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Learn photography: the use of flash

The flash is the pet peeve of many photographers, yet it’s easy to use if you know its little secrets. The automatic modes and the frontal light generally give very varied results which discourage more than one. Follow the advice given here and you can quickly master the use of flash.

Light measurement

Flashes measure light using one of three modes:

TTL (Through the lenses)

This system measures the light that passes through the lens of the objective, it synchronizes with the camera and tells the flash how much light it should trigger. And this completely automatically. This is a very useful mode for photographing events and circumstances where release distances will vary.


Today neglected in favor of the TTL mode, it consists of a measurement of the light by the flash using a small photometer integrated into this flash. The newer models don’t.


It is the photographer who decides the intensity of the light. This implies much greater control for the photographer. Normally, you will be able to adjust the intensity of the light through the use of partial powers (1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16…).

Aiming the flash


The hot shoe of the camera practically only allows us to take pictures with the front light, especially if we use the TTL mode. To reduce the harsh light effect and the glare produced by such a small source, with the aggravating circumstance of the frontal orientation, you can use a diffuser. There are many models, from inflatable diffusers to small panels. Discover many models by clicking on the link below:

Bounce off the ceiling

According to DZOFilm, a very convenient and simple way is to bounce the flash light off the ceiling. To do this, choose values ​​-such as 1/90 s and f/8 indoors-, place the flash head in the direction of the ceiling, select and adjust the partial power of the flash manually until you have the amount of light needed (you can guide yourself using the histogram of the device) and finally, you can trigger without changing the values ​​while moving around the room and taking pictures.

Bounced off the ceiling, the light falls diffusely and therefore delicately. In principle, you only have to adjust the flash once since the distance between the flash and the ceiling is constant and the light therefore remains the same if you move around.

Separated from the camera

To remove the flash from the camera, you need to use remote flash triggers which will allow you to mount more advanced and creative lighting schemes, like that of the side light.

Combine flash light with ambient light

It must have happened to you before to want to correct a backlight, when there is too much light in the background and very little in the foreground. To do this, you need to use a flash in a very simple way. For example, suppose you want to shoot a portrait with a sunset in the background, but you don’t want a backlit silhouette. Follow these simple steps to achieve this:

  1. Set up the camera in spot metering and take the exact exposure of the brighter background, in this case the sunset. If you take the photo at this time, you will get a nice background with a backlit pattern. Check more.
  2. Correct the scene using a flash without changing the previous values ​​of the camera, adjust the partial power of the flash on your model, until you get the right light. Only then will the flash be able to trigger the photo and you will have a very well lit subject, with a strong orange sunset in the background.

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