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Flash vs The Sun Workshop

TODAY'S MEETUP IS ON!  Don't forget to bring a chair or two, your camera, flash, and user manuals if you have them.

*If you'll click on the "MAP" function near the "Mendon Ponds" above, then click on the "satellite" option in the tabs on the map page, you should see that I've placed the red marker on the location.  The GPS coordinates should also be right.  : )

Don't you love it when reality is just the opposite of what everyone expects?  Speedlight flashes are fine when working indoors in low light, but if you think that they have no business being on our cameras in bright sunshine, think again!

The meeting will be heavy on instruction, with plenty of hands-on practice time.  We'll discuss shooting with your flash's TTL mode, and also in (flash) manual.  Canon and Nikon approach flash controls in different ways, and though I'm a Canon user, I've downloaded the Nikon manuals and am busy studying so as to make it relevant for you Nikonians, as well.

Do you like to impress people at parties?  Well get ready to wow them when they hear that you know the most esoteric flash technique of all:  HSS - "High Speed Sync".  There, there - no need to panic.  It's really nothing more than a switch on your flash that lets your shutter speed rise above 1/200th when your flash is on (or 1/250th, depending on your camera).  Why use it?  To allow fast shutters to either dial down the ambient light, OR to freeze fast motion, OR both.  Check the flash picture at the bottom of the page taken in bright sunlight that was made possible only by using HSS.

Those who are new to off-camera flash should hear that this tutorial has the potential to dramatically change your life with cameras! If you're already using a Speedlite regularly, it can still be a good refresher.  Let's plan now for a rain-date the following Saturday if needed.  Watch for more details as the date approaches, and be sure to RSVP soon rather than later for this hopefully bright sunshiny workshop in June!

PS. Because we've done this topic twice before, it's hard to guess what the response will be.  A lot goes into it, so let's say that if we don't have at least fifteen solid RSVP's, we'll pass this time and try again next year.

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  • Stephen D.

    Pamela, Good question.. The BEST choice in my view, is to use a detachable flash unit that's made by your camera's manufacurer to be compatible with your camera.. AND one that has a rotating head that can be pointed up and also left, right and straight back. There are cheaper Canon and Nikon models that can't do all those things. If you have or are considering a really cheap third-party flash, you should expect greatly limited functions than those built into Canon and Nikon flashes, EXCEPT that one of my tutoring students recently insisted that his flash made by a Chinese company called Yongnuo IS fully functional with his Canon, and sells for under $100. Caveat emptor, but that's what he said.

    May 26, 2013

    • Brad A.

      I have the YONGNUO flash unit and it is fully functional with my T4i. I bought it to learn with and till the funds for the speedlight are available. The unit is simple to operate and does the job nicely including the full 90 degree vertical, it does a full 180 hoizontally. It does communicate with the camera as many others do not. It will even do off camera flash triggered from camera flash. When I do get the speedlite, this one will become a very good working slave.

      1 · May 27, 2013

    • Brad A.

      I guess I misquoted when I said "Fully Functional" as the model I have is not able to do high speed sync. I did aquire a YONGNU 568EX for a few dollars more than the YN468-II and it is as far as I can tell now fully compatible. I got this still as a flash unit that does all or most of the speedlite functions so I can follow along at the sessions. The 468 makes a great slave flash as well as the neewer TT560 which also works as a slave. So now I can try slave flash photography. Still with the three flashes, I have only spent around $225.00 for all three. I am sure I can easily sell any extra gear without an issue. I do li9ke the 568EX. The quality is not all that bad and the large display is really nice. The instruction, well they sure need a better english interpeter to do the manuals. By the way, YONGNO's do not work well with full Frame cameras so be sure to check.

      June 6, 2013

  • Bob B.

    Very informative and helpful

    June 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wish I could have been there, I really think I could have learned a lot. Will look to see if you do it again.

    June 1, 2013

  • Kurt H.

    Great time as usual. Lots to learn and lots of nuggets to tuck away.

    June 1, 2013

  • Kate L.

    Thanks for a great workshop Stephen!

    June 1, 2013

  • Barbara O.

    Fantastic! Finally think I am getting it! Felt like I actually understood the concepts today and was able to use my flash. As usual, Stephen has a way of teaching concepts that make it easy to understand...we are furtunate to have such a dedicated person who spends his own time to help us all along! Thank you, Steve!

    June 1, 2013

  • Pamela F.

