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Hi Macro Photographer, are you ready to learn flash photography?

This is the third blog post I have on Macro Photography Basics, so if you haven’t started this series that I am working on for you then start here and learn what is macro photography.

What is macro photography?

The Basics of Outdoor Macro Photography


Continuous Light

Today, it’s all about flash. You’re probably wondering why I’m not starting you out with continuous light. Why?

Continuous light is basically just like your cell phone light. So you push the button and you see the light that just continually goes on. You can grab your subject and then continually just have the light on the subject.

The reason why I don’t want to go into continuous light is that you’re already understanding light using natural light and the reason why macro photographers really need to understand the flash is because we want to stop motion.

Now, if you’ve shot outdoors you’ll see that wind can be a huge factor, and also if you have bugs or critters moving around and you can’t get the shutter speed as fast as you like. Your flash will pop and it will stop that motion in an instant.

Chip monk in the desert

Two different flashes

There are two different flashes that I share in the video but I want to explain something to you because you’ll hear a lot of photographers saying I don’t like this, I don’t like that…

Well, that’s okay because they shoot a certain way.

What I want to share with you is what you’ll need to buy what works for you and I’m going to help you out on that today.

The Ring Light

I like a variety of tools depending on what I love to photograph, so when I’m photographing
flowers and subjects that are not shiny, the ring light is amazing.

This will stop the motion, you can turn the actual light source, and you could take the light off the lens and move it around to give the subject a different feel to it.

Flash and Diffuser

So, on the other hand, the flash that you can put on your camera works well when you’re not crazy close to your subject. But, you will need a diffuser which is so cheap.

The diffuser goes on your lens and then as you take the picture, the light from the flash will go through a diffuser and come out nice and soft so you don’t see all the crazy specular highlights.

Specular Highlights

Specular highlights are that white funky stuff that’s kind of splattered all over your subject.

It doesn’t feel soft, your eyes go to the brightest areas of your subject or around your frame and you don’t want all those crazy highlights in the frame because it will take others away from your story.

Through-the-Lens Mode

So no matter what flash you’re using, I want you to use a mode called through the lens and basically what that means is that the light is going through the lens to the sensor so the camera is calculating the exposure and telling the flash how much to pop.

Exposure Compensation

When you use it through the lens, it will most likely make your exposure either too bright or too dark. It rarely gets it just right. That’s why we’re going to use exposure compensation

Using exposure compensation in the flash is absolutely amazing and it’s a good way to learn how to use your flash before we dive into the manual. Right now, you’re a beginner so I want you to play.

Once you select through the lens, you’ll see a minus and plus option. When you see a zero, it means that it’s at full power. If I want it less light popping, press the minus from the menu in the lens. If I want a much brighter pop from the flash, push the plus sign, and don’t forget to do some test shots.

Shutter Speed

When you’re using flash, most cameras will not let you use a shutter speed over 200 to 250th of a second.

Now if you would like to dive into flash photographing with a bit more creativity to your work then check out the video below. Always feel free to as questions, this is how you learn 🙂

So my tip is that take a lot of pictures with your flash in order to understand how to use it and of course, if you would like to work with me in more detail CLICK HERE and join the Mentorship Program.


Cheers, to flash!


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