Godox announced the updated version of their square-headed Speedlight the V860III last summer. Having an extra portable flash unit in your bag is always a good idea, particularly if you’re like me and often end up shooting on location, so I was keen to try it out. Godox boasted several new features such as a new hot shoe lock and modelling light, but is it really different enough from both the previous V860II or the round-headed V1 to warrant an upgrade? Let’s take a look!
Flash is almost an inevitability when it comes to portraits. At some point or another, you’re going to find yourself frustrated with the “natural light” and you’re going to want to either try to overpower it or complement it to improve its looks or you’re going to give in completely, head indoors and go for a more studio-style setup away from the wind and rain and crappy weather. Whatever the reason, it’s as inevitable as Thanos.
But where do you begin? What gear do you need to get started? What do all the terms mean? How do you use them? What are modifiers? Key light? What? Well, all these questions and more are answered in this hour and a half long video from photographer Ed Verosky. It’s a complete crash course on using flash to shoot portraits, although much of what’s said applies to flash in any context.
Are you sitting comfortably? Great! Now, think back 12 years ago. Yes, that would be pre-multiple political upheavals, pre-pandemic and pre-full frame mirrorless cameras. It was a much simpler time, we were all so innocent then…but I digress.
Take a look at this Buffalo Wings commercial from 2010 that hilariously pokes fun at sports photographers using on-camera flash. The results of which, have a disasterous effect on the athletes.
When you’re first starting out photographing people with flash, it can be a bit overwhelming. Even if you’re used to shooting with natural light, the pieces don’t all click into place right away and it’s easy to make mistakes and not be entirely sure how to rectify the problem. So, here’s Francisco Hernandez with three of the mistakes he sees new off-camera flash photographers making and how to resolve them.
Sometimes, as much as we might hate it, we’re forced to stick a flash on the hotshoe. Perhaps it’s something not too important and we just want a bit more light on things. But maybe it’s something very important and you really need to not screw it up. Whatever the reason, getting great light out of an on-camera flash isn’t that difficult. There’s just one thing you need to think about.
In this video, photographer Neil van Niekerk explains that one important thing and how it affects your photos in very simple and easy to understand terms. Yes, I’m going to spoil it now, but that one thing is the inverse square law. But don’t worry, there’s no maths or charts here. Just a simple practical demonstration that’ll make it easy for you to get decent shots when using on-camera flash.
All the photographic groups and forums have been vaguely on fire in the last 24 hours due to an inflammatory video posted on YouTube by a pro photographer giving his opinion about Godox (and other similar level) lights.
As you can imagine, opinion was quickly divided with the Godox supporters getting their knickers in a twist and those that can afford the more expensive brands feeling delightfully smug. I watched the full 23 minutes and 57-second video so you don’t have to. You’re welcome!
Many photographers often like to pick between flash or natural light. For some reason, they avoid mixing the two. It actually goes to the extent that some photographers will declare themselves as either a natural light or an artificial light photographer. It almost seems like these two are separate worlds that have little in common. Yet, how different is a flash from natural light after all? Isn’t light just light no matter the source? Let’s find out.
If you’re an avid photographer shooting with remote-controlled strobes, you’ll have come across this issue: One set of flashes is connected to your camera, and it controls all the other flashes in the photo studio.
Almost all of these systems use the same terminology: “Master” for the trigger that is doing the controlling, and “Slave” for the receiving strobe. It seems convenient because the language is so clear — until you pause for half a moment, and think about what that use of language does to normalize and casualize literal slavery.
Canon has announced a new Version 2 of their ST-E3-RT trigger for controlling Canon speedlights off-camera. If you were hoping for some massive upgrade, though, you’re in for a little disappointment. According to what I can see, it basically only adds only three new features over the original ST-E3-RT released in 2012. And not for everybody.
The first is that you (finally) get to be able to shoot rear curtain sync with your wireless Canon speedlights (if your camera is 2020 or newer and not an 850D/T8i). You get a minimum power setting that now goes down to an insane 1/8192 power (but only with the new EL-1 speedlight). And you get a new FE memory feature, allowing you to lock in E-TTL flash exposure levels (with everything).
If there’s one constant when it comes to flash, whether it’s speedlights or strobes, is recycle time. It’s the time you have to wait for the flash to charge back up between shooting one photo and the next. It applies to just about every type of flash, except for the recent array of hybrid flashes like the Godox FV200.
But what causes recycle times? Why do we have to wait? Can’t it just suck juice from the battery or the socket on the wall as it needs it? Well, nope. It can’t. And this video from photographer Mike Smith explains why.