Tips for using manual flash
The automatic TTL flash setting is fine as a starting point, but like all automatic settings it can sometimes go awry and produce very bright or dark backgrounds.
So, once you get more confident with your flash you can start to explore the manual flash settings to get more consistent results. This takes a little practice, and to begin with you’ll need to refer to the flashgun’s manual or the rear panel to discover the correct power setting to use depending on the distance between the flash and the subject.
Suggested shutter speeds for blurring motion with flash
Fast-moving action (cars, motorbikes)
1/60 to 1/125 sec with flash
Medium-speed action (bikes, people running)
1/15 to 1/60 sec with flash
Slow-moving subjects (people walking)
1/4 to 1/15 sec with flash
Go one step at a time
Once you start to play around with the settings on your camera it can be difficult to work out how the changes you’ve made affect the image.
Try to change one setting at a time, and when you’ve got time to experiment, try setting manual mode and then adjusting the power manually to see what effect it has on the exposure.
Flash sync speed
When setting your exposure, remember that for most systems there will be a maximum shutter speed you can use with the flash (usually around 1/200 to 1/250 sec). Some flashguns feature so-called high-speed sync, which enables you to shoot at shutter speeds higher than this – see your manual for more.
PAGE 1: Best photography accessories: Tripods
PAGE 2: Setting up your tripod & features to look for
PAGE 3: Getting the most from budget flashguns
PAGE 4: Tips for using manual flash
PAGE 5: Using neutral density filters
PAGE 6 – Filter systems explained
PAGE 7 – Using ND grad filters
PAGE 8 – Using polarisers
PAGE 9 – Common problems caused by filters
10 common exposure problems every photographer faces (and how to fix them)
How camera flash works: free photography cheat sheet
What is flash sync? Your flash modes and when to use them (free cheat sheet)
Common mistakes at every shutter speed (and the best settings to use)