Adding and Using Multiple Flashes

It Needs More Flash!

flash photography

Mastered your external flash and now you’re ready for flashier images (yes, pun intended)?

Add a second – or even third and fourth – flash!

Add a flash and hair light to light your subject
Add a flash and hair light to light your subject

Where would you place an additional flash?

  • Add a flash to light your subject’s hair by positioning the flash behind your subject off to the right.
  • Try a flash opposite from the one you have to create even lighting across the entire subject.
  • Light up another part of the scene.
  • Keep shadows off a wall.

I’m sure you’ll come up with more ways to use a second flash as you experiment. Just be careful you can’t see the extra flash or stand in your photograph.

How do you control the second flash?

You can control is from your camera or using a wireless flash system such as Elinchrom Skyport or Pocket Wizard.

To control a second CANON Speedlite flash:

  • Hold the zoom button on the back of the flash until the display blinks
  • Using the “select” dial, change the mode to “slave” then press the select button.
  • Now your second flash will fire when the first flash does.
  • If you have your camera set up to control the power of your flashes, make sure you assign this second flash to Group B by pressing and holding the “zoom” button on the back of your flash and using the select dial to choose “Group B”.

If the second flash is too bright in comparison to the first, you can set the ratio.

  • Hold the zoom button until you’ve highlighted “Ratio”.
  • Set the ratio amount 1:2, 1:4, or 1:8.

This is a test and check situation.

Flash Photography
Creativity is Key in Flash Photography!

To control a second NIKON flash:

  • Set back of the second flash to “Group B.”
  • Press the Menu button on the back of your camera.
  • Go to the Custom Settings menu.
  • Choose “Bracketing/Flash”.
  • Select “Built-in Flash”.
  • Pick “Commander Mode”.
  • The brightness control for Group B will be found in the Comp field to the far right. Scroll to that field and change the brightness.
  • Test and check, lowering the brightness until you like what you see.

Your main flash is controlled by the Group A field. A drawback to this method is that your pop-up flash has to be used to trigger your other flashes.

Have fun coming up with ways to create awesome images where you control the light!

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