Check out this free flash photography course for headshots and portraits

Jan 2, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Jan 2, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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With the prolific use of flash in photography these days, and the amount of information that is out there, you’d think it would be quite a simple task by now for somebody to figure out a path for their lighting needs. But because there’s so much information out there, newer users can actually find flash quite intimidating.

In this four-part video series, photographer Ed Verosky goes through a complete crash course on flash. He starts off with the basics of using your flash on the camera, through getting it off the camera in a studio environment, to taking it out into the wild and mixing it with existing lighting.

In the first part of the series, Ed goes over the various aspects of using on-camera flash, where many photographers begin their journey with flash.

  1. Introduction
  2. On-camera flash basics
  3. On-camera flash modifiers
  4. On-camera flash techniques

In Part 2, Ed follows the natural evolution of most photographers learning flash. He gets the flash off the camera to explain the principles of how flash works off camera. There are a few technical things in here, so, you might have to watch parts of it two or three times to understand it. But, Ed breaks it down into easy-to-understand chunks.

  1. Getting started with off-camera flash
  2. Off-camera flash gear recommendations
  3. Off-camera flash triggering
  4. One-light portrait techniques
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In part 3, Ed walks us through several lighting setups in the studio, explaining the reasoning for his choices, and how they affect the shot.

  • Two-light setups: Three uses for a second light
  • Three-point lighting setups
  • Other multiple light setups
  • Background lighting
YouTube video

In the final section, Ed covers mixed lighting situations where you might be combining flash with daylight or indoor lighting, as well as other important aspects of working with flash.

  1. Mixed lighting
  2. Flash for outdoor portraits
  3. Your default flash settings
  4. Environmental portraits
YouTube video

If there’s anything in the above videos that gets a bit technical, just watch that bit over a few times, or go back to it later as you start to understand more. And if you still have questions, Ed has a Facebook group where you can ask them.

Overall, the series makes for a great introduction to those new to flash or who haven’t tried it yet, to the principles and uses of flash in portrait photography.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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