View Full Version : Advice wanted on speedlight course

Exposed Monkey
23-05-2011, 10:07am
Hi all,

I've been shooting an increasing number of weddings recently, and I'm still struggling/dreading it when I have to reach for my flashes.

I have 3 speed-lights, pocket wizards, stands, gels, reflectors and diffusers. Very much a case of all the gear, and no idea. Well, not as much of an idea as I would like.

I find my approach is quite hit & miss at the moment, and while I get some good results, I want to tighten my skills up.

Can anyone recommend a good course (intermediate/advanced) for creative use of flash?

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23-05-2011, 10:10am
I try not to bite on this - but - youre doing weddings I take it professionally but admit you have no idea how to use flash and it's "hit and miss"

I think you need to reconsider weddings until your skills can guarantee a result in all conditions

Sorry to be frank.

Exposed Monkey
23-05-2011, 10:31am
Thanks for the constructive advice.

Before you make too many assumptions, I've been shooting friends weddings, and I didn't say I have no idea how to use flash, but I am far more uncomfortable using it than working with natural light.

As I'm asking for advice in improving my skills, I find your reply a bit off the mark.

Sorry to be frank..

23-05-2011, 10:41am
Well, you did say it actually "all the gear and no idea" " struggling, dreading" , "hit and miss" . I'm not reading between the lines am I ?

Re Weddings based your opening sentance I assumed youre doing it for $$ as the sole photographer ?

Anyhow, to answer your question Id imagine that there are a number of courses on this subject in NSW, I know there are up here. And sites like strobist etc, but there's no real substitution for experience in trying all sort of different settings under all sorts of different lighting and practice.

Exposed Monkey
23-05-2011, 10:50am
Yep, thanks. I appreciate there are a number of courses.

I'd ideally like someone to "recommend a good course (intermediate/advanced) for creative use of flash?"

23-05-2011, 8:09pm
I don't know whether you would class this as a course for "creative use", but this could be up you alley
Urcreative lighting course (http://www.urcreative.com.au/intermediate_course1.html)

24-05-2011, 12:59am
I'm in a similar situation to you - I consider myself an expert on on-camera bounce flash (the operative word being "I" :D), but seriously though I've had even Neil Van Niekerk (writer of the published on camera and off camera flash books as well as his Planet Neil blog) personally compliment me on my flash usage and I quote he said of my images "bounce flash handled perfectly". This is from the guy who literally wrote the book on on camera flash photography.

I say all that not to stroke my ego (ok that too) but to set the scene for where I and others perceive my competency with respect to 1 (ONE) aspect of flash use

ON THE OTHER HAND - I am a TOTAL and abysmal failure at outdoor flash use, or off camera flash use. I know how to fire a flash to get even lighting - that's it. Ask me about any studio technique or how to use fill flash or whatever, and I fail bad. So I avoid it like the plague and use available light outdoors. Always.

It all comes down to how much you practice. I have bounced flash at over 100 events, so I know it inside and out. Unfortunately you, and I, will just have bite the bullet and get cracking and practice, practice, practice.

25-05-2011, 10:18am

Go to the link for strobist 101. Do all of the exercises in sequence (starting with the basic ones where you think you already know the principle).

25-05-2011, 11:03am
pollen has already named Neil Van Niekerk. He was also the first person to come to my mind as his site has a lot of information about using flash at weddings: http://neilvn.com/tangents/index/wedding-photography/

25-05-2011, 2:55pm
well the OP has already been banned, but I consider most courses to be a $ ripoff given the resources available free online.
but if you're too lazy to read a webpage, sure you can sit a 3hr course that covers the same content.

25-05-2011, 5:49pm
well the OP has already been banned, but I consider most courses to be a $ ripoff given the resources available free online.
but if you're too lazy to read a webpage, sure you can sit a 3hr course that covers the same content.

Yep, they took offence to use removing the commercial company name they kept trying to promote. There are several posts in this thread that are no longer visible to members, that breached the site rules. Even after a PM warning, they tried again, so we decided to ban them. Not like we hadn't given them plenty of warnings.