I have a Sony A57 and a Sony HVL-43 flash. I have been trying low key photography wirelessly, but I am struggling with the settings. I've followed settings from other sources I have found, and I have had a play with a lot of others, and I have also used a softbox, but it was still too light. Does anyone have any ideas?
First, and my preference, would be to expose properly and adjust via post-processing on a computer. You have much easier control of how and where light is shown to highlight your subject.
Alternatively, shoot everything in manual. Set your flash to a constant power (start at 1/4 or 1/8 power) Keep you shutter speed to the maximum sync speed (1/200 or 1/250) to minimize ambient light, and then adjust your aperture as needed to let in more/less light. You could also adjust your flash power as needed.
When in manual, change one setting at a time and see what effect it has; best way to learn how to use off camera flashes.