Quick Off-Camera Flash Tutorial


Using off-camera flash is one of the most requested articles we get here at dPS. I found this short but informative video on YouTube on using off-camera flash. My thought after watching it was “oh that poor girl” at it was clearly shot in some rather nasty weather.

check it out here:

For more articles on off-camera flash see:

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Darlene Hildebrandt is the Managing Editor of dPS. She is also an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Morocco and India. To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!

  • Bill Bentley

    Good gravy. What a day to shoot a tutorial. Poor girl must have half frozen to death.

  • Patrick Mc Donnell

    Poor girl! Rotten weather to film a tutorial, she looked cold, wet and stoic.

  • Mike Brehaut

    She was fine, we only nipped out of the car for short times between shots. Eden hasn’t much body fat so feels the cold more. We are filming again later today and it’s much warmer and sunny now 🙂

  • Jacques

    Love his explanation of the shutter, really is far more effective than just trying to tell someone why, is to actually show them why

  • Jacqueline Derrick

    LOL! You said “Good gravy” I say that all the time, I heard it from an older woman I was taking care of, and thought “I like that, I think I will start using it.” I have never heard anyone else since then use this term, but myself. LOL, thanks for making my day!

  • Jacqueline Derrick

    Well, no one forced her to be there, obviously she did not mind or she would have refused. If she is getting paid to be a model, it comes with the territory! People don’t say “oh poor meter reader, electrician, etc.” when they are forced to work in terrible weather. I am sure she is fine.

  • Jacqueline Derrick

    To all the people focusing on the model….Well, no one forced her to be there, obviously she did not mind or she would have refused. If she is getting paid to be a model, it comes with the territory! People don’t say “oh poor meter reader, electrician, etc.” when they are forced to work in terrible weather. I am sure she is fine.

    Great tutorial! You did a wonderful job explaining flash off.

  • Bill Bentley

    Glad there are others out there who use it too. 🙂 I can’t remember where (if) I first heard it, but I’ve been going with it for a while now. “Good grief” never made sense to me. Is there such a thing?

  • Jacqueline Derrick

    I never thought about “good grief” but now that you mention it, it does not make much sense…lol…

  • exactly why I shared it!

  • this is your video Mike?

  • Mike Brehaut

    Hi Darlene, yes I made it a few weeks back. I’ve made another yesterday on using gels with off camera flash and making a couple today on creative use of white balance with flash and using reflectors.

  • Mike Brehaut

    Thanks Jacqueline, yes I paid Eden for her time and she modelled for another video yesterday. I always make sure she brings a coat and wears it between shoots.

  • mary

    Maybe I missed it but what power was his flash set to? Did he shoot the flash in manual or TTL?

  • Stu

    She’s obviously from England & it looked like a typical summers day. She probably loved it lol

  • Angie DeValcourt Wagner

    Thanks for the video. Love how you explained it! Made so much more sense thank what I have seen and read!

  • Chris Best

    Great tutorial. Thanks

  • Karsh

    do you have a series on off flash using canon speed light and 7d or similar dslr?

  • Perry Bailey

    I don’t understand the necessity to ask a model to shoot in inclement weather. I know she’s getting paid to shoot but the tutorial wasn’t about getting nice photos even in miserable overcast conditions, it was about off camera flash and bouncing the flash to spread the light from the flash. This could have been just as effectively demonstrated in a studio or on a day that wasn’t so dreary even if it was just as overcast. I noticed you were wearing a hoodie over your shirt, and you were moving about unlike her where she has to stand like a statue for you to get your shot. I think a good photographer considers the comfort of his models. Just because they are “getting paid” it doesn’t mean they should be treated like serf or peasants. I’m sorry, but it’s hard to get much from the video when I see the model is clearly in discomfort.

  • Perry Bailey

    No Jacqueline, “nobody forced her to be there” as you say. But we both know that if she would have refused to shoot that day, she might as well have said she was getting out of the modeling business, because she likely wouldn’t get called on again by anyone. So she soldiers on even if it made her sick the next day.

    Getting paid doesn’t remove her dignity as a human being.

  • Jacqueline Derrick

    The weather was not that terrible! My goodness, people are acting like she was in a bikini in the middle of winter! It was a little windy and yes maybe a little chilly. Stop being so dramatic.

  • Mike Madden

    I may have missed it, but what where the speed light settings? TTL? Manual?

  • Ian Scott

    Karsh, got to http://www.neilvn.com then follow the link to his blog, you will find a wealth of info and instruction about off camera flash for all situations; he uses Canon speedlights and Canon camera’s and also Nikons, but actually the camera model is not an issue, the techniques he demonstrates are excellent, after reading Neils blog you will be in love with your flash !

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