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Flash Photography Tips For Beginners

These flash photography tips are intended to give people who are totally new to flash photography an introduction to the key principles, methods and terms of the subject. You might have been slightly intimidated by the idea of flash photography. It can seem a little daunting to begin with, but once you have a few key facts and principles under your belt, you'll suddenly realize that you've been missing out on an incredibly fun area of photography. So let's get started...

The basic principles of flash photography

Let's start with a few simple principles behind using flash. Once you grasp these everything will start to make a lot more sense.

flash photography tips

This awesome night portrait by Anton Khoff is 2 exposures: flash (for the subject) and shutter speed (for ambient background light). It's also a very cool example of bokeh.


Some basic terms in flash photography

Hopefully the above basic flash photography tips have started to clear up a few points already. But now let's do some jargon-busting and find out what some common flash terminology means.

flash photography tips

This is the Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash for Canon DSLR cameras

flash photography tips

This is the Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon DSLR cameras


Flash photography tips for compact camera users

We've been looking chiefly at the basic facts about flash units so far. But there's plenty of overlap with how built-in flash on compact camera systems work. Here are some tips for taking great flash shots with a compact:


Flash photography tips for DSLR users

Now time for some tips for those of you shooting with a DSLR. Remember, it's best to begin learning how to use a flash unit by selecting iTTL/eTTL mode.

flash photography tips

A great example of fill flash in this fantastic shot by Carsten Linke.



Hopefully you're now less confused by the world of flash photography, and ready to start experimenting with it. You know some of the key principles behind flash exposures, some of the key terminology, how to use flash with compacts and how to use flash with DSLR's. Please feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments. Thanks.

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