TTL vs Manual Flash: What Photographers Need to Know

Many folks don’t know the difference between TTL vs manual flash, or how it will change the way they create.

Most photographers realize that flash output is still better than constant lighting. But the biggest struggle is with TTL vs. manual flash output. Most people don’t understand it. And to be honest, most experienced photographers are also frustrated with it. But in time, you learn to tell it what to do. Think about it this way. You use your camera in manual mode, right? And if you don’t, then you at least know how to do so. The strobe and flash output that you can get is similar.

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Blending Flash with Natural Light (And Getting it Right in Camera!)

Blending flash and natural light is all about listening to the light meter in the camera.

“Why can’t I just do this in post-production?” is what I heard in a recent event I attended on mixed lighting and flash. Many times the answer is that a photographer can’t get an organic look and effect in the scene. Further, why work a long time in post-production when you can just get the image right in-camera? Why can’t you achieve your creative vision without the use of a computer or an app? And why do you need to live by that preset life? In this tutorial, we’re going to walk through the ideas behind blending natural light and flash.

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How to Light Your Macro Photos and Get Sharper Images

Macro photography doesn’t need to be shot at ISO 32000; but you can do it with just a little bit of help from a flash.

When you think about macro images, we often imagine those really, really detailed close up photos. As long as there is good lighting, it’s simple to do with focus stacking or even just stopping the lens down with enough light in the scene. Many photographers on their spare time adore the meditative act of fixating on an object and photographing it to get every single detail of the subject. These objects are typically small toys, food, insects, plants, etc. It’s fun and requires the photographer to make a number of very repetitive but careful movements. But of course, every bit of lighting is always useful and we don’t always have good lighting naturally around. But don’t worry: using a flash in this situation is pretty much brainless.

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Yes, a Photographer’s Lenses are Still More Important Than Their Camera

Years ago, we wrote about how your lenses are more important than your camera; and that’s still true.

Photography has changed, but amazingly not all that much in the terms of lenses vs cameras. And the reason why I’m coming to this is because of a number of discussions that happened over the holiday season as they pertain to cameras being crap or great. The truth: a crappy camera can take amazing images with great lenses while simultaneously a great camera can take crappy images with a terrible lens. It’s a true statement and I’m not sure that anyone should really consider anything else to be the truth.

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Simpler Than You Think: The Secret To Metering a Portrait Photo With a Flash

Sooooooooo many photographers are completely and totally scared of using a flash, but in all truthfulness it’s probably sometimes easier than metering for natural light. Because a camera has options like aperture priority for a photographer to tell the camera only what depth of field a photographer wants, lots of photographers tend to opt for this setting more than anything else. If you’re shooting in manual mode, this can work too but it isn’t always worth doing.

Now what if I told you that when working with a flash, you can set it and forget it? Well, it’s true for the most part.

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Review: Sony a9 (The Camera for Photojournalists and Sports Shooters)

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It took Sony long enough, but earlier this year the company announced a true flagship mirrorless camera: the Sony a9. The Sony a9 is designed to take on the likes of the Canon 1DX Mk II and the Nikon D5. It’s a camera designed for a photojournalist who needs not a whole lot of resolution but a balance between that and good high ISO output. To appeal to these photographers, Sony gave the Sony a9 an impressive 20 fps shooting ability with no blackout of the viewfinder. The autofocus is also very effective and can be used with a variety of lenses designed for the Sony E mount. Other connections such as a built-in ethernet port and dual card slots are also bound to be very valuable to these photographers. Indeed, the Sony a9 is a camera for the working pro who brings in gainful employment and taxable income using their camera. With that said, you’d be absolutely stupid to purchase this for street photography unless you’re making some serious money off of it–so just stop right there.

Despite how fantastic it is, Sony still hasn’t gotten it 100% perfectly right. But to be fair, neither have Canon or Nikon.

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Gallery: Sony a9 High ISO Image Samples (And Extended Impressions)

We’re almost done with our review of the new Sony a9 camera; and so far it’s shaping up to mostly be pretty great. This post is to mostly showcase High ISO image samples from the new Sony a9, and before we go on you should know that it does a fantastic job and I personally like the high ISO output even more than I do from the Sony a7s II. The Sony a9 is targeted at the professional photographer who uses the Canon 1DX Mk II and the Nikon D5. But in some ways it also is trying to go after the Pentax 645z, the Hasselblad X1D and the Fujifilm GFX 50s with the wedding photography crowd. For the most part, those photographers will have found one of the best cameras that they can use.

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We’ve Updated Our Canon EOS M5 Review: New High ISO Rating

Hi everyone,

This is just a quick news post to tell everyone that we’ve updated our Canon EOS M5 review. When we were initially testing the camera’s image quality output, we only ran it through Lightroom. For a while now, I’ve chosen to stop working in Lightroom as I feel many of the same issues that many of you speak of.

