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Guest Post Monday - Candice Stringham

Hello! I am Candice Stringham, the photography instructor at I would like to introduce you to one of the secrets of great photography (and one of the least understood): An External Flash. I’ve developed a five-week class that walks you through the ins-and-outs of great flash photography. It’s called Flash of Brilliance, and registration begins tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time! The class itself begins January 21.

Why should you take Flash of Brilliance?

In my beginning digital SLR photography class, “Oh, Shoot,” I’m constantly telling my students to turn off the flash, use natural light, and use basic camera settings instead. This is because the tiny little pop up flash on your DSLR simply cannot be used to light objects or people in a flattering or interesting way. The light source is small and comes from right above the lens, giving you direct harsh light, red eye, and squinting subjects.
With an external flash (a separate flash unit you can use on or off camera- see video below), you have a larger light source that can tilt, angle, and bounce; a light that is much more dynamic, flattering and interesting. Having and knowing how to use an external flash can be of a huge benefit to your photography in lowlight situations.

Here are a few circumstances you’ll love using an external flash:

  • Low light images taken with a high ISO, creating noise in your images later.
  • A party in the evening with a high chance of great images in really low light.
  • A husband or son that is never seen without a baseball cap on. When you expose for the overall scene, you get a great exposure on everything but their face, which is dark and shaded from the hat.
  • Christmas morning or when children wake up before the sun comes up; there is never enough light to get great looking photographs.
  • Needing to photograph things at night for an ETSY or online shop.

These are just a few of many situations that an external flash can really help!

If you haven’t used an external flash in the past because the settings and information in your manual seemed overwhelming, don’t let that stop you now. After years of teaching, I have found the best ways to communicate how to use your camera and flash in the simplest and most clear way possible. With the help of Nancy Riley, Kimber Hodson, and myself in the forums, live chats, videos, flash cards, and PDF’s, we will be there for you every step of the way. You will find that it’s a lot less intimidating and a lot
more fun to know that, in any lighting circumstance, you can get great photographs!

I’ve recorded an introductory video so you can see what you’ll need, and get inspired to take the class!

I hope you’ll join us for Flash of Brilliance - there are two tracks you can take - one standard, and one extended that includes comments from your instructors. Either track you choose, you’ll have access to ALL of the class materials FOREVER. Let’s start the New Year off with gorgeous photos!

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Reader Comments (3)

This class is awesome!! Learned so much - even though I've been a die-hard Nikon user in M mode since I was 12 - RUN, do not walk, to snag this class and get the extended version, grab it. You can thank me later.
January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
Will there be a similar class that includes other cameras at some point in the future? Mine is a Pentax and I'd love to take the class at some point.
January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusie
Susie, it's unlikely that we will be able to expand the class to specifically include other brands of camera and flash manufacturers. There are just too many different models of flashes, and they are constantly changing.

However, there were several people in the first run of the flash class who were using other camera and flash brands, and they did fine in the class. Most of the class is about principles of lighting, rather than the dials and knobs on the flash. If you can use your camera and flash manual to figure out the mechanical how-to, the class can still be very useful.
January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Riley

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