I recently hosted some local photographers for a visit to Atlanta’s Dragon-Con Science-Fiction and Fantasy convention. Besides vendors and celebrity guests, DragonCon is home to hundreds of attendees in elaborate, often homemade costumes. It was a great opportunity for the photographers in the group to shoot some out-of-this-world people and practice shooting an event using on-camera flash. Here are some tips they learned for using TTL flash…
- Set the camera to manual exposure mode and set your exposure for the background. Your TTL metering will adjust the flash output so that your subject is properly exposed. You will probably want to underexpose the background a stop or two so that your foreground subject pops.
- Try the spot meter. Meter for your subject so the background will not affect your TTL flash exposure.
- Use a diffuser on your flash for softer light when your subject is close, but remove the diffuser to throw the light farther onto distant subjects. A good TTL flash will zoom automatically to match the focal length of your lens.
- Adjust the TTL flash output using flash exposure compensation. Changing the aperture value will only affect the ambient exposure if you are shooting TTL. The wider your aperture (lower f-numbers) the less power your flash will need and the longer your batteries will last.
- A final tip for shooting big events like DragonCon… Don’t forget about the background. Find an interesting background and either wait for interesting folks to walk by, or ask people to pose for you in front of your “set”. If you’re shy to ask for a shot just remember… Attendees at these events WANT to have their photo taken. Give them your business card and offer to send them photos