    It challenged my brain. Stephen knows too much ;-) It was fun, as usual. I'm home now, dutifully reading manuals! :-)

    June 1, 2013

  • Brad A.

    AWESOME!!

    June 1, 2013

  • Brad A.

    Steve, I think I have a couple tables I can bring and a chair for someone else. If I cannot park near the "SPOT", I will need some help with carrying the tables and chairs to it. See you there. Maybe next time we can include a picnic.

    June 1, 2013

  • Pamela F.

    Stephen, I just got the latest email. This is getting confusing. We have two upcoming shoots, right? We also have a meeting on the 12th, before those shoots, to go over edits from...? What does SFE mean? Did I miss something? Was something canceled?

    May 28, 2013

    • Pamela F.

      Thanks.

      May 29, 2013

    • Pamela F.

      I see, you were referring to the June 1 meeting.

      May 30, 2013

  • Stephen D.

    IMPORTANT DETAILS ABOUT SATURDAY'S MEETUP: To those who are planning to attend, check the meeting's main description (above left) for directions and some last-minute planning issues. The tables we had last year aren't available this time, so please bring a chair or two for someone else - and also look for a message here by 8:30 Saturday morning as to whether or not we're calling it for rain.

    May 29, 2013

  • Barbara O.

    Havent been to Mendon POnds much....where are we meeting on Saturday? I know there are several entrances on Canfield, I think?

    May 29, 2013

    • Stephen D.

      Hi Barb,

      Yes, I've put off speaking to that until I had a better feel for the weather, shelter details, and bathrooms for the different spots. I spoke with the County Parks Dept this morning, and the best choice seems to be the place we used last year - about a mile in from Clover on Canfield, and on the left (north) side of the road. Two concerns are that if it rains, then we're finished.. and tables there are in short supply, so I'll be asking everyone to be safe by bringing a comfortable folding chair or two if they can. The good news is that there are rest rooms nearby, the spot is ideal for our lighting and privacy needs, and it's free.

      I'll be announcing all of this and asking folks to bring their own comfortable chairs later today or tomorrow; and I'm thinking that we can defer on the weather decision until Saturday morning at about 8 or so.

      Steve

      May 29, 2013

  • Ed Y.

    I would like to come but don't own an external flash for my current camera. Canon G10. I shoot available light and fill for the most part.

    May 28, 2013

    • Ed Y.

      I agree, Pamela, that it wouldn't work with my Canon. Thank you for letting me know though. I would like to attend but the subject of outdoor flash is not new to me. Not by a long shot. I've had several systems and several flashes and have used them effectively outside. I would have gone for the meeting of other photogs.

      May 29, 2013

    • Ed Y.

      Thank you, Stephen.

      May 29, 2013

  • Patty Ulrich S.

    Bummer - i hope you do a repeat as I can't make this one.

    May 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wish I could attend - this is exactly what I need to learn.

    May 28, 2013

  • Joyce S.

    I'm sorry, I have a conflict in my schedule. I really wanted to come.

    May 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    thanks, that helps a lot. I do own a Canon 60D, but not a separate flash. I would really like to come, but all of a sudden, everyone is planning a super fieldtrip for this Sat. I don't know what to choose now!!!

    May 26, 2013

  • Pamela F.

    So it doesn't need to be a "Speedlite" then, either?

    May 26, 2013

  • Stephen D.

    Andrea, let me answer your question in some detail, hoping that others can benefit from the answer, as well.

    First, do you own an SLR, or are we talking about a point and shoot? One of the skills that we'll be working with on Saturday is how to "dial" the intensity of your flash's light either up or down using FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation. That's Canon's term for it. In Nikons the same flash volume control is called "FLASH OUTPUT LEVEL"... the acronym for which is FOL, I suppose). SLR owners are often surprised to find that the control for dialing your flash up and down also works on your popup flash! So yes, you'll benefit if you own an SLR without a Speedlite - plus you'll have a better idea of whether or not you'll want to put a Speedlite on your shopping list. Note though, that if you come away not wanting to own one, it'll be because I failed in my presentation.

    I hope to see you on Saturday!

    May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can this be useful if you don't own a separate flash and only have the on camera flash?

    May 26, 2013

  • Bob B.

    Looking forward to learning more about editing and taking better images.

    May 19, 2013

  • Brad A.

    Possible 1 guest. Don't want to commit him as yet.

    May 14, 2013

  • Maryanne N.

    Have a schedule conflict on this date :(

    May 11, 2013

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