Skip to main content

9:00 am - Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Mastering TTL Flash

Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton

9:00 am - Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Mastering TTL Flash

Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

1. 9:00 am - Introduction

Lesson Info

9:00 am - Introduction

Our whole goal today for the next two days is to really take away the fear of detail because so many people use detail just enough to get messed up even more or actually hated and go back to manual and manuals great manually use manual too, but we want to explain how t tl works, so when you know it's the best tool use, you'll be able to use it when it's not maybe the best tool you understand why it's not the best tool and you can go to something else in your toolbox for us we learned basically about trial in air our area people that are local watching they know we have a beach, we live literally. If you find houston, texas and go straight south we live right in a town called lake jackson and it's right on the gulf of mexico. We get the run off from a river that's in texas, the largest one that brought this river and the mississippi and they're both very sandy rivers. And so all our beaches are very brown waters brown it's not like here in seattle where you have the beautiful blue water...

, the pacific and also on top of that we have dow chemical company the largest chemical plant the western hemisphere is in our backyard and so it's really difficult years ago for us to make a romantic image on the beach when you have dirty brown water dirty brown sand and dow chemical company in the background so cody and I were trying to figure out ways for us to be able to blur that out natural I was one option, but unfortunately the sun is so harsh really limited us many times and down where we are when the sun starts to set your golden hours really like gold in twenty minutes and so it was very difficult reflector was almost out of the question because it's a twenty thirty mile an hour wind on a good day on the beach and so it's like a kite and so we couldn't and so we wanted to figure out a way that we could do this we didn't want to use your classic traditional triggering devices because it limited your ability of equipment we were very limited in it and basic the big one was we couldn't get a shallow depth of field because then we'll explain that later today so basically we trial in air tried to figure out how to use our cannon flashes and slowly but surely we figured out this detail thing I started teal originally is a crime scene investigator photographing my crime scenes uh obviously you could mess up then I could just bring the dead body back and say I messed up on the photo so I had to learn how to actually photograph um, and then cody was the one that actually said, well, let's, roll this over into the two are breathing clients and which is still the walking dead, as we called it because they were getting married, but we want to roll it over to them and started using tt on them. So our whole goal for the next two days is to basically show you how easy tl is show you why this five hundred dollars flash that you bought is more than just sticking on top your camera and hitting the trigger button and letting it happen. We want you to literally be able to control the light and any time of the day from sunrise and even beyond that night details an amazing, amazing, accurate technology if you understand how it works, if you don't it's just going to get yourself into more trouble, and so that's our original main goal, because for us there was no one out there fifteen years ago. It was really teaching tl and for us we just learned this way, which is really not traditional it's a new in fact, everything you teach dish in it's, not tradition, and so for us, we didn't know any better, and so once we started getting on the internet forums and you know, when the internet sort of getting popular, we started posting our work and people were like, how are you doing this were like, what do you mean, how we doing this? Everybody does this and we realize really quick that no one was really doing this, and then we found about four or five people around the country actually around the world that we're doing this because they that the so called I, our method or the line of sight, which is really what we're going to explain today in detail, it has huge advantages over using your classic traditional pocket wizards or other just simple triggers and those advantages helped us in our environment, so we're very much a product of our environment originally, and then he just expanded from there. And so once we started teaching this, we really realized the power of it that a lot of people simply were limiting themselves with their camera gear. So this when you use tr, use the canada cannon night kind of nighttime sony, sony there's so many other when they use this t t l method, it opens up so much to allow you to be the artist so you can actually take that photograph with final results as you is the artist c and not as your equipment limits, and to me that was the greatest advantage, and so we struggle through for ten years, for the most part what we're going to explain today and tomorrow, all the pros and cons, and we're going to try to give you every negative. So hopefully when you're out on the scene and you experience one of those negatives, you'll be able to work around it, and you won't look like an idiot in front of your clients, and you'll be able to get through because that's the whole goal. Sure, you might have a hard time getting through that job, but you won't look like an idiot. You're going, you're going to make the paycheck, the clients are going to be happy, and that is truly our goal with this, and so I kind of want to ask you a quick two to our student on it. I know you shoot nikon can what everyone she's not going? Can't I'm just getting yes who shoots cannon let's? Do that cannon cannon and then your nightgown, so we're too into right off the bat, and I won't tell you this, and I would tell it to you, our audience don't get locked up on cannon or nikon or sony are minolta or pin tax, if it's t t l it's t t l and when I say t t l there's, actually, when the third generation of it you don't need to worry about all that, but it's more confusing because like for cannon were in e t l mode and nikon it's tio and so I'm just going to say t t l through this workshop would just know we're talking about the most modern form of it when we're when we're explaining everything but it's the same the concept and the theory, the science behind t t l no matter what brand you have is the same, so don't get hung up on well, they're talking candidate as a cannon, flashing his hand if you're nikon shooter or if europe in tech shooter, if you're whatever it's all the same theory, it's all the same science, it's, black and white and then the concept that we're going