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How to Use a Flash

Rely on an external flash to illuminate a scene in ways that a built-in flash simply can’t match.


  • Step 1: Check your batteries Make sure you have fresh batteries in both your camera and flash.
  • Step 2: Mount the flash Take your camera and mount the flash on the hot shoe, the area directly on top of the camera that will accept the flash foot.
  • Step 3: Tighten the flash Tighten the flash down by the screw to ensure good contact and communication between the devices.
  • Step 4: Turn on the camera and flash Turn on both your camera and your flash.
  • Step 5: Select virtual film speed Select your virtual film speed.
  • TIP: The lower the film speed, the better quality image and less noise or digital grain will be visible within your images.
  • Step 6: Select the crucial elements of the image Decide whether just your subject itself is important or if you also want the background to be incorporated into the image.
  • TIP: If the background is important, use a tripod to help avoid motion blur from hand holding the camera.
  • Step 7: Set shooting mode Set your shooting mode. For shots incorporating the background along with your subject, use Aperture Priority Mode, where the camera meters the entire scene.
  • TIP: For shots where only the subject is important, and the flash is your primary source of light, set your camera to either Auto or Program modes.
  • Step 8: Set flash to Auto Metering Set the flash to Auto Metering Mode.
  • Step 9: Compose your shot Compose your shot.
  • Step 10: Focus on subject Focus on your subject.
  • TIP: Use a flashlight or other light source to temporarily light your subject if the Auto Focus cannot register in low light.
  • Step 11: Meter the scene Meter the scene.
  • Step 12: Shoot the picture Shoot your desired picture and let your camera and flash do the work.
  • FACT: Americans purchase more than two billion batteries a year to power their electronic devices.

You Will Need

  • An SLR camera
  • A shoe mount flash
  • And fresh batteries
  • Tripod

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