I recently got a new off-camera flash (Nikon SB-700), and I'm having trouble thinking about the variables that go into proper exposure.
For example, without flash, I have a little mental decision tree that went something like this:
- If shooting very long exposure then use manual mode with camera on tripod. Choose aperture to suit desired DOF and/or choose shutter speed to suit desired exposure time. Try to use ISO 640 or lower. Do not use exposure compensation (because in manual mode it's pointless).
- Else if shooting fast moving subject, use shutter priority and ISO auto. Tweak exposure compensation to prevent blown highlights or blocked out shadows.
- Else use aperture priority, and choose suitable DOF. Make sure that shutter speed is no slower than 1 / focal length. Compensate for slow shutter speeds by 1) Raising the ISO, or 2) Using a tripod, or 3) Bracing the camera or yourself against something. Tweak exposure compensation to prevent blown highlights or blocked out shadows.
For an amateur like me, the above algorithm covers just about everything I do. I could probably even make a flowchart out of it.
Now that I am trying to learn about flash photography, things are suddenly very, very complex, and I feel lost.
My question is: Is there a similar mental flowchart or algorithm that can I use as a guide for flash?