You are previewing Mastering Nikon Speedlights: A Complete Guide to Small Flash Photography and the Creative Lighting System.
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Mastering Nikon Speedlights: A Complete Guide to Small Flash Photography and the Creative Lighting System

Book Description

Mastering Nikon Speedlights is the most comprehensive guide available for anyone using or wanting to learn more about the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS). Starting with an exploration of how to work with light, the book teaches you everything you need to know about understanding the direction and intensity of light, using light meters and metering modes, controlling exposure, and much more. You’ll learn the specifics of how to use the full range of Nikon Speedlights and accessories, including past and current models of cameras and CLS compatible flashes—and in the process you’ll find out how to get the best shots with your gear, whether you have a whole box of equipment or just the basics.

The book includes practical, real-world photo shoots—portraits, action shots, and product photography—starting with one light and gradually working up to multiple lights so you can observe the progression of the light from one flash to many. No matter what your subject or shooting scenario, Mastering Nikon Speedlights is an essential resource that teaches you how to produce the light you need to achieve great results.

  • Offers a thorough discussion of the qualities of light, how the camera measures light, and the settings needed to record an image with proper exposure

  • Provides a complete overview of all the components that make up the Nikon Creative Lighting System, outlining how to use the different Speedlights and accessories to correspond with each camera’s unique capabilities

  • Covers how to use the Nikon Speedlights off the camera using the Advanced Wireless Lighting (AWL) features built into the Creative Lighting System

  • Features several examples of real photo shoots, showing you how to take great photos in a variety of situations, building from one flash up to multiple flashes

