Off-Camera Flash Options

 

Speedlights 101

 

Lesson Info

Off-Camera Flash Options

We're gonna talk about modifying the light now and I want to talk about off camera flash options light modifiers and we're also going tio in a little bit after this, we're going to do some samples of of front light sidelight, different light modifiers and and how things work to sort of understand how to paint light okay, so this is gonna be a blast we have just about forty five minutes to go through this, so we're gonna we're gonna give this at a nice clip. It's gonna be cool. Okay, so what we're gonna do here is first talk about, uh, different flash, um, options for getting flashes off the camera. And so the probably the most, um, popular ways to do this is to use what's called infrared or line of sight, and so there are a lot of cameras that have popped up flashes. This one doesn't happen, but there's a pop up flash and those specifically on nikon can cameras those flashes. Khun send signals to remote flashes, and so there are a lot of newer cannon flashes to do this as well are came...

ras. And so I know the seventy and some other cameras have this built in where you can go into the menus and you can say, turn on a commander and it can control flashes, so there are a few cameras that do that, not all of them. So what we're going to talk about specifically is the stuff that we can do with all of our cameras, okay, so if you own one of those cameras that has a remote controller on it, then that's awesome, you're sort of ahead of the game. So what we're going to do is we're going to first start by talking about the nikon options, okay? And their options, I know, for olympus and for sony in nikon and can and and there's so many different variations we just came to through all of them, some artistic with two of the the most common. So on a nikon, what you can do is there is a switch. This is on remote and master. And so if you want to control a remote, uh, flash, you can do it like this. You put one of your nikon flashes on your camera and you said it to master ok? And on the back, you're gonna get these things that say, m, abc and what is saying there is m stands for the master flash this flash that's on the camera and it has a mode just like we're going to find out the different mode so you can set your master flash to tl mode master mode and all the other months that we have and then also on a b and c what that's saying is on the remote flashes and this is true of canon and nikon. You, khun set the remote flash to a channel and a zone. Okay, let me talk about the two differences between channels and zones. Let's say that we're shooting an event. So colby and I were shooting an event. And when I take my pictures, I wantto take pictures and use my remote flashes and I want to control them. But I don't want colby did control my flashes. But guess what, kobe's going also be shooting the same event. He also has remote flashes and he wants to be out of control his flashes so I would set my on channel one. You put yours on channel two and now I can shoot with mine. You can shoot with yours. We're not interfering with each other. Everything's all good. Ok, that could be it a sporting event. It could be at a wedding and could be and it doesn't matter. Okay, so channels can be used for different setups. Okay, different channels. Zones are different. So it zones do say, I have this flash and I wanted to be my key light. Can you want to go through three lights set up when we get to portrait's tomorrow? Let's say we wanted this to be the main light, and I want to control this independent of everything else. I might sit this one on zone a and so on. My flash here, this thing that says a is allowing me to controlled this flash so I can change the flash exposure compensation for this flash, and I can change the mood for this flash. And if I have this guy, maybe as a kicker light, I could put that one on his own b so when I'm controlling zone a it's controlling all the flashes, that air sipped his own a but it's not controlling anything on zone b, and so I can control different flashes on my channel, separate from each other, that makes sense. So let's, give another example. Let's say, we're shooting a wedding and I have and you have three zones, abc, but let's say, we're doing a wedding and there's the table at the friend writing groom, there's, thie bright, the bride's, friends and family all that kind of stuff, the groom's, friends and family all that kind of stuff, and I have three different lighting set ups, I have some lights mounted to fill. The bride and groom I've got some lights for this side of the table and lights for this at the table I don't want all of them to fire all the time what I could do is set those zones a b c on my channel maybe kobe has someone a different channel and I can say ok bride and groom were doing whatever but those on a and I can turn off all the other ones on sea are being see click click click it's only those flashes firing maybe I tell these tio still fire but at a lower level so you see how these zones really help out? You could also do something maybe you have those life set up for the table, but you also have lights set up for the dance and maybe this one is channel one a bnc and the dance is channel too, so you can start to see how if you're a millionaire and have a bunch of flashes but no there. There are a lot of event waiting photographers that will have a big a pack of speed lights. I'm sure you've seen blog's where it's like ok here's my fifteen speed lights it's not uncommon to do that and so you could see how you can