Quick Lighting Tip: Here's How to Use Off-Camera Flash in Just 3 Minutes (VIDEO)

Manny Ortiz is a photographer who always has helpful, easy-to-understand lighting tips and his latest tutorial is no exception. In the below video he shows you how to use off-camera flash outdoors in three minutes.

“I use high-speed sync, giving me the ability to use any shutter speed I want when using flash,” Oritz notes. “What high-speed sync essentially allows you to do is use flash with your camera’s maximum shutter speed. So, I could use flash outdoors with my camera at 1/8000th of second, which is insane.”

If that sounds complicated, don’t worry, it isn’t, as Ortiz explains while photographing model Rachel Simone.

The first step, he notes, is to have a flash and a wireless flash trigger, and to make sure they’re communicating. In his case, both his flash and trigger are on Channel 1 and in Group A, which ensures the two devices are synced up.

Once that’s locked in, he’s ready to get creative with the off-camera flash while shooting portraits of Rachel. In the video, Ortiz then takes you “inside” his camera, showing you a live screen of all the adjustments he’s making so you can follow along.

First, he exposes for the ambient light, not the model. “After you’ve dialed in your background exposure, you want to go ahead and turn on your flash trigger and take a test shot.” He starts off on half power for his flash to see what it looks like, and then adjusts his flash power from there, going either up or down.

From there on, you just play with the power to get the right mixture of ambient light and off-camera flash, resulting in an unique, professional looking portrait outdoors.

“Anyone out there trying and using flash for the first time, just take your time and do it step by step, until you get that perfect balance in exposure. Essentially, you expose for your background and you expose for your subject.”

See more of Ortiz’s great photography tutorials on his YouTube channel. You should also check out this video where he and fellow pro photographer Jessica Kobeissi compare shooting with flash vs. shooting in natural light for portraits.