Flash Photography Exposure Basics

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Flash photography is a skill not many try to master. Its like people just don’t want to learn it and just muddle through with their camera and flash on auto. I’m here to tell you: its super easy!!! The basics of flash exposure: Shutter speed affects ambient light only ISO and aperture affect ambient light AND flash Flash distance, power, and modifiers all change its output. When you understand that concept its easy. If you want to adjust the flash change ISO, aperture, flash power or flash distance. If you only want to change the ambient light in the scene then adjust your shutter speed. I have all my students start out in manual exposure mode with the flash on manual too. That way you are controlling the flash and learning how it works, not just getting by.


lol3ndir says:

What’s the usual flash power do you use indoor (before ISO/F)? or you do trial first?

GregoryCazillo says:

to get more available light in the background. I was on a tripod so I wouldn’t have any issues with camera shake.

AF0093 says:

Greg you are such an amazing teacher. You take photography serious and you teach it so well. Congrats for that and keep up the great work. Now you said keep the SP at 1/250 why the photos at 1/15-1/60th?

cellist81 says:

if I turn down the exposure compensation to anything below 1/60 the photo obviously won’t be very clear and will have camera shake. Thanks!

cellist81 says:

Great video! I Followed along very easily and did it myself step by step to experiment with my camera settings. (I own a Canon xsi and just recently purchased the ex430ii flash for it). I tried to shoot without the flash first (very helpful!) but I do have one question. How can you do this experiment in very low lighting without flash first without a tripod. For example taking a portrait of somebody without a tripod? Any info would help! Thanks again for the great tutorial!

LoticMotion says:

great video!
I’m just a hobby photographer and have been shootin for bout 2 months with a Canon 600D now – and always avoided the flash since it would have killed most of my images with frontal lighting (internal flash, ya know)
I ordered an external flash for christmas so I wanted to get ready for it, thanks for the great information here. It was compact, easily understandable and the example will stay in my mind

Anish Patel says:

Great video Greg. I had a terrible flash portrait session on the weekend, I’ll try again this weekend with a better understanding and hopefully get some good shots.

ariadne bila says:

I just watched your video for the second time, what else should i know before trying to use the yn560?

Paul Kyrby says:

Thank you!

Brian Kelly says:

I found this very helpful. I understood what you were saying in the video but it wasn’t until your examples that I had the epiphany. Thank you.

Martyn White says:

yeah well, the vdieo might not be aimed at you. Of course you’ve uploaded loads of useful and informative videos to help beginners……….. oh wait no, no you haven’t.

Martyn White says:

Thanks! At last a video that evxplains flash for people who don’t already know how. Well done man

Chris Isaac says:

Wow, I really needed this! Haha..that’s funny, No TTL or Auto..Yessss! Finally I can learn the real way. I want master it. Thanks Greg, you rock! I never knew the shutter speed does not change a thing on your flash exposure. I have a Manual only flash. Got it for this same reason, to Master it!

Carlos Brinas says:

Nice Video really helpful

Charlie Schmidt says:

I believe you are trying to give out usefull info…you just seem to miss the mark, We have been viewing eseveral of your video and find that you dont really speak from a point of knowledge…you mention stuff in your videos you do not know. some research would great, help the value of the video. All of you videos you created need a good edit. You babel about personal stories, like the fireman story, that dont reallly fit the photography theme.

jamesleofagan says:

the best tutorials i’ve seen on the subject so far

GregoryCazillo says:

What are you referring to? this video is more general not about one single photo.

Rei Evangelista says:

I don’t know if I missed one piece of info in your example but I replayed the video and didn’t hear it – what power setting did you set on your flash gun?

hamdengo says:

Very VERY interresting video. Thank you!

GregoryCazillo says:

IMO you should not allow the camera to set the shutter automatically for reasons stated in the video. If you need a longer explanation of TTL I’d suggest reading over your camera manual as each model is different. Of course it uses ambient light to determine exposure, with or without flash…

DCUPtoejuice says:

I would appreciate an explanation of how the camera determines the shutter speed when using flash, I assume focal distance and aperature are used to pre-determine the shutter speed before the shot begins, but does the camera take into account ambient light at all or does it just assume the only light will be from the flash?

wolnymisio says:

One of the most useful photography related videos I’ve seen 🙂 Thank You!

Solveiga Serova says:


billiardsheen says:

Great job Greg, thanks very much for that, your tutorial vids have helped me loads!

GregoryCazillo says:


JNanoTV says:

The Triforce 0_0

1976blueboy says:

Do you use manual flash when shooting a wedding or ttl? Just wondering what power to use for fill flash too… Great videos by the way! Thanks for posting.

GregoryCazillo says:

Of course it does, I was speaking about how it affects flash.

numex106 says:

bokehlicious…lol sounds like drtv

M B says:

you said that the shutterspeed affects the ambient light and the ISO AND the aperture affects the flash power. I’m getting confused since on adoramaTV and B&H channel they said that the ISO affects the whole exposure of the picture…

predatorjoutube says:

wow, thanks

Lincoshop says:

Low light event photography
see:w w w.youtube.com/watch?v=OTGlK2RNeYg&feature=plcp

d19771000 says:

Greg, awesome video. I plan on watching the rest very soon!

GregoryCazillo says:

The worst thing you can do when creating photos with flash is use auto iso. To get great flash photos you need to understand how the basics work (iso, shutter, aperture) then know how those settings affect the flash which is explained in this video.

If your subject is not moving I suggest putting your flash on manual, if they are moving then ttl is required.

Nonthanburi2 says:

All of your videos are great! For me this was the most useful.
I have a Flash question please:
If shooting ‘MANUAL’; If I set the ‘Shutter’ and ‘Aperture’ and ‘ISO on AUTO’ using ETTL…will the exposure be correct? I have Canon L lenses that range from F/1.2 – to – F/4 on the open side.
So with the 85 F/1.2 for example, can I set the shutter speed and Aperture on Manual…and the ISO on “auto’ using ETTL; or should I set the flash on ‘Manual’ as you describe in this tutorial?
Thank you!

Elizabeth Nixon says:

I am really enjoying your videos, great information!! I

NMHAJA says:


dwoodog says:

Really good video. Thanks!! I just bought a Nikon D7000 and am looking around for a SB800 now.

Leonardo Abreu says:

Great explanation, Greg, thank you.

Thomas Shue says:

What no more Fro Knows Foto.COMMMM

GregoryCazillo says:

The head zooms, giving you a smaller or wider pattern of light.

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