start to control these flashes, get him all set up and do some things that are pretty spectacular okay, so channels, zones. Master flash. Okay, the master flash here's something that's important? If this is the master flash, right? And I'm taking a picture and I'm taking a picture of something over here, and I want to control how that light looks. And so I've taken my flashes off my camera so I can get all these things were about to talk about to be perfect. So I want this to fire now. Probably not because it sort of defeats the purpose. So what you can do with your master flashes, you can tell it to beyond. So on the em on your nikon people, you can go in here and you can hit select it's elects that. And again, this is different for every different nikon flash there is so you have to look at your specifically, but when you hit select, it will say, is it tl? You can change the mode from tl toe off to manual to different things so you can tell this flash you know it act as a zoo commander, but don't fire just tell him people what to do don't actually flash and so that allows you to use this just to control other flashes, but not interfere with the light came so that's, how you do a nikon use, turn it on master and then you can go into those different zones and doing things with this with the remote. What you do is instead of putting that on master, you put on remote, very simple. And then what you do is then you can go in here and you, khun set, you can select the group or their zone. So I guess nikon calls them groups, not zones. You can select the group you can say I want this to be on group a or b or c so that's, how you tell the different flashes what they belong. Teo, you can hit select again. You can tell it what channel you wanted on one, two, three or four. And then you can go down and you can set things like the zoom and all those different kinds of things you might need to do. So that's, how you do you do that now? One of the things with the way that these were look it's line of sight. So there are bursts of light that control these. Okay, so this guy actually sends out signals by flashing in certain ways. This has to be able to see this they have to be able to see, or what you can do is if you're inside a lot of times, those signals khun bounce off walls. But what happens is you start to get problems when you add things like umbrellas and soft boxes, because if you have a big soft boxer and umbrellas just opened this guy up and you have this on it umbrella adapter, which will show you and you wanted to go that way. Look what happens now. This can't see that. And so you you might have misfires. We were battling that quite a bit last night, and so I don't know if you tuned in last night. You saw kelsey struggling to try to grab those flashes and twist him around and get him to point the right way and use the right bracket. So that's, why radio triggers are are really, really nice. We're going to get to those in a little bit. Okay. Nikon that's how you set that up? There is an option that I really like instead of using ah, really expensive flash as the master. You can also get this s u eight hundred and it is a controller without the flash and its job is to just control remote flashes so you can put that on there. This is called the nikon s u eight hundred and you can turn that on and it has basically the same readout recon select different zones set different channels. Change the modes, all that kind of stuff. This is what I prefer if I'm using that system is just to have this guy because it's all right there, ready for me to go and it's really, really easy to use. So that's the nikon step cannon it's very, very similar. So on the older cannons, this is one of my gramps with cannon. Um I love because nobody can figure out if I'm a caning person or a nikon person, right? Like, what are you? Which one did you like? I'm not telling. Ok, so with cannon on the older ones, you have master and slave. Okay, you just turn it on, master so he turned on. You could say turn on master and they would say, ok, I'm ready to go turn on slave I'm ready to hear that's all good so it was this switch down here that I thought was really intuitive on the newer ones get a cannon flash where's my cane for areas too many flashes. What you can do is it is hidden so on the newer, uh, cannon flashes it's over where the says zoom so you see that on your flashes zoom if you push and hold, push and hold, you will see that all of a sudden your flash starts saying off and it's blinking okay, what it's saying is it's got this little symbol that has a little radio signal there what you're doing is is asking if you want to turn on the remote or the master and so you can jog to the right your little control wheel and you'll see it first is master on if you hit set now it's going to be a master and it can control things and then what you can do to change the channels and stuff you have to push and to push these little buttons here I'm sorry the this is what I love you have to hit the zoom button once twice once you hit it twice you can see that there's racial control hit it three times you can change the channel hit it four times you can tell if you want this flash to fire or not hit it five times you're back to being so this reminds me of those watches that you used to get in like the seventies and eighties where if you lost the instruction manual didn't know like the different switch like configuration your host so that's why I wish I hope I haven't seen the new six hundred but I hope that's fixed with newer canon cameras those controls you can get through those in