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It’s a little past 4:00 a.m. and I just finished watching all three hours of the just-released Fro Knows Photo Beginner Flash Guide. A lot of photography-related books and videos come across my desk, and my favorites are always those that have something to offer not only the beginner, but the advanced photographer as well. This is absolutely one of them. In this follow-up video to his Fro Knows Photo Beginner Guide, Jared Polin (the aforementioned Fro) leads you on an off-camera flash adventure, taking you from hopelessly intimidated to supremely confident in a style all his own. Not bad for a three-hour tour. With expert assistance from friend and professional photographer Adam Lerner, viewers have a front-row seat to everything from breaking down the contents of an affordable-but-effective light kit, to a behind-the-scenes look at six professional-grade photo shoots, all lit with a single speedlight and a convertible umbrella.
The Beginner Flash Guide starts literally from the ground up, planting a light stand firmly on the floor and explaining not only the contents of the light kit, but how those five or six pieces all work together to achieve professional-quality lighting without breaking the bank. Jared launched FroKnowsPhoto.com in 2010– a brand and a website that quickly became synonymous with making advanced photography techniques accessible not only to professional photographers, but also to beginners, hobbyists, and enthusiasts. The Beginner Flash Guide maintains and elevates that educational philosophy, taking what can be the confusing language and landscape of photographic lighting, and essentially handing the viewer a dictionary and a road map.
Among the nuts and bolts laid out are: The Lighting Kit Explained, Four Ways to Trigger Your Flash, Flash-to-Subject Distance, How Shutter Speed Affects Ambient Light, Understanding Flash Zoom, and Quality of Light. Plus, thirteen “Quick Tips” interspersed throughout the lessons cover some minor and some not-so-minor details on topics ranging from which rechargeable batteries you should use (lithium) to how best to interact with your subject. Word to the wise– make sure you take notes– they’ll make retaining and applying the information to your own photography much easier. An additional, non-video element is the included Flash Photography Field Guide– a six-page PDF designed to be printed and tucked away in your camera bag for quick, easy reference. The field guide does a great job of summarizing the basics covered in the videos, as well as offering suggestions for overcoming some real-world lighting challenges.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a mentor or someone to show them the ropes when they are first trying to learn this stuff. The BFG can and will fill that void. But even if you already have a firm grasp of off-camera flash principles– or just need a refresher– the lessons in this video guide can enhance and build upon what you already know. There will always be trial and error when it comes to learning and experimenting with photographic lighting. The Beginner Flash Guide, though, can help you minimize the error.
Get your copy of the Fro Knows Photo Beginner Flash Guide here.