Flash For Hobbyists (Photo Taco)

Jeff Harmon answers listener a question about hobbyist photographers getting into flash photography from listener Jose Lopez:

“I've primarily been taking photos of landscapes, events, and other natural light subjects, but recently wanted to do more photography where a flash would be beneficial. I've watched the Improve Photography tutorials and spent hours looking online at YouTube and I find that it's a bit overwhelming. I've purchased a two YN560 flashes (after reviewing the Recommended Gear page on ImprovePhotography.com), and started to look into light modifiers. That's where I'm starting to get a bit overwhelmed. I got a small softbox, a 5 in 1 reflector, a shoot-through umbrella, and an inexpensive lightsphere clone. I'm not sure what the best settings to use for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Since the YN560s are manual flashes it's a lot of chimping to see if I got it even close. I was hoping that you might be able to dive into the topic from a hobbyist standpoint and point me in the right direction. I'm sure I'm not the first person to be a bit intimidated by flashes.”

Ad: You can have your own 7 hour custom Photo Taco episode and learn how to become a ninja with your camera by joining Jeff and his wife Suzie at a workshop after the Improve Photography Retreat in Charleston, South Carolina. More information is available at https://www.jsharmonphotos.com/workshop

Jeff goes over some hobbyist budget friendly options for getting the equipment needed to get started:

  1. 2x Yongnuo YN560-IV flashes: https://yongnuousa.net/products/yn-560iv
  2. Yongnuo 560-TX controller: https://www.amazon.com/YONGNUO-YN560-TX-Controller-YN560-III-function/dp/B00NIJ0UY6/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1507584128&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=yn560-tx&psc=1
  3. Neewer 60″ white diffuser umbrella: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KL57D68/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  4. Neewer 7′ Light Stand: https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Photography-Studio-Portrait-Lighting/dp/B00UWDD2D2/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1507576190&sr=8-7&keywords=neewer+light+stand
  5. Fotodiox Elite Flash Umbrella Bracket: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ODKX4Q/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  6. Fotodiox F60 Quick-Collapse Flash Softbox: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TBUD4IK/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Jeff also goes through how it is he approaches settings when using flash. Generally starts out at his flash sync speed which is 1/250 on his Canon 7DM2, as low an aperture as he can (mostly f/2.8) and still have everyone in the photo in focus, and ISO at 100. If the portrait needs to include the natural surroundings outdoors the he uses in-camera metering to get the background properly exposed and add just a little more light to the models.

Other resources mentioned in the episode:

YN560-IV: A Helpful Illustrated Guide: https://improvephotography.com/46408/yn560iv-manual-helpful-illustrated-guide/

YN560TX Manual: A Helpful Illustrated Guide: https://improvephotography.com/45476/yn560tx-helpful-illustrated-guide/

Jeff’s Post-Retreat Workshop: https://www.jsharmonphotos.com/workshop

Other Photo Taco Resources:
Vote for Jeff’s “Cull” module idea to be added to Lightroom: https://bit.ly/cullmodule

Photo Taco Archive: https://improvephotography.com/category/taco/
Improve Photography Podcast Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ImprovePhotographyListeners/
Photo Taco Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phototacopodcast/
Photo Taco email: [email protected]

Jeff’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/harmon_jeff
Jeff’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jsharmonphotos/
Jeff’s Portfolio: https://jsharmonphotos.com
Jeff’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/harmonjeff/

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