Off-Camera Flash 101: Frequently Asked Questions
Off-Camera Flash 101
Frequently Asked Questions
Written by: Mike Musto, Co-Owner of Evermore Imaging
Why do you guys hate natural light so much?
In short - we don’t! Nothing is going to beat the look of window light. That being said, window light isn’t always available. This is where knowing how to utilize off-camera flash comes in!
Why should I use off-camera flashes instead constant lights?
The main advantages of flashes over continuous lighting is portability and power. While seeing the light change in front of your eyes is very convenient, larger LED lights can be bulky and can’t compete with most natural lighting conditions.
What’s the bare minimum I need to get started with off-camera flash?
The bare minimum gear required is a flash and trigger. While it’s not required, we highly encourage you purchase some sort of modifier with your flash. These are things such as umbrellas, softboxes, and diffusers.
What flash gear should I purchase?
There are so many products out there for off-camera flash photography. To help narrow it down. we’ve put together this blog post with our favorite gear. We’re big fans of the Godox/Flashpoint system because of its price point and scalability!
Why does everyone love the AD200 so much?
The AD200 is as portable as your standard flash and has the power of 3! We can’t recommend them enough. Just note that these are for off-camera use only.
How do I get started using my equipment?
Learning how to use your flashes for the first time can be intimidating! Here is a helpful post on how to set up your flashes and triggers so you can focus on shooting.
Why can’t I use a shutter speed faster than 1/250th?
99% of cameras have the ability to sync with a flash up to 1/250th. If your flash has the ability to utilize any faster shutter speed, this is a feature known as “High Speed Sync.”After that’s enabled, you can shoot up to speeds limited by your flash (sometimes up to 1/8000th) You’ll know you’ve reached the limit when black bars show up on your image. This is the sign that your camera’s shutter and flash aren’t syncing properly.
How do I enable High Speed Sync?
This varies from flash to flash, but generally speaking, there is usually a “Sync” button. You’ll know High Speed Sync is enabled when you see an “H” icon with a lightning bolt next to it (pictured below.)
Should I use a softbox or umbrella?
That depends on your desired effect! A lot of people love softboxes for their “focussed” soft light. This means that they create dramatic shadows. Umbrellas are great choices for a more spread out, “even lighting” look with less harsh shadows.
How do I create harsher or softer shadows with my modifier?
There are many variables that contribute to this, but in principle: the larger the source of your light, the softer it will be. You can maximize the “softness” of any light modifier by getting it as close as possible!
Where can I learn more?
We’ll be posting some educational material here as much as we can! You can also join our Facebook Community and connect with a bunch of other photographers who love OCF!
Why are there so many Alpacas in your Facebook group?
We’re still not even sure.
Have any other questions? Leave us a comment below!
Check out our other educational materials: