At the Fujifilm Festival in NYC, we had the chance to pick the mind of David Hobby: otherwise known as the Strobist. He gave us a number of tips on how to get into flash photography if you’re just getting started. We always preface this with saying that off-camera flash is about thinking creatively with your subjects and your photos. You add an element and tend to do a lot more than just capturing a moment. Instead, it’s about creating something that isn’t there.
David started off by talking to use about the difference between TTL and Manual. And while lots of photographers think that TTL is the end all be all for them, that’s really not true. TTL works by reading the camera’s ISO and aperture settings and outputting light based on that. It knows nothing about the look that you really want or are going for. Maybe you want something brighter than what it’s giving, for example.
He continues on to talk about buying your first flash and even recommends doing it before you get your second lens. Hobby reasons that if you use an off-camera flash, you’ll be able to do more with just that one lens than you could with another focal length. And honestly, he’s right. There are so many more creative possibilities that you can open up to that another lens can’t necessarily give you. Instead, it’s all about light.
David’s website has been around for many years and has been a central hub for lots of ideas and tutorials for photographers that have wanted to get into lighting for years. It has spawned Flickr groups, Facebook groups, etc. Those groups all showcase the work of creative photographers that have wanted to get into doing portraits more than anything else out there.