off camera flash

with michelle turner

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October 9, 2017
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November 27, 2017
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Full Participation sold out.
Study Along seats available!

Learn how to use your flash off camera to create and manipulate light in any situation, whether you are looking to lift harsh shadows during midday sessions, fill a room with light, or photograph your subjects after dark! We will cover the basics and then learn how to tweak the settings in-camera to enhance or play down the ambient light in the scene. From light position and modifier selection to the inverse square law and bouncing the light off-camera to fill a room for more of a lifestyle approach, we will engage in a variety of creative light assignments which will give you the confidence you need to capture images with ease in any kind of light!

This course has four PDFs, 23 videos (over seven hours of how-to videos) and covers everything you need to get started and move to the next level with your off camera flash work. No flash experience is necessary.

“The list of gear is not long but the possibilities are endless. If you ever find yourself wishing for non-washed out skies, saturated colors, portable light in dark caves…this is your class!”

Commitment

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4 weeks

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daily shooting encouraged

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6-8 hours of work per week

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this course has prerequisites

Prerequisites

All students need a flash, trigger, and receiver. A lightstand and modifier, while not required, are desirable. Michelle is happy to make suggestions for a variety of budgets, from economy (under $100 if you already own your flash) to top of the line.
Students should be comfortable shooting in manual mode.

Instructor

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Michelle Turner’s photography is a wildly fun, all-or-nothing, bold, brazen, adventure-laden experience, akin to the likes of a magazine shoot. From Puerto Vallarta to Maine, Pennsylvania to the world at large, the places where she shoots form her photography just as much as the couple themselves. The end result? A brilliant, unmatched combination of people and places, hearts and havens, souls and surroundings, and sentiment and scenery, making her clients look like never-before-seen works of art among the wildest settings of the world—from nature-inspired to cement-covered. Michelle has published two books about fashionable wedding photography and speaks at numerous conventions and events throughout the year on posing and the use of off-camera flash. Her work has appeared in many regional, national, and international publications. She currently resides in Pennsylvania and Maine, although her photography assignments take her all over the world. is a coveted national speaker and author and has published two books about fashionable wedding photography. She currently resides in Maine in the summer and spends most of the winter photographing weddings and events in Mexico and Europe and she is the Director of Click Photo School here at Click & Company! Michelle’s portfolio is available here.

The following photographers also participate in discussions: Jennifer Bogle

A number of course alumni are invited to engage in discussion, share insight with students, and provide feedback and encouragement throughout the course.

Categories

Lighting
Beginner through Advanced

• 4 Weekly Printable Lesson Downloads with Assignments (outlined in syllabus)
• 23 videos (over seven hours of how-to videos)
• Getting started/equipment video
• Instructor-Led Online Q&A for Each Lesson
• Personal Video Critiques of Weekly Assignments by Instructor

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students receive instructor critiques of the posted assignment each week and have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.

Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.

Welcome & Preassignment

Choosing Equipment

Week One

Reading: understanding sync speed and flash power; getting started with your equipment off camera; ambient light and flash blended; natural light vs. flash; flash as the sole source of illumination; using your flash to simulate natural light
Assignment:finding your actual maximum sync speed; ocf vs. natural light images; filling a room with light

Week Two

Reading: moving beyond the basics; the direction of the light; understanding the aperture and shutter speed with created light; positioning your flash and angles; why use ocf and ocf as corrective lighting; the distance of light to your subject
Assignment: shutter speed and the photograph; attempting different flash angles

Week Three

Reading:the inverse square law; grids, snoots, and mm settings; controlling the ambient and long exposures
overpowering the ambient and stopping motion; dealing with undesirable shadows; shadows and light
Assignment: turning the background from light to dark; distance of the light to the subject; the spotlight effect

Week Four

Reading: tweaking ocf to achieve the look you want; using gels, dealing with groups; one background, one hundred options; lighting events and practical applications, the macro studio; mixing it up: natural light and ocf in the same session; more power– why, when and what
Assignment: balancing flash with ambient; researching creative light

The CMU workshop is a 100% online classroom experience. Once you sign up, you have access to a course forum that is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.

Each week students receive a set of course materials– these materials generally include a PDF and/or videos. Throughout the week, the instructors is present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement. Students receive an assignment each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and class discussion throughout the week.

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive instructor critiques each week. They also have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.

Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.

Whether you are a Full Participation student or a Study Along student, the course materials are yours to keep.

