Centre for Continuing Education

Mastering Your Speedlight Course: Camera and Flash Made Easy

Photography. Focus your creativity.

Learn Photography the smart way with Photography courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

Aims

This Mastering your Speedlight course is perfect for those wanting to get the maximum from their accessory speedlights with the minimum of fuss. Over the two days you’ll learn about creative portraiture techniques, how to manage natural, continuous and electronic lighting and how to get the best from your own equipment. This includes how to control light manually, how to use high speed flash sync modes, how to set up and shoot wirelessly and how to use multi-burst mode (where available).

Work indoors and on location, with an assignment to complete and submit for feedback via Dropbox and Vimeo, after the class officially finishes.

Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Control and operate their flash units in all its modes (i.e. Auto, E-TTL, Manual and High Speed).
  2. Work with their own equipment to create perfectly-exposed fill-flash results.
  3. Work with fast lenses to create shallow depth of field effects (tutor supplies lens if students do not own one).
  4. Combine artificial flash and natural light to create a perfectly-balanced environmental portrait.
  5. Freeze fast-paced action using the speedlight’s high-speed flash functionality.
  6. Arrange studio-style lighting effects using just one light source.
  7. Learn the basics of product photography.
  8. Create professional results with multiple flash units (tutor to supply if students don’t own multiple flash units).

Content

This course covers the following topics:

  • Using: On-camera flash
  • Controlling power with flash exposure compensation
  • Mastering flash features and functions including: Auto, E-TTL, iTTL settings; manual control; slave and commander flash modes (for off-camera wireless operation); multi-flash and high speed flash synchronisation settings (for large aperture or extremely fast shutter speed shooting techniques)
  • Modifying the flash: hand-held reflectors
  • Modifying the flash: diffusers, gobos, honeycomb grids and snoots
  • Best lenses for use with flash
  • Portrait composition tips
  • Dragging the shutter: combining movement with flash
  • Alternative (budget) approaches to equipment and lighting
  • Traditional studio lighting techniques
  • Single light portraits
  • High and low-key lighting
  • Using a ring flash (tutor to supply)
  • Post-production software techniques
  • File choice: RAW versus JPEG
  • Controlling colour

Intended Audience

Suitable for personal interest adult learners, university students, YouTubers, online marketers, in house advertising and active retirees who have a clear interest in photography and lighting. Participants need to have a reasonably good understanding of the technical functions of their cameras before undertaking this class, plus a reasonable grasp of either Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom (or a similar photo editing application).

Materials

Please bring a DSLR or mirrorless camera and an accessory flash unit (dedicated, or third party), plus a good portrait lens if you have one (i.e. a lens with a focal length of between 85 and 135mm).

Other equipment that would be helpful, but is certainly not compulsory includes:

  • A tripod
  • Reflector
  • Wireless flash triggers
  • Small object like a perfume bottle (for the product shot exercise).

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • An excellent tutor with a great sense of humour, great presentation skills and in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. It was a very informative and enjoyable course.

  • Thank you for an informative and enjoyable short course. Special thanks to our facilitator who was articulate and has been so generous with much guidance and inspiration.

  • The tutor has raised my confidence in using speedlite flash photography and understanding what settings achieve what effect. Thank you.

  • The general and theoretical aspects of the course were well taught and well illustrated. The tutorials/practicals with models were highly informative, especially in the old-world setting of the sandstone college.