My first DSLR Photography Lesson with Kamila was back in May when she brought a friend to model for her as I instructed her on off camera flash (strobist) portrait photography. This second lesson tonight was a refresher on the basics of using Nikon's CLS (creative lighting system) Commander Mode to natively trigger a Nikon Speedlight off camera. However, at the very beginning of the lesson a massive thunderstorm broke out in sunny weather producing some of the most blasting lightning I have felt in nearly 15 years. Luckily, we met at the Museum of Fine Arts and could use its covered front archway deck to practice while the lightning slammed the earth.
Since May Kamila added the new Nikon SB-700 Speedlight to her camera bag. Getting hands on with the SB-700 for the first time tonight meant that in the past week I now have experience using both of Nikon's new (and only) speedlights. I really like the much improved button usage on both the SB-700 and SB-900, although the power switch that also has the dedicated remote and master settings is awkward to use since it requires pressing in a button while moving the small switch.
Before our next lesson Kamila will be going back to the camera shop to get a couple of light stands which make using speedlights off camera infinitely easier as light stands have a very small footprint and can reach heights of 9 to 12 feet. A tripod can be used but it has a large footprint and only reaches about six feet.
Learning how to use off camera flash is as simple as owning a Nikon D80 or above (D90, D7000, D300, D300s, D700) and a Nikon speedlight. Canon users with a 7D have a similar ability.