to teach later on today about how we actually apply this is going to be the same. The only difference is is nikon, canon, sony? They'll have just a little bit different buttons on your flash and and that's that's literally the only difference, so don't get too wrapped up in all that because we have so many students they don't see the large photo photograph, they only they get locked in that well, he's only holding cannon so he can't teach me because I'm an icon or whatever get that out of your out of your system because a lot of time in this workshop you'll see we're going to also be like rebooting your brain because so many people were taught traditionally how to photograph perfect exposure use a light meter all these things and those were wonderful we do those in certain times in our business but with t t l it takes away so much the math it takes away so much of the the equations, the ratios all the stuff that scares so many people or if it doesn't scare you it has to slow you down for you can interact with your client close to us. I truly believe the photographs that you produce or not the most important part of your job you're important job the most number one thing your job is to give that client a great experience to make them feel that you're worth it they made the right decision choosing you is their photographer and the less you have to think about your gear when your own those sessions and the more you can interact with your clients keeping that energy level high making them laugh, making them have fun the better your photography is going to be I'm sure you guys shoot weddings and everything else and I can't tell you how many times at the end of a wedding people say you are the best photographers in the whole world and they've never even seen a photograph of ours that's, because of the experience, you leave them on that high, and if you could be the best performing stock from the world of the best portfolio, and if you don't enjoy the experience of the client or allow them enjoy it, you're not going to get returning clients. And so to me, t tl is a huge part of that. It allows us to not have to think about the ratio is not to think about the light meter's not have to think about all this mathematics and allows us to just interact with our client while this and the camera does the mathematics, the formulations, the concept, the thinking force. The only thing we have to do is understand how that system works, not the whole details, but just the whole the concept. So if it fails, you can work around it, so we had two types of students and probably talking to those types out there. You have some that want to know every little detail about it, because if they don't know every little detail, they don't feel comfortable using it. They're kind of like us, we're control freaks, and most don't fall into the guy category. If you're a guy, you're control freak, you want to know every little detail. So the ones out there that are that way, I'm going to ask you just a bear with me and have an open mind, and again, we're going to reboot your brain, allow us to teach you this method because if you have a negative attitude going into it, it's going to be very difficult to see anything new, you're a creative live you're here to learn, so we want you to open up your mind. The other is hate works, I'm happy let's just roll with it and most of those of the ladies that when we teach over the last fifteen years with this and they're happy that it works and they just happy they're going to vote because they they don't have to think about it, and hopefully some of you are that way as well to so either way, we want you to learn from this process, and we want you to have an open mind and allows to reboot your brain. So we're going to really get into this first segment on how t tl works because I think that's the most issues that most people have the biggest issues before we go any farther again, I can't way talk about for the break, but I want to make sure everybody out there understand one asking geo an audience, what kind of problems have you had with off camera lighting and more to the point t t l so we can understand a little bit more your problem because we want to make sure we saw that, which I'm sure we will, but I want to make sure we talk to each and everyone else. So if you guys didn't really matter which row which order, if you guys could just let us know which some of the problems you've had in your business with tio well, rest and I were at a wedding a couple weeks ago and we tried toe use the t t l and it didn't work when we talk about like, off camera, I can look at me, look at you, okay? It didn't work, we tried experiment with it, we read up a little bit about it, but it was trial there. Well, again, you so you don't have any, like you've never really studied it or whatever that was just kind of like, we're just going to try to start figure now, right way about your book and we we started reading it. We didn't, you know, it was kind of backgrounds were really trashing finding now is a crash course, we just, you know, pretty much skimmed it so ok and that's kind of how cody and I started it was it was a nightmare for ten years we did that just tryingto trial on air when we had a problem we were hoping to recreate because sometimes we didn't know how the problem happened it just happened and slowly over the years as the problems happened, we were able to narrow down okay women every time this one happens, we're doing this and so and that's that's where our guide and a dvd and everything else confirming what we teach this because our whole goal is again our ten years of trial and error and I guess we still are trying to try there but our ten years of trial aaron tl that's what this workshops all about is explaining really the problems that you're going to occur and how to solve it because it's like I said it's a very accurate tl but there can be a lot of things to go wrong and because understanding the working behind it, you'll understand why it fails in the sense or why those problems most the time not most of the majority time it's human air and we as humans have a hard time blaming ourselves we just want to blame other things and if you already understand manual or you already understand natural light or you already understand reflectors or whatever your other way and then you go into t, t l or anything that's new and it fails our tendencies a human is to go back to what we know and not move forward of what the unknown is and so that's been a big issue with a lot of people in our students and so hopefully this workshop we feel will help you move forward in that detail that unknown and make you feel a lot more confident and it'll build that confident take the fear out of it that's basically what we found happened at the wedding we you know, before the wedding we tried a couple pictures they turned out ok but once we're live you know could really pas awaiting trial for pictures with like no