Feb 15, 2012

Camera Settings for Off Camera Flash

Sync Speed

This episode gives tips to which camera settings are best for using strobes or speedlights. Shooting in manual mode, having the right shutter speed, and using a low ISO will help give you the better end results and prevent those black lines across your image.


  • 0:25- Off camera lighting
  • 1:00- Sync speed
  • 2:45- Applying this when using flashes
  • 4:20- Best sync speed range to use
  • 4:40- White balance settings
  • 6:15-  Shooting in manual mode
  • 7:10- Aperture, ISO, and shutter speed settings
  • 9:15- Radio transmitters

Camera Settings

Your camera only sees what’s going on without the flashes, so it can’t predict white balance or appropriate shutter speed. Using a custom white balance, or the flash setting, is better than using auto.

Manual or aperture priority mode is important because you can’t rely on the meter in your camera, it will only measure the ambient Light. Make sure to use a low ISO (100 or 200 if you can) and a shutter speed close to 1/125. A Light meter is great to tell you exactly what your aperture will be set to, and you can then adjust the power of your Lights if its too high or too low.

Related Tutorial

How to Select and Change Colors in Photoshop Selecting Color Range To select out the different Colors, create a New Layer and go to Select - Color Range. Click on the Color you want to sample wi...
Sin City Inspired Photoshoot (Behind the Scenes) The City: Photography Tutorial In this Photography tutorial we focus on three key elements necessary to produce this image. You will learn about ligh...
Check Out Phlearn’s Behind the Scenes Shoot Entitled: Newfangled... View the Newfangled Pinup Cola Tutorial HERE!   Concept We've wanted to do a pinup shoot for a long time, but we also wanted to make it stand ...
How to use Lighting Effects in Photoshop In today's episode, learn how to use amazing Lighting Effects in Photoshop! Watch and learn as we Transform a flat piece of art into a textured, 3-D m...

Related advanced tutorials

Photoshop 201
Intro to Studio Compositing
The Beginners Guide to Levitation


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image
    Tyler Hayward

    Great tutorial Aaron! I’m going to be teaching a strobist tutorial at our university for the photo club tomorrow and you’ve already covered all the basics so I’ll defiantly link your videos to everyone after! I had to learn most of this on my own over the past year and it’s fantastic sharing all of this important information to get people started with off camera flash and lighting! For triggers as well, I’ve been working with the Cactus v5’s for a while and they’re a great, slightly cheaper alternative to pw’s around $80 for a pair of the transceivers here in Canada and are quite reliable syncing with my 5d2 at 1/200th usually 1/160th like you said. Also, I think you might have answered this before, but why didn’t you want to switch to the new flex/mini system? I’ve heard about the issues with the frequency and canon flashes, but they should be fine with studio strobes, no?

    Thanks for the fantastic tutorials and am so happy to see all of these lighting tutorials now that you have a studio 😀

    • user image
      Anthony Phung

      The Rf 602 never failed on me too, but it has 3 big NO NO NO.

      1- It doesn’t have a lock switch and if you put it on a regular flash stand it can slide out, so always have to tape it.
      2- The on/off switch is hard to reach if you keep the speedlight on. therefore the need to remove the flash each time we need to turn the RF602 off.
      3- the channels are deep inside and under the batteries compartment and also very small and hard to reach in order to change channels.

      beside that it has a very good reach, I tried at 100′ and it still trigger the camera at distance at the same time triggering the flashes and price wise is very cheap. 4 pocket wizzard will cost me a nice G with tax here in canada, but only 100$ for 4 RF602.

  • user image
    Christian Noval

    I have to admit that I looove my PocketWizards. They might be expensive but they work, and I have had the same “my triggers does work” experience as Aaron. So in some way, they pay the bill.
    I just want to notice, that the mini TT1 and Flex TT5 adds functionality compare to most cheaper triggers. First they work with the camera TTL, so you don’t have to shoot manual (great if you move around). Second they are able to sync at high speed (much faster that 1/250), which makes a huge difference when outside in sunlight with hand-held flashes. Thirdly the ratio between more flashes can be controled on-camera with the not-so-expensive AC3 adapter. Especially the high-sync speed can save money, because I don’t have to buy battery powered studio flashes to overpower the sun.

  • user image

    Paul C Buff Cybersyncs are alot cheaper and smaller. If you use a lightmeter to set your camera on incident and a Neutral/Portrait Rogue Expodisc to set CWB…

  • user image
    Nick Bedford

    As I’m only really a hobbyist / semi-freelancing (when people ask me for shoots), I use Cactus V5’s. As far as budget triggers go, they’re quite good. They have a locking ring, channel and mode/power switches are easily accessed with a flash in the hot shoe and they’re only about 80 bucks for a pair. Great for a smaller speedlite setup.

    I used Yongnuo RF-602’s in the beginning and while they worked just fine, they have numerous design issues as stated in some other answers. No locking ring, on/off button is trapped under the flash, etc.

    • user image

      The only advantage would be that you can have the flash placed anywhere, whereas with onboard flash acting like a trigger, the slave will have to be close (within 20 feet or so) and will need to “see” the flash when it goes off. So there is an advantage of flexibility when using pocket wizards.

  • user image

    You are a STAR! I have just bought a lencarta home studio set up
    And have a newborn coming to visit on Wednesday and. I am hoping to try it out.
    So I set up my background using a doll 🙂 well better than nothing!
    My camera was set on 1/125 ISO 400 but it was jumping to shutter speed 15
    Oh no! then I watched your video and set my Canon 700d to your settings and all looks like it will work on the day 🙂
    Thank you so much.
    I don’t know any photographers to ask so your videos are so importNt to others like me.

  • user image

    you are amazing.. in every single video you astonish me with your way of teaching and talent and experience you are simply perfect

  • user image
    bandar sabung ayam

    This site is mostly a walk-by means of for all the info you wished about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and you’ll definitely uncover it.