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How to Shoot with your First Flash

with Mike Hagen

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  •   Trailer

  •   01 Class Introduction

    06:17
  •   10 Flash Settings: Manual

    06:03

Class duration: 5h 10m

See all 28 lessons
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About The Class

Enhance your photos by controlling your light!

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. 

Topics Covered


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

    06:17
  2. 02

    Defining Flash Photography

    09:43
  3. 03

    Camera Setup: Metering

    03:59
  4. 04

    Camera Setup: Exposure Mode

    04:37
  5. 05

    Camera Setup: Flash Synchronization

    06:36
  6. 06

    Camera Setup: Shutter Speed

    10:00
  7. 07

    Camera Setup: Aperture

    10:23
  8. 08

    Camera Setup: White Balance

    10:53
  9. 09

    Flash Settings: TTL

    07:53
  10. 10

    Flash Settings: Manual

    06:03
  11. 11

    Flash Settings: TTL Flash Power

    02:51
  12. 12

    Types of Flashes

    03:11
  13. 13

    Philosophy of Single Flash

    08:10
  14. 14

    Considerations for On-Camera Flash

    11:45
  15. 15

    Shoot: Common Mistakes

    14:03
  16. 16

    Shoot: Using Domes

    21:42
  17. 17

    Shoot: Using Flash Benders

    04:25
  18. 18

    Shoot: Snoots

    04:26
  19. 19

    Shoot: Light Sphere

    04:32
  20. 20

    Shoot: Event Photography

    09:51
  21. 21

    Understanding TTL Cables

    08:59
  22. 22

    Understanding Wireless Triggers

    26:15
  23. 23

    Cable and Triggering Q&A

    23:09
  24. 24

    Uses of Modifiers: Umbrellas

    08:44
  25. 25

    Shoot: Using an Umbrella

    27:08
  26. 26

    Shoot: Using a Softbox

    31:11
  27. 27

    Shoot: Using an Octabox

    06:01
  28. 28

    Shoot: Using a Beauty Dish

    17:54

Meet Your Expert

Mike Hagen

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. ... read more

See instructor's Classes

Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Single Flash Lighting Diagrams
  • pdf Single Flash Gear List 100 dollars
  • pdf Single Flash Gear List 250 dollars
  • pdf Single Flash Gear List 1000 dollars

98% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Yasemin Soyen

    April 2017

    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!

  • Candy Smith

    Candy Smith

    July 2017

    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.

  • C.Welsh

    C.Welsh

    April 2017

    Mike, is a fantastic instructor. I have taken other flash photography classes, but I find Mikes’ to be the best laid out, clear and concisely demonstrated class, with great detail and not overly "techy" terms to confuse the listener. Though lots of technical information is shared, it is done in a way anyone can understand and follow along. Great examples explained, to help apply what we are learning to real life scenarios. Like Rear Sync Curtain explanation, really helped distinguish the difference and why.
 Great sense of humour too!
 Hope Mike, will be back to teach more classes, maybe a sequel… one on multi flash use? 
~ Christine

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