Power. To the Speedlighters.

When you are using  a flash outdoors, power is the greatest need, and potentially the greatest problem. If your flash is to be comparable to outside light, or even brighter than it (“nuking the sun”), you need lots.

So I have two tips for those of you using speedlights (small flashes) outdoors.

  1. Do you have enough power? To find out, Set your flash to MANUAL mode (on the back of the flash). Now set it to full power (100%, or 1/1). Now Fire! If you get overexposed parts, you have enough power, so any dark pictures are due to your settings or metering. Carry on and find the problem. If not, you simply do not have enough power, so forget it or move the flash closer.
  2. Need more power? Then zoom in your flash manually. Eg when using 50mm lens, zoom the flash to 105mm. Again, using buttons on the back of the flash (you may need to, dare I say it, read the manual!). This zooming in gives you a centralized, concentrated beam of power. The outsides will be darker but wherever you aim your flash wil be lighter.

Those two tips have saved me many times. I bet they will do the same for you.

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