Capture One Pro 10 announced its latest update yesterday though, and things have changed.

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Review: Leica M10

The Leica M10 has to be one of the worst kept secrets from Leica in a while. Perhaps it’s because it generated a whole lot of excitement, and indeed it’s worth the hype. For the purist photographer, this is bound to be a tool that they’ll closely look at. With a 24MP CMOS full frame sensor, this camera is the company’s smallest M digital camera and this was done by creating a camera that more or less is super densely packed. It’s around the same size as the company’s film M cameras.

We’ve been playing with the Leica M10 for a while now, and in truth, we really like it.

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The Phoblographer Answers: Do Professional Photographers Use TTL?

One of the questions that has been typed very often into our search engine bar is whether or not professional photographers use TTL flash. It’s easy to see how this can become confusing as many photographers out there speak about only shooting in manual all the time. Considering that TTL metering is essentially the same as shooting in auto mode or P (for professional, or Program) mode, then it would just make sense that you shouldn’t use it because no professional shoots in auto, right?

Well, not really.

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The Basics of Bouncing a Flash’s Light Output

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 24-35mm f2 food photos (1 of 2)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.8

When photographers first start working with flashes, they initially learn to create light by bouncing the flash head’s output off of surfaces. The more experienced shooters will tell you to simply just bounce it but they never explain the concept and reasoning as to why one would do this. Flashes also have different settings that help you get different results and that can work with your camera settings to render a whole load of different looks.

Here’s how to understand the basics of bouncing a flash’s light output.

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Useful Photography Tip #137: How to Use Flash to Mimic the Look of Sunlight

Chris Gampat Raiyan Saed's portraits (7 of 11)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 3.2

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When shooting portrait subjects, there are typically three lights that you talk about: a main light, a fill and a hair light. But when shooting outdoors with lots of natural light, those rules to go out the window. Your main light often becomes the sun, whether diffused or not.

This tip is a bit more advanced and requires you to build on things cumulatively. First off, when shooting outdoors, we think that you should always try to shoot in the shade where you’ve got more control over the light. After you’ve got full control of the light, you can use a flash to add in a bit of fake sun.

Look at the edge of Raiyan’s face camera right, see the light? It was a flash in a beauty dish, but gives a natural look of sunlight.

So how do you do this? Let’s recap:

– Shoot outdoors

– Use the shadows and get total control over your lighting situation

– Place a flash either with the wide angle diffuser, in a beauty dish, or in a rectangular shaped softbox to add a bit of rim lighting

To make this even more emphasized with the look of sunlight, try adding a gradient–which builds even more on other tips that we’ve done. It’s all about adding the extra rim light that looks very natural but subdued.

Give it a shot. This is something you have to do more than us telling you about it.

Review: Adorama Flashpoint Zoom Li-on Flash

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Zoom Li-on Radio flash review (2 of 9)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.8

The world of radio hot shoe flashes has been marinating for a couple of years now. The original is Quantum, but then Canon did it and Yongnuo and Phottix soon followed through. It was only a matter of time until the retailers started to create their own versions with their own house brands. Adorama’s Flashpoint series have been known for years to be extremely stellar products; and their new Zoom Li-on flash is really no exception. It isn’t really a radio flash per se, but it’s designed to be. At a mere $99.99 for the fully manual version, you’ve got very little to complain about.

With a Guide Number of 112 and an innovative type of battery for a hot shoe flash, the company also claims a 1.5 second recycle time, stroboscopic mode, front/rear curtain sync, and a modelling light.

But what makes it even more special is the fact that you can control the power output via Flashpoint’s own radio transmitter.

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Magic Lantern Team Discovers 2K RAW DNG Video Output on the Canon 5D Mk II and Mk III

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC II review photos product photos (1 of 10)

Years ago, the Canon 5D Mk II revolutionized the cinema industry with its full frame sensor and HD video output at 30p. Then a firmware was added to allow 24p. Afterwards, the Canon 5D Mk III offerred more improvements over video and at the end of this month, an uncompressed video option will be coming via a firmware update.

But the Magic Lantern team has announced via their Facebook page today that while going through the firmwares on the cameras that they discovered a 2K RAW DNG function Live View Output that was previously not known about–but it cannot be recorded. The team is currently researching more into it, but both cameras are capable of recording a 2040 x 1428 DNG stream. And at this point, we’re really wondering why it wasn’t allowed natively on the camera.

Further, they’re saying that the image quality is very good. If the team can figure out a way for it to be recorded, this will be some extremely exciting news. As it is, DSLR footage isn’t as versatile as actual camcorders.

Via EOS HD