power going back let's go back to our reflectors are emanuel flash we'll try this again another time so just getting that confidence to feel like I can shoot a wedding this way would be pretty exciting I think about doing that with film that's where we were no I mean it was really a pressure because you didn't even know if it was going to turn out so yeah no no I definitely get it. What about anyone else anyone seventy issues I got one is a gift I got just I have just one of these and I set it up once when I first got it and that's kind of just let it come with flash do you have for canada? I can't remember now I feel it was a couple christmases ago but okay yeah, it'll be the five, eighty models that's fine and and they all work to saying we're going to go over that from which model does what everything else there and again so anyone out there if you have the five hundred five eighties of the five fifties with six hundreds for thirty four twenties they all had a frozen concert canada for the nikon the six hundred to seven hundred eight hundred eight nine ten it always so we're gonna go over all that so so don't freak out uh you know, I've been using kind off camera flash for a while and I think the thing with t t ells that it's like you said it's more human error where it's it's not consistent and I can't figure it out why? And so of course when you do something that kind of work sometimes and it doesn't work, sometimes you're scared to use it so you kind of step away from it do you know falling to your old habits and stuff like that? But I could definitely see a value and learning how to do this and getting it done right and going really, really fast, which is that and that is key it really becomes a lot faster because again it takes away all the mathematics out of the equation and allows you, as I said earlier, to interact with your clients mohr because again, selling the experience is so important, it's best in a wedding on their biggest day of their lives. You don't want to leave a bad taste in the mouth and so allowing that and we're going to definitely show you some some tips and tricks that we do on our events from weddings to high school seniors too. Children this concept can be used for everything it's not just weddings. Well, we developed being a wedding photographer. We do so much more now with it and try comes in fact so much because there's four of us and try coast it's not just coating on the girl's, amy and susie, they do so much of our shooting, especially the seniors. When we look at the photographs, we rely on teo and just off camera lighting manual tl so much lots of times when there's natural light we forget to capture natural light. And so we have to kind of go back and say, ok, if the light is their lives there, you need to capture it. And so tl is just one of the methods that we used, what we get so comfortable with it. As you just said, we fall back into our old habits and t t l a they're old habit, so we constantly try to challenge ourselves and other aspects as well and I think for everyone, I think one of the biggest things that you'll get out of this is is when we explain how it's communicating like object exactly where the flashes are talking to each other because I could marry want when we first started doing this technique, when the attorneys flashes on and use it to communicate with each other, it's kind of like black magic, how they talking, I mean, because you can't see the radio waves of the light waves or how they're how they speak, so you just you don't know how they communicate, you're happy when it happened. Once you have those, we show you exactly how they communicate, where they communicate and what they're doing when they communicate it's gonna help you a lot, and I knew this audience members good morning, my question is it's, that is the distant situation between the subject and the person that's holding the light stick. I've been finding out that from time to time, my lighting, things to be, ah, little bit ill regular and that's the thing that I'm having a problem with between the subject and the person that saw holding my life stick, ok, we're going toe definitely get into that as well. Today we're going to really go over a lot of the science of tl, and the black and white doesn't matter what brand you have it's going to be the same and then tomorrow and even this evening thin this afternoon, I mean, we're going start giving the application side and so that's that's where definitely will help you out so let's kind of get into the slaps a little bit. Just it doesn't matter. Canon nikon, in this case in tax I have on their tl is tio. I want you to get past that that again, you have the fbi detail, the pto don't worry about that if you're trying to learn tl that's the science, if you're the geek out there that loves it like us, sure, that's something maybe you want to learn, but for the foundation of how it works it's really not that important? Just know that when I say t tl cody says detail, we're actually talking about the most modern generation of tl and so again, cannon is e and nikon his eye, and in texas p but they all are the same.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Light Patterns.pdf
Lighting Diagrams.pdf
Off Camera Flash_ TTL Metering.pdf
The Basics - Why the TriCoast Method.pdf
Understanding High Speed Sync.pdf
Wireless Shooting.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

TriCoast Resource Guide.pdf
What is TTL.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

On the Mark Photography

[From intermediate hobbiest with moderate number of paid shoots]. I took the class because I knew nothing more about flash photography than slapping the flash on top of the camera, turning it on, and taking my chances. I could not have purchased a better class. Mike and Cody covered so much in such a clear way and with such great examples. Especially helpful are the shooting sessions where they work through the lighting situations, incorporating what is possible to do and what the client might want. I so appreciate their willingness to share what they do and how they do it. I now know some direction to take and what I need to acquire minimally to apply this to my work. Thank you!


Great experience and partially because of toned down Mike. I heard very few utterance of the word “idiot”. It is apparent that Mike loves to talk and is in a habit of repeating same thing again and again but I did see a better Mike and much useful content, all credit goes to you sir. Finally, a suggestion let Code talk when he holds the fort. He being behind the camera should get a chance to describe his vision. All in all very useful course and well executed. Thanks Mike & Code.

Rebecca Chapman

What a phenomenal class. I have learned so much. Not only did I learn how to master TTL but I feel confident in the science behind it. This allows for great on-the-spot problem solving. Great job, guys! Thanks for a great - and fun - class.

Student Work