My external flash and I have a love/hate relationship: love it when it works properly, hate it when I don’t get the desired results. Fortunately, I’ve got sense enough to realize that I am the problem, not the light. If I’d use and study it more it would be less intimidating, more predictable with less guess work. I love Zack Arias‘s quote that it’s “just a piece of plastic and four batteries.”

If you attend Photoshop World, you want to either meet Joe McNally, attend one of Joe McNally’s classes, or just be Joe McNally. There is no other Joe (except Joe from MPix, but that’s another story).

Bright and early last Thursday morning I attended “Big Light from Small Flashes.” The class was packed; I actually sat in the center aisle.


The biggest piece of info I walked away with (and for goodness sake, somebody correct me if I remembered this wrong) is this: adjust aperture to compensate for flash, shutter speed for ambient light. I immediately had a chance to test it while shooting candids at our Father/Daughter Dance on Saturday night.

The gym was dimly lit, but my flash was triggering the flash on the camera of the photographer shooting the official portraits, so I switched to low aperture, high ISO, no flash for the beginning of the evening. Once I was able to use flash, I had to increase the aperture to keep from blowing out the highlights. I just kept tweaking aperture and shutter speed, trying to achieve the desired results from flash and ambient light. I would rather play a learning game than a guessing game any day.

By the end of the evening, I wanted to trade my SB-600 for an SB-800 with a diffuser, but that’s yet another story.

Here are some more shots of Joe wowing the crowd at Photoshop World:




This post brought to you by my Photoshop World sponsors, Red River Paper and Artistic Photo Canvas.

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