the menu of your camera itself so that's one of the big benefits of newark canon cameras is that that? Was it one or two pushes or three pushes? Or which one is it? That's what goes away so just noted to get into the remote and master control you hit the zoom button that's why? That little symbol is therefore that's radio you push and hold it and then you can turn things on and then to change things you push it, push it again pushing again and you can see it all starts flashing it gives you those options to change things around. Okay, so that's, how you turn on the master mood? What about turning on thie remote? And if I push, zoom and hold it um what I can do is I can turn on instead of having on master I can turn it on it's called slave I hit set and now when I hit my zoom button repeatedly, aiken set the channel and I can set the zone and that allows me to do that. So with cannon, all the functionality of sitting master and slave is in the little zoom button and the dial with a nikon it's just on the switch that says master remote, okay, so that's, how that works and essentially, once you know how to set up the master and the remote the master, the slave they work the same between canon and nikon and then cannon has something that's really cool it's called an s t to this guy right here and it's the same thing that I just showed you with the, uh the nikon it's, a dedicated controller and so it's pretty easy just slip it on there and turn it on and it's ready to go and on this one it allows you to turn on ratio control. What that allows you to do is if you have two flashes, you can have someone zone a someone's on b and you can switch the power between them so it doesn't give you the ability to set if they're on manual or you can't do specific, you can dial in things specifically like you can with a nikon. And so as far as the remote control functionality between these two, the night kindness is far more robust unless you have a newer canning camera with the menus and stuff built in, which is why people rejoiced over that it's really nice you khun do that in there or what you can do is on the five tx two if you used that as your controller, then you can do some of those remote adjustments there and so that's not apples to apples between the s u eight hundred and the s t too, so that they don't do exactly the same things, okay before we go on to other options to get the flash off the camera, what questions do we have right? So a question from our friends sam cox who always has the best questions thank you sam he's in loveland, colorado with several flash units on different zones do you label or color clothes code your flashes to help you remember which is on which his own way yes and no so I have lots of different pieces of equipment and you'll notice that there are pieces of colored tape on lots of different things the reason for that is some of it is mine some of it is on loan some of it is a rental some of its my friends that I've borrowed and so we have tio label who owns what so we don't get our stuff mixed up because you know, we have three people here today that alison five eighty excuse so we do label our gear is faras who owns what and I have an agreement with studios in phoenix I know what tape they use, what color tape so we don't use their colors of tape for ownership we know like lost nineteen blue that's what they have said all their stuff is blue our stuff is red stuff that nikon owns is yellow, I know they're not as faras zones and the settings no, we don't do that and the reason for that is we change it constantly and so if I labeled that a soon as I started using it thirty seconds later, that would change and I'd have to rip it off me that stuff so I just look on the back of the readout and see exactly what the settings are and so the photos and tapes instead are for ownership but not necessarily for settings. Okay, a couple more we have like two more times for two more questions. Okay, perfect. A daughter from brazil asked some cameras can use the pop up flashes a slander like the d seven thousand when using the flash as a commander, the camera takes the picture after it sends the signals to the off camera flash or does the light from the pop up show up in the photo as well? Yes, so that the way we did some tests on this in our studio in phoenix because we were doing some thing that we're shooting from a koream stuff that we had flashes off camera and we're trying to get these flowers and stuff to be dunked in there and freeze action is really cool on we kept seeing this weird light and what we realized is even though that flash was sending signals and it wasn't part of the photo, it still was showing up in the photos, so yeah, it will show up if it's close um because that light is trying to tell things what to do and so we did find that that the pop up light did actually show up in the in the reflections on some things it's not supposed to technically it shouldn't but you'll see I'm right on the air we yes ok we did some explain we're like this should not happen um and we we found that it did ok and a question not sure if you've already talked about this so apologies you have are your going to from tammy be from denmark? What are the advantages or disadvantages of using master slave versus that commander mode? Oh um it depends on the camera and so some cameras have mohr robust uh commander modes and so one of the advantages of using the built in controls on your camera is that you can it's easier to get to the dials and switches and tell your your flashes what to do if you have a pop up flash that means you just saved