New to flash photography. low light situation and my flash is on light stand. When I click on aperture mode with low iso the shutter speed is very slow. And if I increase the iso the shutter speed gets better as expected. But the problem is since Im using flash the eventual photo is over exposed. The problem is camera thinks that the flash is not on (off camera manual) and therefore assumes that its clicking without flash but the reality is that flas does gets triggered. Am I missing some setting?

Many Thanks


1 Answer 1


It sounds like you are trying to use automatic exposure with manual flash. This generally only works of you are using the flash at very low power for some fill light.

To use flash manually you normally need to also set exposure on the camera manually. The camera doesn't know the flash is going to fire, but you do. Once you have set the flash power manually a good rule of thumb is to use the camera's aperture and/or ISO setting to alter the influence of the light from the flash and use the camera's shutter speed setting to alter the influence of the ambient light. Since the flash's duration is typically 1/1000 second or shorter, changing the shutter speed from 1/120 second to 1/60 second won't affect the amount of light the camera captures from the flash (assuming the camera's flash sync speed is faster than 1/120 second) but it will double the amount of ambient light the camera captures.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Many Thanks Clark. I will try out the settings as per your advise. I must admit it takes me a bit of time to understand these technicalities as I am at early stages. But if I have understood you correctly I need to switch from Aperture priority mode to ManualMode. Then set ISO & apereture to compensate the flash(i.e. lower down ISO). And then manually increase the shutter speed(as flash takes around 1/1000) and that is a lot faster than 1/60 shutter speed, which means it can easily provide enough light to the camera before shutter closes. Hence no need of slow shutter speed!!.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sankalp
    Nov 8, 2013 at 14:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. Switch from A to M mode. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 9, 2013 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ No. You use the shutter speed to control the ambient light you want in the scene. If you use a faster shutter speed it will reduce the ambient light in the scene. Also, even though the duration of the flash is very short, you need to use a shutter speed no faster than your camera's flash sync speed so that the entire sensor is uncovered when the flash fires. If you want to balance the ambient light with the flash then you need to lower the shutter speed and possibly use a tripod. Another way to increase the ambient light is by increasing the ISO and reducing the manually set flash power. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 9, 2013 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah Thanks Michael. That does help a lot. Here are the settings I have now. Flash Sync Speed : 1/250 Sutter Speed : 1/250 Iso : 100 Mode : Manual I can see that ShutterSpeed & sync speed are at par. Now if I need to have more ambient light in my shots I should reduce the shutter speed to lets say 1/120. And if that leads to blurs I can always increase ISO/Aperature to lets say 400 and that way I can still get decent shots without noise. The whole reason I wanted lower ISO was to learn and get to the right combination of exposure without having to use tripod. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sankalp
    Nov 10, 2013 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sometimes the amount of ambient light doesn't allow you to not use a tripod if you want the low ambient lighting to be balanced with a flash. The flash also has to be used at a low power level as well to not completely overpower the low ambient light. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 11, 2013 at 1:49

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