Friday, February 19, 2010

Short tutorial on Flash

In this little tutorial I'll be explaining different types of flash settings and creative uses such as wireless and a few examples with the Sony Alpha.

I'll start off with the basic flash options. To my knowledge there is six options of how to use flash (Flash off, autoflash, fill-flash, slow sync, rear sync and wireless).

Flash off - self explanatory. The flash doesn't fire.
Autoflash - fires if it is dark or against light.
Fill-flash - this fires whenever the built in flash is popped up.
Slow sync - the flash fires at the beginning of the exposure and the shutter remains open for however long it is set on the camera.
Rear sync - fires right before the end of the exposure.
Wireless - fires the external flash off camera

The following are a few examples of each except 'flash off' and 'autoflash'.

Fill Flash

Slow Sync

Rear Sync


Of course these are only a few simple examples of flash techniques. It opens up a lot of doors for you to be creative with flash. Especially wireless where you have the ability to control where the light is directed. On the Sony system wireless flash is triggered by the in built flash on the camera. The Canon system is different to the Sony.You can not trigger an external flash wirelessly with the in built flash (unless you are using the EOS 7d). You have to purchase either a trigger or a pocket wizard or another external flash to trigger it. Nikon has a similar flash system to Sony and its called the Creative Lighting system (CLS). Its a more sophisticated flash system and its the best out of the three as it offers more control over your flashes either on the camera or the flash itself.

If you have an external flash you also have the ability to bounce your flash on ceilings and walls. The top flash models, for Canon, the speedlite 580exII and Sony hvl-f58am have built in white cards to help you control your flash. Not sure about Nikon cause I don't have that much knowledge about their system but I'm pretty sure all external flashes have a wide flash diffuser.

Anyway thats my short tutorial on flashes and a brief intro into using wireless flash. The last photo is one of the creative uses for slow sync flash that I took in the club. Just to give you an idea of how creative you can be with it.

The way I achieved  the streaming lights in the image was that I zoomed in during the exposure.

exposure: 8sec f/stop: 4 iso: 400

Thanks for reading and take care everyone! =)

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