yourself a few hundred dollars because you want to buy a remote control so that's a huge advantage because who doesn't want a couple hundred extra bucks so it's it's a it's a cost savings to have that built in and it's it's much easier to get to those because you're using big boy dials and switches right that you can use instead of the little teeny thousand switches that are on most flashes and so it's just a little bit easier and faster on and you can you can dial things in quicker thanks ok let's keep going we really really have a lot more to talk about and so we talked about canon nikon how do you set your flashes in master or remote cannon calls it master and slave that is definitely something that is very simple to dio but it's different for every flash and every camera model is so make sure you look at your user manual to see exactly what the steps are for your specific camera so we had a lot of people write in and say hey on this specific cameron this specific flash how doe I do rear curtain sink or high speed sync that's in your user manual so you know I speak think is you know what master is? You know slave is you know, how did what you need to do so zip into user manual it will tell you here the steps and that will help us out. Okay um one of the other things before we move on I really want to talk about because we're giving these away and they're awesome and if you know me you know that I am the poster child for pocket wizard I love this stuff so we have a day different option and these are the is recalled the pocket was armenian flex these air radio triggers and there's a big, big big difference between a radio trigger and a line of sight trigger and I talked earlier, cannon is coming out with a radio trigger for their new flashes that I think is going to be spectacular as well. The problems with line of sight please if you haven't watched it watch last night and you'll see us frustrated with the line of sight remote controls, we rarely ever use them because of the the complications we have shooting outside of having to make sure everything khun see everything and so what we normally do when we're shooting with speed lights off camera, we use pocket wizards because their radio triggers a radio trigger means that you can you can get your flash off your camera and you can put your flash just about anywhere you want at really, really crazy distances and so that's what those do the other thing what these conduce you khun remote control of a camera as well. So it's not just for flashes it's for cameras, but that's different class, right? So let me show you how to set these things up. We're not going to go into great detail on this because again these these would be a class all into itself in fact, I've taught classes just on how to use these that's you can see those for free pocket wizard dot com, by the way. So anyway, what these do is, uh these air specific to your cameras brand the's air nikon many in flexes we didn't bring any cannon nikon can in many influx is with us so we can only use thes on our night cons and they're not interchangeable so you can't put a can and went on a night conner whatever because the cannon system is different from the nikon system. So what this does is you can take a transmitter and there's two flavors of transmitters there's a big one like this it's a flex x and send and receive what is really big if you don't want something that clunky on your camera so they made the mini which is a smaller version it's only a transmitter but you put this guy on your on your camera and then what you do is you can take a speed light and you put the speed light and just normal tl mode you don't do anything with it, you know, put it on slave a remote or anything you just say you just turn it on and then it actually goes onto your flex and as soon as you turn the flex on what it does is it takes over the control of the flash. It totally takes over control. And it is the camera actually thinks that the flash is still on the camera. And so all of the controls that you have not all of them, but eighty five percent of all the controls that you have with your flash on your camera, you still have except for now, it's it's remote. So what you can do is you can stick it at a great distance. You know, this guy right here, you have to turn it on is now going to send a signal over here to this flash. And the cool thing is, because it's radio noticed it's not it doesn't see, in fact, we can take this and cover it up and put it, we'll put it underneath, you know, put it underneath something right here. Okay, so we absolutely cannot see at all this this flash, right? Trying too hard. Okay, so it can see is totally hidden, and I can still come over here and flash and fire that right? And so what we do a lot with radio triggers is we'll take flashes and we'll hide them in lamps, like, if I want to control how this lamp looks. It's easier to put a flash inside that then use the ambient light and so a lot of times we'll hide flashes and things like that let's say we wantto shoot maybe this is an interior shoot for hotel and we want to make it look nice and in pleasing and warm we might hide a flash behind the can the television to add some light behind to give a little bit of a glow we might hide some flashes in these translucent panels here toe actually like those up and so you can now start hiding strobes all over the place maybe if we're shooting it light at night and we wanted to make it look like there is a daylight coming through here, we'd stick light outside and it doesn't matter it khun goes through the wall and so the the radio