An off-camera flash is an essential photography tool because it serves as the primary or accent light. However, using it isn't the same as popping up a camera's built-in flash. We're teaching you how to use external flash on Nikon to achieve the best exposure for your real estate photos.
To use an external flash on a Nikon camera, make sure to mount the off-camera flash properly. Then, reset the flash settings before selecting the flash, shooting, and shutter synchronization modes. After that, you can adjust the ISO, flash exposure compensation, and angle of the flash head.
Whether you have a full-frame, crop-sensor, or mirrorless Nikon camera, learning to use it with an external flash can make all the difference in your real estate photos. Let's go over the steps on how you can use a flash with a Nikon camera.
An external flash fires out a pre-flash to the subject, then sends data for your Nikon camera to process and fire again to take the shot. This happens after choosing the appropriate flash, shooting, and shutter modes. You also must consider the ISO and flash exposure compensation.
First, make sure to insert the off-camera flash into your Nikon camera's hot shoe. Improper installation may prevent the flash from functioning correctly. Slide the foot lock lever to lock the flash into place.
The next step is to choose either manual or TTL from the flash control settings. Some external flashes offer both options, while others only have manual flash mode.
Some speedlights also have E-TTL as the default flash mode, which is suitable if you want to take photos using the exposure from your Nikon camera's metering system.
While you can usually choose any shooting mode, it's vital that you select a shooting mode appropriate for the type of photos you need to take.
From the camera's mode dial, choose Shutter Priority if you want to capture moving subjects, much like in street or event photography. Meanwhile, it would be better to opt for Aperture Priority if you need to collect lots of light for architecture or real estate photography.
Flash sync is a crucial factor when using an external flash on a Nikon camera. It determines the fastest shutter speed for your camera to create an exposure in each fire of flash power.
You can use high-speed sync if you need the shutter speed to be higher than the maximum speed that your off-camera flash can synchronize.
Another option is the first-curtain sync, which is perfect if you want motion blur. The second-curtain sync is ideal if you need to shoot trails using ambient light.
The ISO speed affects a Nikon camera's sensitivity. The higher the value, the more ambient light will enter the scene. In general, it's best to shoot with a lower ISO to minimize image noise.
Adjust the exposure compensation from the Quick Control screen. This would instruct the external flash to produce more or less flash power relative to what your Nikon camera determined. Likewise, it would only influence the ambient exposure, so there would be no changes in background brightness.
Choose the flash power according to your aperture or flash-to-subject distance. Boost the flash power if the room is too dim or has lots of shadows. On the other hand, turn down the flash power if your initial shots appear harshly lit.
You can further improve the flash power's coverage by angling the flash head correctly. For real estate photography, you can typically bounce the flash toward the ceiling or wall. You can also use a reflector, softbox, or umbrella for more control.
The latest Nikkei report shows that Nikon has 19.1% of the market share in digital camera shares. As you continue to be among the real estate photographers who rely on Nikon camera systems, there will come a time when you would also need to invest in a manual flash.
The great thing about manual flashes is that it offers you more control over the light source. It's also ideal if the distance between the flash and the subject doesn't change quickly, much like when shooting interiors or exteriors.
About 44% of real estate buyers go online to search for properties. You can use a TLL flash with your Nikon camera if you need a simple way to produce well-lit online marketing photos for your clients.
An external TTL flash uses built-in flash sensors to measure flash illumination automatically. While you can still select the aperture and ISO speed, a TTL flash would control the exposure automatically instead of the Nikon camera.
Photographers must have external flashes in their camera bags. Like when using a light modifier or lens, there are several shooting options you can experiment with to get the best results. With this simple guide, you can improve your flash photography and produce well-lit real estate images.