On Camera vs Off Camera Flash


Nikon® Wireless Flash for Creative Photography


Lesson Info

On Camera vs Off Camera Flash

Why wireless flash well, wireless flash helps you create really engaging photos great photos versus on camera flash right wireless flash allows you to shape the light to model the light to create rather than respond and so I want to show you really quickly the difference between on camera flash an off camera flash and to do that we have one of our studio audience members here today volunteered to step up and let me take a photo to photos over one with terrible light and one with awesome light all right so come on up I'm gonna have you stand over here I'm gonna get my camera stuff ready and what I'm shooting here just so everyone at home knows what's going on I have a tethered camera so I'm tethered to light room and on the first photo I'm going to take here is with no wireless flash so I'm going to use a little pop up on the camera here just to illustrate not such good technique right? So poor technique make sure my tethering is on and it is already ready for this all right, bad photo ...

number one right here we go one, two, three all right, that was a pop up flash let's look at the results here will go to full screen f ok, we've seen that before have you done that before? Does that represent you? Yes, it does so of course could have done a little bit more tea maybe bright in the flash or change it but still not such a great photo now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to use the night come wireless flash system and I've got a commander flash here I've got a remote flash here in this pro photo soft box and then I have another remote flash there in the background for just a hair like all right this was for real all right nice smile one two three it will just be one more great thank you so let's look at those photos awesome quite a bit quite a difference there's a lot of work we can still do to make that photo better but look at the difference between just shooting on camera flash you know right out of the camera versus wireless flash cool so let's go back to kino this's what I want to teach you today how to do this quickly how to do it easily I want to I want tio encourage you to be creative you know once you know how this stuff works once you know the buttons and the knobs and dials and the channels and the group's what you learn all of that stuff you can then move your mind from you know mechanical operation to creativity and that's what today is about going from the operation of the system to becoming a creative photographer you'll be confident with it you'll be able to go just about anywhere in the world just about any situation so in your studio on location maybe you go to the beach with your family for summertime you want take some nice portrait on the beach great you're going to know how to do that with confidence so that's the plan for today well we already talked a little bit about the on camera versus off camera flash and really today my intent is to show you the off camera flash techniques and methods everything they only teach today also applies to on camera flash so for example if you on your camera if you have like an sb nine ten that's a nikon flash or an s p five thousand up here ah the techniques and teaching today will work for on camera flash but you're going to get much better results with off camera flash all right cool so let's talk about the nikon terminology because there's a lot of stuff to know in terms of the terms like tio c l s in the wireless system so tt l that's the first thing we have to learn about tl sense for through the lens and in this world there's t t l meet a ring so what that means is that the camera is working with the flashes to create a great exposure in the camera system so through the lens in other words the flashes fire and the camera senses how much light is coming out those flashes and then feeds it back for a real a real pulse of light during the actual exposure so there's a pre flash and then there's a real flash that's the t t l system the next thing is c l s so that's just a marketing term c l s stands for creative lighting system so nikon uses this term too basically represent all of their nikon wireless flashes from the sb six hundred which is their oldest to the s p eight hundred to the current ones which is are they like the espy five thousand in the s p five hundred so the creative lighting system so you'll hear me today just saying the terms c l s meaning the creative lighting system then in the wireless in the on the wireless side of things we also have two forms of wireless flash nikon just recently re released radio wireless control before that everything prior to around two thousand sixteen was optical trigger so in other words these flashes communicate through optical pulses of light but now with the new cameras the d five thousand the d five and then the new flash which is the s p five thousand now we can have radio control and I'll talk more about radio control later today and why that's significant the cool thing also with the new what nikon system is we can concoct bine optical trigger flashes with radio trigger flashes so if you have older flashes like an s p eight hundred or yes the nine hundred or even a nine ten those air all optical you can combine them now with the new radio system on dh still use your legacy flashes that's pretty cool night so that's need that nikon is thinking how did save us money to allow us to use the older flashes that's great well flash photography it is about exposing multiple sources of light in fact to keep it simple there's really two sources of light we have to think about when we create a flash exposure the first source of light is obviously the flash we have to manage the flash but at the same time you have to learn how to manage the ambient light eso ambient light can be anything that's just normally they're so for example in the studio today we have a little bit of ambient light we have the video lights they're shutting on there on me right now that's ambient light if you're outside maybe you're at the beach what's the ambient light the sun right if you're inside in your kids playing basketball in an indoor gymnasium the ambient lights the whatever the fluorescent lights of the metal highlight lights up there so we always have to manage the ambient light with the flash and a big part of flash photography is understanding how to set up your camera so that it either includes the ambient light or excludes the ambient light so that's a decision that I'm going to teach you how to make today like do I like the ambient light in the studio today do I do I want this video light impacting the photo that we just took or do I want to leave it out and exclude that ambient light so always be thinking through that as you're working with your flash system to exposures one is the ambient light exposure and the other is the flash light exposure well all of your flash photography really begins in the camera and this is one of the big miss no mers in in the flash world when people start learning flash they don't understand that the bulk of your decisions have to actually be made in the camera very few decisions actually have to be made in the flash itself in fact I'm just going to skip forward one slide here the cameras first and then we do the flash so once you get your camera stuff set up then we can go in and work on the flash

Class Description

Locations and studio setups don’t always cooperate with your ideal vision for a shoot. Professional photographers use wireless flash systems to increase their mobility and expand their creative options. Flash systems also cut down on the amount of time photographers have to spend correcting images in post-processing.

Mike Hagen is a professional photographer and industry expert. He is a seasoned instructor and the Director of the Nikonians Academy. Join Mike for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to use Nikon’s wireless flash system on location and in the studio.
  • How to use on- and off-camera flashes.
  • How to set up your camera for a shoot and link it with multiple off-camera lights.
After this course, you will be able to manage flash systems and shape light to your needs. You’ll be able to set up synchronization modes that alternate different kinds of flashes, and incorporate light modifiers like umbrellas and soft boxes. Start improving your shoots now!  


Fred Morton

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.

Marlon Ornek

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.

Greg Chilton

Probably one of the best Flash courses on Creative Live. Would like to see more Nikon Flash oriented courses on Creative Live, particularly Strobist type work. Well done