The Art of the Manual Flash

Started Jun 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
CraigBennett Contributing Member • Posts: 699
Re: The Art of the Manual Flash

NYCphotoman wrote:

I want to get away from TTL flash.

CraigBennett wrote:

NYCphotoman wrote:

Shot a gig last night with Auto and TTL mode and it didnt quite work the way I expected it.  Usually these modes work great for me, but this was a large dining room with high ceilings and it fooled the sensor.  I didnt have time to fool with the flash.

So Im going to start getting back to manual flash photography.  This is where you set the flash or flashes to one specific power and control the exposure with the camera settings (ISO, shutter speed, aperture).  You monitor the exposure with the LCD screen and on Canons they have this highlight detection.

What are the techniques you use for manual flash and event photography?

Nikon has a good flash control system, not familiar with Canon's, but I'm sure it is similar.

I shot an event last night in a fairly large hall and used two flashes in room set at manual, from 1/32 to 1/16 power and used my on camera flash set for TTL, used it for fill.    Worked great for me.  camera on manual,  shutter at 1/125 shutter (no ambient to speak of), aperture set to what I wanted. I relied on flashes for the exposure.

I never use Auto for my remote flashes, it varies too much.  Manual setting is the most stable.  TTL on camera flash or using an assistant for light pole works well for fill, just dial down or up the flash exposure compensation for the fill you want.

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You asked for how we do it, this is how I do it.  Not to use TTL flash on camera and only use manual for everything, IMO is a non-workable solution for event work.  Too many things going on to try and balance your fill for every situation.  Fill is the only time I use TTL in this situation.  It works, is predictable, and consistent.


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