If your past attempts at learning flash have all ended in failure (not to mention tears and/or blind rage), then The Off-Camera Flash Handbook is about to change everything for you. For years, photographer Vanessa Joy has been using off-camera flash to create gorgeous portraits that look like they were shot in the most beautiful natural light at the perfect time of day. Well, guess what? That consistent look was not created thanks to the most amazing luck with the weather. No. It was created by a pro photographer who mastered her use of off-camera flash. And with her down-to-earth and practical explanations, that’s exactly what Vanessa teaches you in this book.
Vanessa breaks down off-camera flash into an easy-to-understand approach, and instead of focusing on the gear and the settings (which are also included, of course), she focuses on the kinds of shots you want to make. This book is about learning to use off-camera flash easily and quickly so that you can create beautiful, natural-looking light in any situation, at any time you need it…regardless of the weather or time of day.
The book is divided into three parts. Part One covers the fundamentals of off-camera flash, and it does so without blasting you with a firehose of information. Instead, Vanessa gives you the basics you need so that you can start shooting right away without becoming overwhelmed with technical jargon.
Once you’re set up and ready to go, Vanessa jumps right into Part Two with specific photo scenarios and real-world situations where you’ll learn key techniques for using your flash to create consistent, beautiful photographs. For each scenario, Vanessa provides the goal for the shoot, a gear list, the step-by-step shooting instructions, and images that show both the progress of the shoot and the behind-the-scenes shots or lighting diagrams of the setup. She also discusses problems you may encounter, variations on the shot, and additional practical scenarios for each situation.
Just a few examples include:
Finally, Part Three tackles the questions you’ll likely have once you’ve got the basics under your belt and you’re already creating great photos with your off-camera flash—things like high-speed sync, sync speed, a practical understanding of the inverse square law, etc. There is also a helpful FAQ section at the end of the book.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART 1: GETTING STARTED WITH OFF-CAMERA FLASH (OCF)
PART 2: Off-Camera Flash Techniques
PART 3: Features, Troubleshooting, and FAQS
Soft Cover- without flaps
javado (verified owner) February 13, 2020
Wonderful and great book with lots of very usefully tips.
Nasroullah (verified owner) February 23, 2020
I bought the ebook version. This is a must have for the novice and a great reference for the advanced flash photographer and especially for the natural portrait photographer who wants to learn off camera flash but are too care scared or don’t know or where to start. Vanessa has done a an excellent job by breaking down this book into different scenarios and applications which are very easy to follow along and so accessible on your phone to refer at any given situation. It doesn’t easier than that.
This is highly recommended.
Well done Vanessa.
Gloria February 24, 2020
The off-camera Flash book handbook by Vanessa Joy:
Like probably many photogs, I am terrified of using flash and so seldom do. This book is brilliant because instead of just a lot of text telling you how to do it, the author gives us 32 different scenarios for using off-camera flash and goes into detail on each scenario. That is so practical and so perfect! I feel better already.
Joy begins her manual with a section on flash vocabulary which I find quite helpful. Don’t think I’ve seen it done this way but it should be because it primes us to understand when the author later uses flash lingo. I especially appreciated her definition of high-speed sync, and the introduction to “light spread” to which I’ve never heard of before. I really love her informal writing: for example, one section is headed “why do I suck?“Love it! Draws you right in and you know exactly what the author means.
One of her tips is that when you see a photo, look in the eyes for catchlights. If there are catchlights, you can apparently tell where the light is coming from in the shape of the light modifier that was used and thereby learn how that photo was made. Clever tip! One of her scenarios is in how to make it look like you’ve been shooting at the golden hour. Again, not the heading I have seen elsewhere and it’s certainly intriguing.
And example of why I like this book so much in the way it will be useful: she has one of the scenarios covering table details at events like weddings. She starts out talking about her “golden image”, and then tells us precisely how she gets there. She has diagrams of where she sets the lights and she shows the wrong and right way to do things. I really appreciate that she covers such detail and the way she does it works for me. Another of her marvelous chapters is on how to light a portrait to look like window light. I love that! I have certainly seen plenty of manuals talk about how to use window light, but not how to make it look as though you used window light:)
Joy will often take three or four shots in a given scenario and go through the exposures and strategy on each one along with the pros and cons. That is so practical for us readers!
Toward the end of the book she poses several questions readers would likely ask: why is my battery is dying so fast? Why is my picture half black?, And so on. The more practical and precise photography writers are, the more I can actually use their suggestions. Given the easy to understand and detailed writing in this book, where she covers so many scenarios, I am ready to use off-camera flash more often. I will keep this book around for sure. She did a great job on the topic most of us associate with fear 🙂
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