flash lighting ii: introduction to off-camera flash

outdoor workshop: 3 hours


On-camera/pop-up flash is usually a horrible light source but for many people, that is their only experience of flash lighting. Some people don’t even realise that a speedlight-style flash unit can be used away from their camera.

This practical session will explore the basics of taking a speedlight flash off-camera and using it to take portraits outdoors. While there is a lot of interesting things you can do with an on-camera flash, placing a flash off-camera opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Stephen Cummings

For this session, I provide basic flash equipment for those who do not own any. However, if you already have a speedlight flash you are welcome to bring it along so that you can get some first hand experience using it off-camera. When practical, I prefer to show you how to make the most of the equipment you already own.

This session is best suited for photographers who know how to use their camera on manual exposure and already understand the basic principles of flash photography (eg. how aperture/shutter speed affect flash exposure, why camera sync speed is important). If basic flash concepts are a mystery to you, I cover them in a separate session.

There is no model provided for this session.

As the session is mostly conducted in an undercover outdoor location, it will go ahead in rain but please dress appropriately for the forecast weather.


We meet mid-afternoon outside The Age building (near Southern Cross station) and return to finish at the same location 3 hours later. Each workshop is limited to 3 photographers. The fee for each participant is $75.

This walk is scheduled and organised through my group on the meetup.com website.

topics covered:

  • basic equipment: speedlight flashes, lighting stands, hot & cold shoes and triggering systems
  • different equipment & techniques for softening flash
  • lighting techniques using one or two flashes
  • different uses for gelled flashes (colour balancing plus creative effects)
  • combining flash with ambient light

previous students said:

“Great insightful course. David knows his stuff and gets through a lot of useful content. The course is very hands on, at a very convenient location and well priced.” – Craig, May 2018

“Excellent workshop, very well structured and broken down into logical steps… David definitely knows his stuff! Also helped me out by answering questions I had about other lighting issues & tips… Was the first workshop conducted by David and I will definitely be coming back again for the next one 😉 *highly recommended* Thanks David!” – Johnny, December 2016

“A very insightful hands on session. Thank you David for excellent accessible instruction & guidance!” – Ilya, October 2016

“Excellent meetup – lots of equipment & techniques covered with time for practice as well. Highly recommended.” – Gabbie, October 2016

“I did a masterclass about flash lighting last week and was amazing to learn how to use more than one flash speedlight at the same time and all the tools we need. A great experience! I will back again to the third masterclass! Highly recommended!” – Mireia, September 2016

“When it comes to understanding off camera flash, this is surely the mothership. I can’t wait to use all the good stuff David has taught.” – Dieter, August 2016

“After taking David’s #1 intro to flash course and now his Flash Lighting II, I am now excited to use my flash instead of avoiding it. Fantastic David.” – Eric, August 2015

“Well structured and equipped, great session as always…” – Chamal, August 2015

“I had loved Flash Lighting I but Flash Lighting II took it to a whole new level.. who knew the humble little speed light could achieve so much! This was a terrific session and I have taken away so much from both the lighting sessions. I now have a greater understanding of how speed lights work and also of the practical application of them. Thank-you very much David for your simple explanations and demonstrations. I am so happy I found your workshops!” – Joanne, June 2015

“Fantastic meetup! David is a wealth of information, I got so much out of these few hours, and feel like I know so much more now. Highly recommendable for anyone wanting to know more about lighting. Thanks for the great session!” – Tanja, September 2014

“A great wealth of knowledge in flash photography. Would recommend to anyone who wishes to learn more.” – David, September 2014

“Excellent. A very informative afternoon.” – Raymond, August 2014

“Thanks again David, for another informative and hands on session! I was blown away with the amazing effects a flash can create, I have never owned a flash but now I don’t think one will be enough for me… look forward to your other sessions!” – Dorothy, August 2014

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