Off Camera Flash Set up for Beginners | Step by Step Tutorial Part 1

Off Camera Flash Set up for Beginners | Step by Step Tutorial Part 1

January 17, 2020 100 By Kailee Schamberger


Hi Guys! Welcome back to my channel. I’m Joy Michelle. I make photography videos every single week. This week we are starting a whole new series. The series comes from a question that I got
from a girl Eugenia, she asked me when and where to use off camera flash and if I could
make a tutorial series for beginners. And that is what I’m doing for you guys today!
so be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on the upcoming videos and so that
you can finish this series right along with me. I’m excited! As I said before This is really geared toward
someone who is just starting out with off camera flash. Maybe you’ve used a flash on your camera,
and you’re ready to take it to a next level. But you don’t wanna go crazy and have 5 off
camera flashes or get super complicated. So I’m going to keep this super basic. I really believe you can do a ton with just
a two flash system. I first want to answer Eugenia’s question
about when and where we’re using off camera flash, cause that is a really interesting
question. When I’m using off camera flash, I’m either
at the reception or photographing people in a portrait setting where I don’t have a lot
of natural light, so I’m not using flash most of the time when it’s bright outside, when
it’s light outside, it’s just not my jam. I love natural light so I’m going to work
with natural light when I can, but for weddings, when I no longer have the sun, or I’m in an
extremely dark church, I’m going to use off camera flash. The reason for that is, to maintain an ambiance
and make sure I don’t get that black background. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a picture,
where you have an on-camera flash and your subjects are lit, but the background is just
an abyss of black and you lose all of the ambiance. So particularly for dancing, receptions, and
all the important events that go on at a wedding at the reception, I want to make sure that
I can capture the room and what it felt like. And people in the back ground. And I can do that really well with off camera
flash. So that’s why I started using off camera flash,
and I think why many photographers go ahead and add flash to their system in the wedding
world. First lets just go over the gear I use. and
What you will probably need to get started with off camera flash. So, first thing you need are some strobes. I use the Nikon SB910’s and you can really
use anything, it doesn’t have to be canon or nikon it can be any of the other brands
as well. What you’ll need is two flashes. I use one flash on my camera, of course. And I use one off-camera. I also use triggers. So I use radio triggers so that I can talk
to my flashes when they’re off camera. So what I’ll do is I’ll have 1 camera with
me, I’ll put a trigger on top of that camera, and then I’ll put a flash on top of the trigger. So this is the set up for on-camera. The reason I use triggers is so that I can
change and controls the flash power from across the room. So I don’t have to go changing them wherever
my flash is. So I know that canon actually has a built
in system in their flashes. As far as I know, this isn’t a built-in system
with nikon. This is just how I started off camera flash
so it’s a system I’m very comfortable with. I’m able to change my flash settings across
the room. For instance, I have 1 flash across the room
and maybe a Bride & groom are about to have their cake cutting, I can go ahead and turn
it down or turn it up and make adjustments without going and physically changing those
settings on the flash. That’s what I’m able to do here. Once I have this set up, I go ahead and set
up the off camera flash. I have another trigger (that is a receiver)
it’s a little bigger because it’s receiving transmission. This guy will go off camera. So once I turn these guys on, if I trigger
this camera, both of the flashes will go off. So you can play around and you’ll have so
much more control over what kind of flash results you’ll get. So what I do typically is put this on a stand. And I’ll have the stand throughout the room
wherever I see fit to light the situation best. The cool thing about this as well is that
you can just slide it off the stand and it has the trigger built in, and I’ll have an
assistant or my second shooter hold this behind my couple or I can set it on a table somewhere
for outdoor shots. So, I also like to get an end-of-night shot
of my bride and groom if I can, weather permitting. If you are just starting out with off camera
flash, you should start with just 2 flashes. 1 of them on your camera and 1 of them off
camera. That way you can play around with the different
powers, you can play with your settings and start to figure out what you like to see in
your images and how you’re going to achieve that. Once you are more comfortable with that, you
can add more flashes to the room, and kind of grow from there, but I really feel that
this is a good starting point when you are first starting with off camera flash. So we’ve covered the gear that I use. How I set this up – how one of them goes off
camera and one flash is on camera. For this particular system, I have to turn
it on top to bottom. So I’ll turn on my flash, turn on the trigger,
turn on my camera. Turn on my flash, turn on my transmitter. And then I’ll press the little side button
and it says test/learn. and that button will sync them up. So then they’re talking to each other. I fire a few test shots, I look at my off
camera flash and see that it’s firing. and I’m good to go! If it’s not firing, I check the batteries,
and I check that it’s properly in the hot shoe. Those are the two things that are usually
going wrong if you’re playing around and it doesn’t seem to be working. Obviously, this is just this system. You have to read the manual for whatever triggers
you buy or if you’re just using the internal systems for your flashes. Once you understand the system that you have
then you can get creative and you can play around with it. Sometimes it just takes the reading and the
boring part but it’s totally worth it once you have it all synced up and it’s doing exactly
what you want it to do. So once they’re synced you can start to use
them. Now I’m going to talk to you guys a little
bit about the settings. It completely depends on the situation. I’m always shooting in manual on my camera
and manual on my flash. I don’t want my flash and my camera to decide
my settings for me because then they are going to vary a lot because it’s using an internal
metering system. so sometimes your flash is going to be great
and then you turn and it’s going to think “oh this situation is kind of darker over
here” and it overcompensates. So the best thing you can do is put your camera
on manual – put your flash on manual and learn from there. Your shots are going to be more consistent
and ultimately you’re way more in control. So what I do is when I’m in manual, I’m going
to look through my camera and I’m going to meter this situation. And I’m probably going to meter a little bit
dark because I know my flashes are going to come in and fill. So that means I’m not going to meter at 0. I’m going to let it be a stop too dark or
play around a little bit lower. Typically my ISO is around 800-1600. I’m going to throw some pictures in here – I
have to go find some, I will record and show you all the data and all the settings for
the pictures. So it should be kind of interesting to see
what the shutter speed is, what the aperture is and that kind of thing. One thing to keep in mind about the shutter
speed is that you are a little more limited in shutter speed when you use flash. So your sync speed is the highest shutter
speed that you can use while still maintaining a sync with your flashes. You are going to have to stick around 1/200th
of a second, or slower. When you take a picture with flash, the flash
freezes the motion if that makes sense, so normally I wouldn’t want to shoot at 1/25th
of a second but when I’m using flash, I can actually get a away with it more even at the
reception, just for the way that flash freezes motion. As a rule of thumb, I’m typically shooting
at 1/16 power or 1/8 power. Sometimes I’m using my on-camera flash as
the main flash, and I’m just using the this as a little bit of a key-light or fill, I
play around with it honestly, sometimes I want the back flash to kind of cut my subject
and make a ring around them and really make them appear 3D. Sometimes I want that to be more powerful. So depending on where I am in the room (which
we will talk about next week)I’m going to have different flash settings. I hope that this was useful for you guys to
see the flash set up, how I use 1 flash off camera, see a little bit of my settings. Next week we are going to be talking about
how to soften your light that comes from flash to just give it a softer look, where I stand
in a room in relation to where I put my flashes, and MORE. so be sure to subscribe so that
you don’t miss out on the rest of this series. I would love to answer your questions if you
have any questions about flash or photography in general – leave them in the comment’s section
below. I will be sure to get back to you! I’m so excited about this series guys and
I hope you are too. I’ll see you guys next week! bye guys!