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Complete guide to use flash and speedlight

by Heena
February 14, 2014
Best of 2014Editor's PickOriginalGreat Value

Every photographer must have used flash lights, which generally comes inbuilt with every camera. But built-in flash is directed straight towards the subject, you tend to shoot, by default. This results into a very flat lighting, and the effect is very poor. So, we recommend using an external flash or speedlight, which can be mounted on the hot shoe of the camera, to achieve better results.

Here are some tips on how to use flash or speedlight

  •  Modify the on-camera flash to control the lighting by diffusing the flash by means of clip-on plastic domes, or by bouncing the flash from ceilings, walls, off of reflectors, etc. Check the balance of the light between
  • existing light and.


  •  Shutter-speed controls existing light and Aperture controls the flash effect. Set up the camera to aperture priority and set the aperture to desired depth of field. Get a reading from subject and take a note of the settings. Now select the manual mode and set according to the reading obtained from the aperture priority mode. Fit your flash to hot shoe, use manual flash. Try first maximum sync speed (usually 1/250 sec or 1/500 sec), then come down from here just adjusting shutter speed, and checking on monitor, until ambient light looks right. Set the power to the point you get the desired image.


  • For indoor shots use the same method. If ambient light reads 1/125 @ F4, set the aperture to F4, and set shutter speed at 1/500(if this is your camera’s maximum sync speed, or 1/250 @ F5.6 if that is your maximum sync speed, and bounce off ceiling. Adjust power of flash until it looks right in the monitor. This gives a ratio of 3:1 as a basic starting point. A big advantage, especially when photographing people, is to have the flash off-camera, so wherever you wander to get different angles, your lighting with remain constant. If flash is on camera, you would need to make adjustments each time you move out of the pre-set range of focus. Your flash can be triggered by radio transceivers or by means of pc cables.
  •  For wraparound, or cross- lighting, you could place your subject between the sun and your off -camera flash, using the sun as fill and your flash as the main, or key light.
  • Ideally, indoor images should not show that flash was used. Modify the camera settings according to get the desired image by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture. Automatic mode for flash-or TTL, (Through The Lens) can also be used for easy and fast operation.


  • Problems occur when using flash under fluorescent illumination, where severe green cast over the images is obtained. Use a gel (Window green) over the flash window and a magenta filter (FL-D) over the lens to lose one stop of light.
  • Nothing is constant or absolute in photography. So keep experimenting and do some mix and match to get more accustomed with the flash before you go out for a serious shoot.

Guess you have found the discussion helpful. Happy Clicking!
Here is good video where steeletraining talk about flash photography

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Hi, I am heena abbasi passionate about writing and photography.I work as a freelancer blog and photo artist.Thank to photosquare for giving me chance to post my articles here and provide me a platform.

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