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Photographer Tutorial: Troubleshooting with Lighting | Carmel Photographer

Canon professional camera and off camera flash set up by AGS Photo Art

This is the first of many series for photographer tutorials. Lighting is one of my favorite topics! So many people are afraid to talk about it or touch it, but it doesn’t have to be scary! Below is a full checklist for you to use if you’re struggling with troubleshooting lighting. See below for all of my technical tips if your off-camera flash is misfiring.

Scenario: Off-Camera Flash is Misfiring

Lighting Troubleshooting: Batteries

  • Check batteries and replace batteries if needed
  • Make sure all four batteries match
  • Make sure all batteries have the same mAh power

Lighting Troubleshooting: ETTL or manual setting?

  • ETTL is automatic for your flash
  • Manual means you are controlling the output

Lighting Troubleshooting: Check the power setting of the Flash

  • What power setting are you on?
  • Full duration? Half power? 1/32?
  • Full power requires 2-3 second recycle time
  • 1/32 will recycle instantly
  • Half power will take one second to recycle

Lighting Troubleshooting: ISO

  • The higher ISO you are, the less work your flash has to do
  • The lower your ISO, the more work your flash has to do

Lighting Troubleshooting: Take a deep breath!

At the end, be sure to recenter yourself and take a deep breath. It’s okay if you need to move forward and revisit the issue at a later time. It’s okay to view your image and analyze your situation.

My favorite lighting set-ups

I’m a professional photographer based in Carmel, California who has been photographing and troubleshooting with lighting for over a decade. Below is a list of my favorite gear when it comes to lighting. Have questions about any of it? Ask me!

Have you guys experienced any of these issues in the past? Photographers, tell me about your own troubleshooting with lighting experience in the comments below! Want to learn more? Feel free to also contact me here.

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