The Use of Off-Camera Flash
Off-camera flash and its use is often a challenge. And as I’ve said many times before, it was a mystery to me. My first flash was a Vivitar 285. I could use it only in manual mode and I didn’t know where to begin, so I quickly and quietly yanked out the batteries from the unit and retired it.
That would have been the end of it if it wasn’t a pesky assignment to photograph my first wedding. Wedding ceremonies are usually followed by receptions and this one kicked my butt. I was still shooting film at this time, and my TMax 3200 ISO didn’t quite deliver. I was wide open at f/2.8, but shutter speed was barely 1/30th. Yep, dark, dark, dark cave for the reception.
I needed to learn to use my Vivitar. But the resistance continued because .. well, have any of you actually seen the manual that comes with a flash unit? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. It gets pitched and buried next to the camera manual because of all the jargon.
Learning How Off-Camera Flash Works
The first person to ever talk to me, human-to-human about flash was Zack Arias. I attended his workshop in Boston. Then he generously invited me to his New York workshop a couple of years later. Then his OneLight DVD came out. Followed by the second version of that same workshop which I reviewed here. His off-camera-problem-solving-approach remains with me to this day.
Since then, however, there have been many other wonderful teachers who have introduced the topic of off-camera flash to the world. Vanessa Joy is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Freelhold, New Jersey. She is highly sought-after speaker and teacher. You should subscribe to her YouTube channel as she actively publishes videos there every week.
Vanessa Joy’s New Book
I heard that she was working on a new book about off-camera flash. I asked if we could do a short interview about the book, “The Off-Camera Flash Handbook: 32 Scenarios for Creating Beautiful Light and Stunning Photographs“. So here it is:
While Vanessa walks us through the technical aspects of using an off-camera flash in the first section of the book, it is the second section that explores 32 different real-life scenarios that caught my eye. Turning day into night, photographing couples, warming up the sky, lighting a dark room (see, this would have come handy way back when) etc.
Take a look at the book on Amazon. However, now through February 15th (Saturday), you can order the book through Rocky Nook (the publisher) and save 40% when you used the code – OFCH40. Or, order it through Amazon before it launches on April 7th, as Amazon guarantees you the best price. In either event, you will own a book that you can refer to constantly as you go out and actively use (and make mistakes) with your off-camera flash.
You can also find Vanessa Joy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.