Underexpose a scene and flash just the subject

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 11400, ƒ/10, 1/100—off-camera flash using the Neewer TT850 flash & Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger with flash at 1/128 Power

You want your photos to pop, then light the subject but not everything else in your photo.

Where do you put the flash? Off camera and create a triangle between you the flash and the subject.

I continue to tell my assistants to just create a triangle and point the flash at the subjects face.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 1800, ƒ/14, 1/100—off-camera flash using the Neewer TT850 flash & Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger with flash at 1/8 Power

I just shoot the photo and then look at the LCD on the camera. Couple things I am looking for in the photo.

I want to be sure my flash isn’t overpowering and washing out the skin tones. I do this by seeing the photo and checking the histogram. Here is the histogram for the photo above.

I am watching my shutter speed with the Neewer TT850 since it must sync at 1/250 or slower. I am also trying to be sure the background is not too dark or light.

I typically can just set the camera to -1/3 to up to -1 stop underexposed and then just watch the flash setting on the camera.

The radio remote will change the setting on the flash as long as they are on the same channel. Here the flash is set to 1/32 power. You can adjust the power from 1/128th to full power in 1/3 stop increments. Basically a lot of control.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/14, 1/100—off-camera flash using the Neewer TT850 flash & Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger with flash at 1/8 Power

I have found the when I shoot on the Nikon TTL system I cannot control the flash in manual mode. So the flash is very inconsistent and depends on the scene. I was dialing it up or down by 3 stops, but now with the manual setting on the Neewer system I actually have more control.

I am giving up the high speed sync, but that is only necessary some of the time. Most of the time I prefer manual mode where I am in control.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 110, ƒ/7.1, 1/100—off-camera flash using the Neewer TT850 flash & Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger with flash at 1/4 Power

I like using the light to direct the audience to what I think is most important in the scene. Available light tends to often light everything equally. I don’t like those type of photos.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/11, 1/160—off-camera flash using the Neewer TT850 flash & Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger with flash at 1/32 Power

See the photo above with the flash almost not even lighting the people. I then turn the power up to full and look at the difference.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 1800, ƒ/14, 1/100—off-camera flash using the Neewer TT850 flash & Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger with flash at Full Power

I like the flash popping a subject out from the scene.

I also used the MagMod system to put a 1/2 CTO gel in front of the flash for all the photos.

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