Free your flash
Take your flashgun off-camera and it’ll improve your portraits instantly. Follow our walkthrough and see for yourself!
When we get started in photography, we all buy the essentials: a camera body, a standard zoom lens, and maybe a tripod. Then we start snapping away and learning about the camera. But (in our opinion) 90 per cent of photography is not about finding the right subject, or even getting the composition spot on, it’s actually learning about the light – its quality, position, intensity and colour.
As photographers, we don’t have to wait for the light to be right, or make the best of what we’ve got, we can take control of it. Most of us have a flashgun lying around, but never use it. We’re going to change that, so dust yours off, buy some cheap wireless flash triggers and put your flashgun to work.
This issue we’ll start with simply taking it off-camera. We’ll show you how to set your flashgun up, get it firing and balance its power with your camera settings for a stunning portrait. You don’t need any fancy equipment. A kit lens such as the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 will be fine for this, as it’s the light that makes the shot. We’ve used a maximum aperture of f/5.6, so you can see that super-wide aperture isn’t essential for taking great photos. And there are no light meters here – we’re going guerilla-style to use our off-camera flash in the simplest way possible.