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication Page
    4. Contents
    5. Acknowledgments
    6. Introduction
    7. I: Let There Be Light
      1. 1. Understanding the Qualities of Light
        1. Intensity
        2. Direction
          1. Front Lighting
          2. Backlighting
          3. Sidelighting
          4. Down Lighting
          5. Up Lighting
        3. Color of Light
          1. Color Temperature
          2. White Balance
          3. Flash Color
        4. Hard and Soft Light
        5. Inverse Square Law and Light Falloff
        6. Final Thoughts
      2. 2. Measuring the Light
        1. Light Meters to the Rescue
        2. How a Camera Sees Light
        3. Nikon Metering Modes
          1. Spot Metering
          2. Highlight-Weighted Metering
          3. Center-Weighted Metering
          4. Matrix Metering
        4. Measuring Ambient Light and Flash Light
        5. Final Thoughts
      3. 3. Controlling Exposure
        1. Exposure Settings
          1. Shutter Speed
          2. Aperture
          3. ISO
          4. Equivalent Exposures
        2. Exposure Modes
        3. Exposure Compensation
          1. Exposure Values
          2. Adjusting Exposure Compensation
        4. Flash Compensation
        5. Exposure Compensation with Flash Compensation
        6. Final Thoughts
    8. II: Gear
      1. 4. The Camera
        1. Creative Lighting System Compatibility
        2. Professional Cameras
        3. Enthusiast Cameras
        4. Entry-Level Cameras
        5. Final Thoughts
      2. 5. Lighting in Your Pocket
        1. How a Flash Works
        2. Current Speedlight Lineup
          1. SB-300
          2. SB-500
          3. SB-700
          4. SB-910
        3. Specialized Speedlights
          1. SB-R200 Remote
          2. SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander
        4. Older and Discontinued Flashes
          1. SB-600
          2. SB-800
          3. SB-900
        5. Final Thoughts
      3. 6. Making the Most of Those Cool Extras
        1. Batteries
          1. Types of Batteries
          2. Care and Feeding of Batteries
          3. My Battery Plan
        2. Supplemental Battery Pack
        3. TTL Remote Cords
        4. Close-up Kits
        5. Final Thoughts
      4. 7. Light Modifiers for Small-Flash Photography
        1. Speedlight Options
          1. Zoom the Flash Head
          2. Wide-Angle Diffuser Panel
          3. Tilt and Rotate
          4. Bounce Card
          5. Flash Illumination Patterns
        2. Diffusers
          1. Diffusion Dome
          2. Umbrellas
          3. Softboxes
          4. Diffusion Panel
        3. Snoots, Grids, and Gobos
          1. Snoots
          2. Grids
          3. Gobos
        4. Gels
          1. Color Correction
          2. Color Wash
        5. Reflectors
        6. Product Options
          1. Lastolite Accessories
          2. Joe McNally Signature Line
          3. LumiQuest Modifiers
          4. Honl Photo Light Shapers
          5. ExpoImaging Flash Tools
          6. Westcott Line
        7. Final Thoughts
      5. 8. Hold on to Your Flash
        1. Flash Stands
        2. Justin Clamp
        3. Light Stands
          1. Basic Light Stands
          2. C-Stands
          3. Booms
        4. Brackets
          1. Umbrella Brackets
          2. Cold Shoes
          3. Multiple Flash Brackets
        5. Final Thoughts
    9. III: Creative Lighting System
      1. 9. Flash Fundamentals and the Creative Lighting System
        1. Guide Numbers
        2. Flash Modes
          1. Through the Lens (TTL)
          2. Auto-Aperture/Auto-Flash (A)
          3. Guide Number (GN)
          4. Manual (M)
          5. Repeating (RPT)
        3. Flash Value Lock
          1. Recomposing Your Image
          2. A Photo Series with Consistent Lighting
          3. Avoiding Blinkers
        4. Intelligent TTL Metering
        5. Sync Speed and High-Speed Sync
        6. Wide-Area AF-Assist Illuminator
        7. Flash Color Information Communication
        8. Final Thoughts
      2. 10. Advanced Wireless Lighting
        1. The Basics of Off-Camera Flash with AWL
        2. Remote Mode
        3. Commander Mode
          1. Flash Modes
          2. Flash Power Setting
        4. Repeating Flash Commander Mode
        5. Quick Wireless Control Mode (A:B)
        6. Final Thoughts
      3. 11. Off-Camera Flash Triggers
        1. Working with Groups
        2. Radio Triggers
          1. Advantages to Using Radio Triggers
          2. Disadvantages to Using Radio Triggers
          3. Using Radio Triggers
          4. Radio TTL
        3. SU-4 Mode
          1. Setting the SU-4 Mode
          2. Flash Modes Available in SU-4 Mode
          3. Using SU-4 Mode
        4. Mixing Radio and Line of Sight
        5. Final Thoughts
    10. IV: Lighting Techniques for People and Products
      1. 12. Portrait Lighting
        1. Shadows and Light
        2. Basic Lighting Patterns
          1. Rembrandt Lighting
          2. Loop Lighting
          3. Butterfly Lighting
          4. Split Lighting
          5. Broad and Short Lighting
        3. Soft Light vs. Hard Light
        4. Using One Light and Two Lights
        5. Using Three or More Lights
        6. Environmental Portraits
          1. Before the Shoot
          2. Taking the Portrait
        7. Location Lighting Packing Checklist
        8. Final Thoughts
      2. 13. Lighting Action Shots
        1. Freezing Action
          1. Sync Speed
          2. High-Speed Sync
          3. Flash Power
          4. Multiple Flashes
        2. Showing Motion
        3. Final Thoughts
      3. 14. Product Photography Lighting
        1. Product Photography Basics
        2. Product Photography Setup
        3. Prepping Your Items
          1. General Cleaning
          2. Jewelry
          3. Cleaning Electronics
        4. Reflections
          1. Different Surfaces
          2. Different Colors
          3. Flagging the Light
        5. Working in Close
          1. Choosing the Right Lens
          2. Controlling the Depth of Field
          3. Close-Up Kit
        6. Product Lighting Strategies
          1. One Speedlight
          2. Two Speedlights
          3. Multiple Speedlights
        7. Drops, Splashes, and Pours
        8. Final Thoughts
    11. V: Speedlights in Action
      1. 15. Portrait Shoots with One Flash
        1. Dancer
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        2. Dugout
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        3. Kids
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        4. Cody
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Image
        5. Librarian
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Image
        6. Final Thoughts
      2. 16. Portrait Shoots with One Off-Camera Flash
        1. Dancer
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Image
        2. Dugout
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Image
        3. Kids
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Image
        4. Cody
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        5. Librarian
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Image
        6. Final Thoughts
      3. 17. Portrait Shoots with Multiple Off-Camera Flashes
        1. Dancer
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        2. Dugout
          1. Gear
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        3. Kids
          1. Gear
          2. Setup
          3. Final Image
        4. Cody
          1. Gear
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        5. Librarian
          1. Gear
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        6. Final Thoughts
      4. 18. Speedlights Used for Action
        1. Golf Swing
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        2. Soccer Kick
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        3. Bike Rider
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        4. Karate Kick
          1. Equipment
          2. Setup
          3. Final Images
        5. Final Thoughts
      5. 19. Product Photography Examples
        1. Strawberry Splash
          1. Gear
          2. Taking the Photo
        2. Sunglasses and Watch
          1. Gear
          2. Taking the Photo
        3. Knife Set
          1. Gear
          2. Taking the Photo
        4. Camera Body
          1. Gear
          2. Taking the Photo
        5. Beverage Bottle
          1. Gear
          2. Taking the Photo
        6. Wine Pour
          1. Gear
          2. Taking the Photo
        7. Final Thoughts
    12. Index
    13. Appendix. Speedlight Resources
      1. Nikon
      2. Light Modifiers
      3. Stands, Grips, Backgrounds, and Bags
      4. Radio Triggers
      5. Photographers