Shooting help


TPF Noob!
Oct 31, 2019
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Hi folks:

Lurking for a while here. (Shooting a Canon T7i, with a kit lens, a 24mm pancake, and a Sigma 18-35).

Can someone point me to a video series (or something similar) that will help with action and flash photography? (I need something more advanced that explaining what the shutter and aperture does, and need something situational - like a friend saying try this).

I have been shooting for a while now - and my photos are just not improving. The main issue is motion - I have kids, and most shots come out blurry. (Outdoors I use shutter priority to shoot a fast shutter). At fast shutter speeds the ISO spikes, and the quality seems to degrade. There has to be a middle here that I just can't seem to hit.

Inside is even worse - I bought a speedlight flash that has helped, but I'm seeing yellowing even with a flash. (I think I have a bad habit pre flash, where I would open up the aperture to use available light, and I can't break it). I really have no clue what settings to use inside.

Any help here?
Please post some examples showing the problems.
I recommend Tony and Chelsea Northrup's "Stunning Digital Photography" book. You can get their stuff at . You can get the ebook version for under $10 and there is a lot of youtube video with it. It does have a chapter on flash photography. It is, supposedly, the best selling photography book in the world. They also have a more recent youtube video series specifically on flash photography.

I found their stuff very helpful when starting out a few years back and still reference their material today.
If you don't set your camera manually when using flash, it will do everything it can to get an ambient light image, even with the flash attached. Having the flash doesn't tell the camera to ignore the meter, you have to do that by going manual.

If you're shutter priority, it will shoot wide open, trying to maximized ambient. If you're aperture priority, it will slow the shutter down, probably giving unwieldy shutter times of even several seconds. If you have auto-ISO (which I personally despise,) it will raise the ISO to unacceptable levels.

The camera doesn't care about flash. If it's not set to manual settings, it will try to get an ambient exposure, and that will ruin what you're trying to do with the flash.

Start with manual, 1/200 or 1/160 (I don't know what your maximum flash sync speed is,) and a mid-ground aperture, like 5.6 or 8. Put ISO at 100 or 200, no higher than 400, and turn off auto-ISO. With the flash in TTL, the camera will meter the exposure strictly with flash power rather than by adjusting for ambient light, which is what you're trying to do.

If your flash is not able to do TTL, it will have an auto mode where you set the aperture and a photocell on the flash itself controls power. That used to be how it was done, back in the day, and that was advanced!!! :) If it's a Canon Speedlite, or made for Canon, it probably does TTL. Does it have more than the single center pin on the hot shoe? If so, it should be able to get control commands from the camera and do TTL.
Hi folks:
There has to be a middle here that I just can't seem to hit.
If different settings give different results, some settings must be better than others...and one set of settings must be best. The problem is that best is not always the same as good.

When the camera can't give satisfactory results in a scene, you must manipulate the scene. Adding more light is one effective way, and a flash is good at freezing motion. This will of course require some extra knowledge and experience.

Here's a good video explaining the basics of using a flash to freeze motion.
Maybe look for some classes? I took one given by a local camera store when I got my first digital camera. I also took one of those evening, adult education classes at a local school.

Lots hands-on and chances to ask questions while your camera is in your hands.
Thanks folks. Great suggestions here. I think I may have a problem with my speedlight. I bought it used and the display is flashing. It used to lock.

So I’m blaming the hardware...(joke)

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