Speedlight Question

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
Speedlight Question

My speedlight came in the mail! Woot!!! So, now I feel lost again, lol. What is a good way to start practicing with it? I've taken a few pics and I'm not sure where to aim it, etc. for it to be most effective. Is it all just pratice and see what works or is there a method to the madness? Thanks!

mlark1128's picture
Joined: 05/09/07
Posts: 742

Practice is great. Try putting it on TTL just so you can see how bouncing it in different directions affects your pictures. For me, I get the best results when I use the speedlight to enhance the natural lighting, not create new light. So, bouncing off of a window behind me gives great results.

Read the manual too so you know how yours works and its different functions.

There was a great thread here a couple of months ago started by Ariana (becoming-mom) about dragging the shutter too. I'd go find it for you but I'm really busy at work (shouldn't be here, LOL!).

becoming-mom's picture
Joined: 02/11/09
Posts: 169

Here's the old thread: http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboards/showthread.php?t=521422

Somewhere in there is a link to the thread on ILP as well Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"mlark1128" wrote:

So, bouncing off of a window behind me gives great results.

Ditto. Sounds dumb, but I point my to the window. I have yet to make friends with my speedlight.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Thanks for the link. I did read that when it was first posted, but I'm gussing I need a refresher course. I will also read my manual. Smile

I didn't even think about pointing it to a window- I'll try that.

tokidokikashikoi's picture
Joined: 01/30/07
Posts: 38

I've had my speedlight for over a year and I've loved it since the first picture! I know I'm in the minority, but I find I'm usually taking pics in extremely low light situations and it is really a must for me.

You really do have to just play with angles and strength and camera settings to figure it out. There are some basic tips you can guide yourself with. I've never had any luck bouncing the flash off a window, but most other people do. Bouncing off the ceiling will usually give the most even light, but you won't get any light into the eyes. I like to bounce the flash 45 degrees behind me, but that isn't always possible due to the color or angle of the walls. In general, the closer you are to the surface you are bouncing off of the bigger the catchlights.

Dragging the shutter is the way to go, but it doesn't always work. The more ambient light in the room the less the flash will be able to freeze motion and the higher the SS will have to be.

kmaypottery's picture
Joined: 12/06/04
Posts: 36

"Melvin76" wrote:

Ditto. Sounds dumb, but I point my to the window. I have yet to make friends with my speedlight.

How do you positio you body with the window, flash and subject?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"kmaypottery" wrote:

How do you positio you body with the window, flash and subject?

Varies for me Kim. If the subject is sitting at 45* to the window, then I'm maybe at 90* or 180* from the subject.