Working with flash can open your photography to many creative options, as you’ve probably seen from most studio setups and even some outdoor photography projects. If you’re thinking of finally adding a flash to your tools of the trade, this tutorial has everything you need to know to get started. As a bonus, this will especially be of great use if you’re eyeing the Profoto A1X flash.
The short but sweet video below was part of the tutorials Profoto recently launched to showcase the Profoto A1X, which is touted to be the world’s smallest studio light. While the tutorial series was intended to highlight how the flash model is perfectly suited for beginners, there are still some handy tips here for whatever flash model you decide to get.
Before adding flash to the picture, make sure to dial in your camera settings first. Choose the best ISO setting for the shooting condition and an aperture setting that will give you the depth of field you need for your shot. In the tutorial, an aperture of f2.0 was chosen for a shallow depth of field that isolates the subjects from the background. Set the shutter speed according to how bright or dark you want your background to be. Feel free to start with 1/500th or 1/1000th as the video showed, then adjust it as needed.
Next, add your flash. You have the option to use it in Manual Mode for fixed flash exposure, or set it to Auto Mode or TTL to let it choose the best flash exposure based on the ambient light in your scene. Manual Mode is best for shooting situations where the ambient light is consistent, when the distance between the subject and the flash is fixed, or simply when you want to be in control of the settings. TTL is perfect for beginners because it works with automatic settings and provides the right amount of flash power each time. It’s also handy when you’re working with moving subjects.
Screenshot image from the video by Profoto