triggers give you all kinds of options that you don't have otherwise there's all kinds of other features with these guys that I want to make an ad for population, but you get the idea that they're pretty spectacular. So that's that's the other option that we have for you camera flash and there's one more option that we have that isn't out here but kelsey is going to bring out a couple of plus threes so grab that and we'll get to that in a second because you can trigger off camera flash manually can use them as normal manual flashes so you can treat them just like one of these guys a studio stroke you can put it up in normal manual mode and then flashes have something called a sink port it's this little guy right here on a nikon can you grab some scene cables to, um on cannon flashes there's a little port to the side right here that's a sink port so in olden days to get a flash to fire from your camera there is a little port on the side of your flat are your camera but there's still pc terminal and you'd have to plug that in and then plug the other into a flash and that's how the flash would fire it was an actual cable and so flashes still have that they still have this little cable so what you can do is you can put this in full manual mode and then you can either use a cable or you can use a radio trigger and so you don't have to have something that can control your flash. You can just get something like this which is, uh inexpensive radio trigger and then you can take that these are the wrong ones, kelsey the ones for the flashes you can get that and you can plug one end into a radio trigger and the other and into your flash and then you can dial these in manually and so I know guys like david hobby and joe mcnally, those guys that are big speed, like guys do that a lot and we're going to steal some stuff from joe mcnally that he taught for shooting groups in we're going to do that, we're going to shoot in all manual mode to really get that stuff going on. We're going to trigger with with normal, normal flash triggers, which is going to sort of cool, okay, um there, yes, those are for the cameras. We'll get those later, they're in the boxes way have not enough coffee today feeling no that's not right either. They're actually in the book. Ok, so we're gonna keep moving on. Does it really matter? Um, questions before we get to modifiers. A quick question from x y z three sixty do radio triggers influence on the maximum shutter speed? Do radio triggers influence maximum shutter speed? Um, no, they don't, because they're really, really they're fast, so they say no, they don't, but they can they can so they can affect because there is a lag to paying off how far away your flash is. There is that little bit of a lag, and so it's it's not quite as fast, maybe when they will do a radio trigger on ly workshop, because yeah that's a that's a much longer answer but zip over to pocket wizard dot com if you want to know some of the technical stuff about those radio triggers and I know there are other radio triggers out there but those I don't know those pocket wizards of the ones I know really well yeah there can be a lag in the plus three years these new guys right here have some features that help fix that um but you can read about this where else mark you may have already answered this I'm going to ask it again g would like to know is manual triggering more consistent line thin tt oh yes, yes yes um yeah in fact I have a t shirt that I was going to wear but I didn't and it just says t ell socks uh oh there's another one as a big slash through it tio um so yeah tl as we saw yesterday when we have those two exposure triangles you add so much as faras the trusting your camera to get everything right there's so many different moving parts with t t l because depending on where you point your lens behind the camera is there any glare off of something you know, what's the mood it's a battery right all that kind of stuff you're adding so many different variables that the light from shot to shot can really change it's really frustrating, and so my personal style is not to use tl, um, unless that's the best thing for it. So if I'm shooting an event or a reception or something, we're moving around and doing things. I'm going to be changing my life a lot. Tl is definitely the way to go, definitely the way to go if I'm shooting in the studio, or I can control the light or that example, if I'm shooting a hotel lobby, where I'm dialing in light to do an ad or something like that architectural photography, I would never use teal for that, never dialling the light, so that every single shot it's consistent.

Class Description

Once you know what’s happening with your camera and flash you can do almost anything. Speedlights open up a new realm in your photography. They are light to carry, quick to set up. And you never know when you're going to need that extra light for a more dramatic image.

This workshop will give you the confidence to incorporate small portable flash in your photography toolkit. From shooting receptions at weddings or adding drama in senior portraits, this workshop will include lots of live shooting examples that will help everything make sense. Get ready to take your photography to the next level. Once you start working with portable flash, you'll never understand how you lived without them.

Reviews

Aussie David
 

Truly a fabulous class. Mark has such a gift for taking a complex subject and making it so understandable and fun at the same time. Mark is easily one of the best instructors out there. Highly highly highly recommend this class.