I mentioned a lot in my photography about this technique that I use it's called it's called the white button tour and the white buttons are all of the buttons that impact settings on the camera like eso bracketing white balance all of that good stuff so what I'm going to basically do today right now is I'm gonna walk through the camera talk about the settings that are important to flash photography and I'm just going to be pushing these buttons on the back so one of the first things is I s o so what I'm doing here in my nikon cameras I'm pushing the ice so button and here we can see I so show up on the back screen so I s o I also is really important when you're using the nikon speed lights uh I'm going to go grab a nikon speed like a real quick just because I like to hold him in my hand as they talk so these nikon speed lights they're great, they're portable and they're small well, because they're small, they don't have a lot of they don't have a lot of power and therefore you often ha...
ve a issue when you're trying to use maybe smaller apertures like f eleven or f sixteen or when it's dark because they don't recycle very quickly so let's say we're taking that portrait that we just took of you and I wanted it you know work the scene a little bit all right move this way a little move that way literal shoulder down shoulder applicable sassy smile you know so what I want to do is a star first I want to be like power power power power well these cameras these flashes just don't have enough food sometimes to pump the power through these big light modifiers therefore we solve that problem by using high rise so so my recommendation is when you're setting up your camera using I s o of at least four hundred when you're using your wireless flashes and you'll notice that's a little bit different than if you're using studio strobes like speed itron zor el in crones or pro photos I love the pro photo gear pro photo I think makes some of the best studio lighting equipment in the world when you're using those big flashes then you're you can go down tto eso one hundred but for most of my work with my nikon wireless flashes I'm at a high rise so all right the next one aperture so I'm now going to rotate my front dial in the camera and you can see different aperture settings here most of the time you need to be a aperture of f five six or bigger in other words f five six have four maybe have two eight and it's sometimes maybe an f one eight very rarely can you get away with shooting like in a studio situation like f eleven of sixteen of twenty two you khun do it sometimes but again you run into this issue of your flash recycle time you know f sixteen is a very small aperture and for those of you who know flash photography aperture control the amount of flash that comes into the camera so you have a really small aperture it's really restricting how much light comes from the flashing the camera so I typically try to stay away from f sixteen or even f eleven s o I'm down generally around five six or for something like that what's the downside of this well if you do if your studio photographer a lot of times you need a lot more depth of field you really need sometimes in the studio like f sixteen's or or more f twenty two's just to get the depth of field for all the clothing and maybe the train of the dress or whatever so these flashes aren't always the best suited for full on studio photography if you need to go to f sixteen because of the depth of field requirement then gang up a bunch of flashes in the same soft box okay you can it's very easy to put two or three flashes sometimes in these soft boxes in fact pro photo has this really cool product for speed lights that you can put two lights in here so you're doubling up the power in one soft box to give you more room more power all right so the summary on that I have five six and I'll be shooting around at five six for most of today's photography next is shutter speed groups so your shutter speed matters in flash photography I'm going to go to manual exposure mode here I'm in manual mode your shutter speed is what determines how much ambient light gets into the camera so we've already talked about ambien versus flash so shutter speed a long shutter speed let's say something like a tenth of a second that lets in a lot of ambient light a fast shutter speed maybe like two fifty two the second basically cuts out all the ambient light so that's one of the things we're always thinking about is what shutter speed should we use what do I want to accomplish do I want to maybe allow this beautiful window light teo fall on the subject and hit it with a little bit of phil flash if so if I want to use this fill flash technique that's a longer shutter speed you know maybe a a sixteenth of a second or thirtieth of a second I'm allowing the ambien for one exclude all the ambient then shutter speed up here you know two hundred two fiftieth of a second okay I know a question is going to come up today and I think some of the city on this is maybe even thinking it too what's the fastest shutter speed weaken synchronize with other nikon cameras typically depending typically you're the maximum shutter sink speed is a two fiftieth of a second if you have like a nikon d eight ten you know rd one hundred which you guys have or like a d five or any of that kind of pro cameras you khun synchronize up to two fiftieth some of the other nikon cameras have upper shutter speed limit of a two hundredth of a second all right we continue on so shutter speed matters so what shutter speed should we use today well I'm in the studio so most of my photos that were taken to they're going to be a little bit faster on the shutter speed side I want to really exclude this stuff and I want all my lights to be the studio lights so all today pic maybe around the two fiftieth of a second for most of my photography next synchronization mode your sink mode determines how the camera synchronizes with the flash so your camera actually has two shutters and actually well has one shudder but has a front curtain and then it has a rear curtain and so how a flash photoworks is like this the front curtain opens up and then whatever light in the scene is there or like that you create happens when the shutter is up here like that and then the rear curtains close is water and then they both reset back to home ok so how do you want your flash to synchronize with the shutter do you want it to synchronize at the front curtain so go like this pau wait for the ambient light and then close or do you want it to synchronize with the rear curtain ambient light and then flash and then close so you're synchronization mode your sink mode matters I'm going to talk in much more detail about that in just a few minutes but what I'm gonna do now is I'm actually pushed