yeah, I was. That's alright. And actually that's not a bad looking shot. It actually looks decent. Nice color, the background's kind of interesting, so flash sphere. It's okay, has a similar look as to the other products. I think what we're getting to, what we're understanding here is that anything that's like this, anything about this size, will produce approximately the same look for you, okay. My best favorite product is the FlashBender. I'd say my second one is that Harbor Digital Design softbox. But anything around this, you'll get a similar type of result.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Every photographer encounters situations where the light on their subject is less than ideal. A small flash can have a huge impact on your photos and is easier to use than you think! Photographer Mike Hagen joins CreativeLive to show you how to use your external flash quickly and comfortably. Mike will walk through the different flash options available and how to sync your camera and flash. He’ll walk you through different scenarios and demonstrate how your flash can improve your shots. After this class you’ll walk away knowing: 
  • How to set up your flash with your camera and what to look for when shooting 
  • How to use a flash in scenarios like event photography, portraits, and tabletop photography 
  • Which light shapers work best for your work and how to utilize them 
  • How to use your flash off-camera, working with TTL cables, wireless triggers, and other gear
  • Techniques for using modifiers like umbrellas, softboxes, and reflectors with your off-camera flash 
Don’t get stuck in a low light scenario without the confidence and tools you need to produce an amazing image. 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Single Flash Lighting Diagrams

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Single Flash Gear List 100 dollars

Single Flash Gear List 250 dollars

Single Flash Gear List 1000 dollars

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Yasemin Soyen

First of all I am very happy to discover Creative Live and since then I learned, enjoyed many classes! This week for the first time I was in the live audience and their sincerity, hospitality made the experience even more valuable. About this class, it was a pleasure to meet Mike Hagen. Besides his wide knowledge, creative thinking and information sharing, he was a very humble, nice teacher, with great positive energy. Thanks everyone!


Fantastic course - Mike is an engaging and entertaining teacher and this course was just what I needed to start using my external flash with confidence. I have had my external flash for a few years but have rarely used it as mastering all the settings was daunting and the results I got were inconsistent. This excellent course changed all that and I'm having great fun taking much better shots with my flash. I highly recommend!

Candy Smith

This class was fantastic. Mike is excellent under pressure when things don't go perfectly, love his style and grace and how encouraging he is to his models, great mentor. I learned so much about using flash, and my pictures are so much better.