Beginner Photographer ... TTL flash or Manual?

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by Ashley.elizabeth, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. Ashley.elizabeth

    Ashley.elizabeth TPF Noob!

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    Hi everybody,

    I have just started my own photography business the past couple of months. I had a couple of minor shoots and I have been doing some landscape shots. I recently received an external flash unit for my birthday, and I am spending some time getting familiar with all of the settings.

    I'm just curious on opinions about the TTL flash. I've heard it isn't recommended because it underexposes the background, etc. What are some of your thoughts and in which situations would you agree it to be suitable?

    I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts :)


     
  2. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    I'm not a pro, but if you are in a studio setting you'll want to learn how to use it in Manual mode. The same can be said if you use it out of the studio.

    The main issue with TTL is that the flash may do pre-flashes which will make people squint before the photo is taken, and you don't want that. Plus, you'll be in full control of the exposure instead of the camera.

    This requires understanding lighting in relation to exposure.
     
  3. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    only if you allow it to.

    In that situation you should be exposing your camera for teh background and using TTL to fill the subject to match.

    A manual flash is probably more likely to underexpose the background, as you're most likely to setup the camera and flash to expose for the subject at a given flash power.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm not quite sure how to reconcile the phrases, " I recently received an external flash unit" and "getting familiar with all of the settings" with "I have just started my own photography business the past couple of months" given that an external speedlight is one of the most basic and necessary accessories in any professional photographer's kit, and the thorough understanding of one's gear is the very cornerstone of your professional career.

    That aside, TTL is, IMO, of very limited use. It's fine for event work, 'run and gun' type shooting, wedding receptions, and so forth, but manual flash will always produce consistent, repeatable results, whereas TTL will not.
     
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  5. Ashley.elizabeth

    Ashley.elizabeth TPF Noob!

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    I have done some basic shoots without the external flash. However, it's been recently added to my kit. I just completed my first wedding using this flash. I am by no means and expert as I am just starting out, and new equipment will always be added to my kit.
     
  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    John (Tirediron) has a good point - he's an experienced portrait photographer and knows what he's talking about.

    If you're in business (in anything really - think about it...) it's necessary to know what equipment you need and how to use it. Would you go get your hair done by somebody who doesn't know how to use the equipment in the salon? Would a chef be able to work in a restaurant without knowing how to use various kitchen tools and utensils? I hope not... It takes learning and practice.
     
  7. cauzimme

    cauzimme No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do understand your point, but I slightly disagree.
    You don't need an external speedlight to start your own business. I find that too often, photographer jumps on the flash and forget about natural light, how can they expect to become sucessful and to handle light if they can't even understand sun, that's what I consider the basic and most necessary knowledge. Not jumping to a flash right away but working with natural light and reflectors is a smart learning way, once fully mastered, the photgrapher should play with flash.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My point isn't about ambient light being better or worse than strobed light, but rather that to be a professional (as in: "Paid for your services, and able to deliver a quality product") you need certain basic tools. Camera, lenses, light. Knowing and being able to manipulate ambient light is great, without a doubt a critical skill, but ambient ight is not reliable. To wit: I did a family shoot at a somewhat remote location (1/2 mile walk down a rough trail) on the seashore a few weeks ago. As luck would have it, this was the ONLY bright, sunny day amidst weeks of dull, overcast weather. Without a couple of speedights, it would have been virtually impossible to capture anything remotely close to decent images due to the fact that we were shooting with the sun high in the sky (the only time the clients were available) and it was a very bright, almost cloudless day at the beach.

    To me, hanging out your shingle without at least one speedlight and the skill to use it properly is akin to someone saying, "I've just opened a medical practice; can someone give me some advice on which brand of stethascope is better?"
     
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  9. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    Littmann stethoscopes
    :)


    in case you're wondering ...
     
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  10. Ashley.elizabeth

    Ashley.elizabeth TPF Noob!

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    I asked a basic question about TTL - not about my business. That's irrelevant. I didn't join this forum to be bullied. I don't need to be belittled by. Restaurant and hair salon comparisons. You do not need this flash to start your own business, as was pointed out above. I obviously didn't get this flash knowing every detail. I'm here to learn to expand my business opportunities.
     
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  11. Ashley.elizabeth

    Ashley.elizabeth TPF Noob!

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    That's obviously why I joined this forum - to learn.
     
  12. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    There's alot to it
    here's a place to start ==> Strobist

    as you experiment more and post images here for assistance and everyone can lead you in the right way. It's hard to try to make one single post about how to use a flash, shadows, backgrounds, Posing, etc.

    It's easier to help to learn to use a flash in relation to a particular photo/setup.

    I started with one
    then added a 2nd
    3rd
    4th
    5th ....
    all used in Manual unless it's a quick event where I'm moving quickly in variable light then I'm in TTL.
     
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