the flash button it's oh to rotate this around a little so you can see it the flash button on this cameras right here I'm gonna push that in and then look here on the back and I'm looking right there at the synchronization mode and I'm rotating my thumb dialogue my rear command I'll and I'm picking the different synchronization mode so you see one that's empty another one there that says rear and then if I'm in aperture priority you'll see one that act ali says slow rear where's that button there we go so rear and then slow rear so I won't talk about those synchronization modes they matter and they help us be creative so understanding sink modes is a big part of your photography will come back to that in just a minute next is your meat oring mode so I'm going to point here on my camera there's a little meter mode dial or switch I should say spot meter versus matrix meter versus center waited meter I highly recommend using matrix metering for most of our photography with flashes and the reason why his matrix metering is the smartest of all the meters so use matrix be happy next his white balance any guesses for white balance today flash flash white bones yeah so I'm pushing the white bones button so we're using flashes so we're going to use flash white balance that makes good sense for where we're at in the kind of hands on segment later in the next segment I'm going to actually show you how to do a preset white balance which is down here at the end called pre that's a custom white balance when colors matter when you're trying to create the best possible photography you're going to use preset I'll show you how we do preset later for now though we're going to use flash white balance so those settings I esso aperture shutter speed white balance those are the important ones and probably one of the most is synchronization mode okay if you get all of those things set up in your camera then you're finally ready to go to your actual flashes and work on the flash most of the mistakes happen here not here that's crazy because most of us think oh no it's the flashes that's causing a problem nope it's almost always by what you said it in the case okay now let's go to the flashes themselves so I'm going to use this this flash here which is an sb nine ten I'm going to replace this little guy which is the s u eight hundred that's just a commander unit it's actually not a flash it doesn't produce light it just produces instructions so put this sucker on their turn it on okay so after the camera then we go to flash so now that this is the basis set now we can go here now we start thinking about what about the flash system in terms of media ring so there's flash modes tl manual there's another one called tt lbl and those of you who have the advanced flashes there's other stuff in there like like guide number and repeating flash and some of them were like I don't even know what that means what's auto aperture flash I don't know so we're going to talk a little bit about those today but my the simple answer for you is used t t l or tt lbl so use either one of those if you're more of a manual person then you go ahead use manual flash as fine and forget about everything else on the flash there's a lot of other stuff in terms of the flash modes that you don't need to worry about all right well how do we change the flash modes well we're going to push this mode button on the back of the flash mod mod mod mode and I think this one has like seven modes I'm gonna leave this one set for tt lbo so that's the first mode so when I use most of the time tt lbl then the next thing we need to worry about on the flash is flash power flash compensation like how much energy or how much light is coming out of the flash so here I'm going to push my function button you have to make the sound it doesn't work if you don't make a sound okay so I pushed the function button and then I rotate the dial and the dialogue may be hard to see for those in the the audience but you can see it says plus e v or minus tv an e v stands for exposure value and so a plus one evey means it's going to put out one more stop of light s o one more satellite then what well most flashes that aaron tl mode trying to give you a middle exposure a middle brightness exposure that's called zero e v so if I set this for zero e v and I take that shot it's gonna look medium brightness you know that photo we took of you a few minutes ago that was zero in other words medium brightness and that's why you looked a little bit dark and the reason why you looked also a little bit darker because that backdrop was a white wall the whole interesting my camera sees that white wall and what's it trying to do is it trying to make it white no is trying to make it middle brightness which is why that white wall made you look pretty dark overall so if you need to add more light than you're going to go plus so plus one plus two okay and then the last thing with flash power is in manual mode so I'm gonna push the mode button again here and we go to him there's a little him there on the side in manual mode what you see are fractions so you get like one thirty second of a power or one thirty second or one sixteenth or one eighth that's fractions of full power so one over one would be all the power you're flash can muster power one half is half of that quarter eight sixteenth so so really on the flash how many things you have to worry about there's the answer to so you got flash mode and flash power
Mike Hagen is a professional photographer, author, and workshop leader. He's taught hundreds of workshops and thousands of students over the years on just about all photo topics including camera gear, studio lighting, Photoshop®, Lightroom®, landscape, travel, and digital workflow.
This class is an excellent primer on Nikon's Creative Lighting System. Mike does an excellent job simplifying what can seem like a complicated system. I enjoyed it and saved it to watch again as a refresher.
So, here's the deal. If you can't get to a Mike Hagan course in person this is the best next thing. I have know Mike for 6 years and he never disappoints. I took this course through Nikonians about four years ago and found this to be not only a great review but a significant update from what I l learned in the previous class. Mike is one who never rests on his laurels and as a teacher he is constantly updating and improving his work. Speed lights are so much more complex then most people understand and Mike use his knowledge to take that complexity and reduce it to a set of clear and understandable methods. So glad to see that Creative Live has included him in their line up of instructors.
Mike is a great easy to follow instructor who you can tell knows his subject. Thank you. A great course that I would recommend to anyone with Nikon gear.