Do I need to have any experience with flash photography? No flash experience is necessary– you can take this course even if you’ve never taken your flash out of the box!

What equipment do I need? All students need a flash, trigger, and receiver. A lightstand and modifier, while not required, are desirable.



30 Comments

  • Jenna Joerger says:

    I highly recommend this class! I was a little nervous going into it as I have zero experience with flash (on or off camera). The materials are very easy to follow and the videos really help to explain the concepts. If you can really dedicate some time to practice each week, the feedback you receive from Michelle on any troubles you may be experiencing, any questions you have about a specific situation you were in, etc. is so valuable. For me, it helped me look at light as a whole in a different way and I find that it is helping me with lighting situations even without flash. Now, I want to carry around my flash and modifier everywhere I go! It is so fun learning what you can create..options are endless! Great teacher, great class.

  • Ashley McBroom says:

    There’s a reason this class has so many glowing reviews – it’s really that excellent! If you have a desire to create work you’ll love in less than perfect natural light scenarios then it’s for you. And take it full participation if you can – Michelle is very accessible in the forums and she answered all of my random questions that I wouldn’t have been able to ask otherwise. This course is incredibly chock full of information but it’s broken down into manageable segments so it isn’t overwhelming. Four weeks ago I had only used my flash on camera – very rarely, and always with a sense of dread. I feel much more confident in my ability to create the light I want now than I did a month ago, and I’m just getting started. I would relate learning OCF to learning how to shoot in manual mode for the first time – there’s so much to think about and having an expert walk me through it was the only way I was going to learn it correctly. Michelle takes away your technical fears and she’s friendly, encouraging, and positive. I had no idea that off camera flash would open up such creative possibilities and actually be enjoyable! I’m hooked – I can’t wait to take her next class!

    • Thank you so much, Ashley! I really enjoyed having you in class and it was so great seeing your confidence with flash grow over the course of the workshop– it is really reflected in your work!! <3

  • Carlin MacDougall says:

    This class will change the way you think about light in photography! Michelle gave me the ability to create beautiful light off-camera when I need it. I now realize how many times I was in situations where I was struggling with the lighting conditions and could have used off-camera flash. After taking this class I am able to recognize those situations before I even take a photo. Michelle is particularly good at showing how to balance ambient light sources with flash. Even if you think you are a “natural light photographer” this class is essential! There is something for everyone here: basic studio lighting techniques, tips for lifestyle shoots with flash, on-location lighting, and plenty of opportunity to experiment with your own subject matter. I found that this class really expanded my options for creative use of lighting. For the first time I really felt like I could imagine the kind of lighting I wanted and then create it myself.

    There is so much information packed into this four-week class. Michelle has detailed PDFs and in-depth videos. Some of these videos contain amazing footage of her shoots filmed from a drone. It’s very beneficial to see a shoot from above and all sides to understand the set-up. I got so much great feedback in this class and loved the community feeling of the forum where we shared our weekly work. If you haven’t taken this class yet, sign up! This class is worth every penny.

  • Wendy May says:

    I am currently working my way through Week 4 assignment, and up to this point have learnt a wealth of information about OCF that will stand me in good stead in the future. Can’t count the number of”Ah-ha!” moments I’ve had in areas I’ve stumbled in previously when trying to teach myself via books or anything I could find on the internet! Michelle takes the “technical head scratching” out of learning OCF and teaches in a very clear and simple to understand way which is exactly what I craved on this subject. Have taken a workshop elsewhere prior to this workshop and fell asleep watching the videos as the tutor was really boring with his technical jargon…. I just switched off! Not so with any of this workshop.

    I wanted to take this particular workshop (my first ever) because where I live, we have a lot of dark / overcast days and I wanted to learn to use flash to be able to better shape light in such conditions. However, this workshop covers so many more ways in which to use OCF than what I was purposefully looking for, including covering indoor and outdoor lighting (in all weather conditions), and also has a section on using gels creatively to achieve various backdrops and different looks. The whole breakout is an excellent teaching reference with a wealth of information – I have only scratched the surface with this description.

    Michelle is an amazing tutor on the subject and I cannot recommend this course she teaches highly enough. Regarding value for money – I took the SA option and found this excellent value for money, but if I could have afforded the FP option, I would definitely have opted for this as I believe having your work evaluated and receiving actual pin-pointed trouble shooting feedback and advice on your work from Michelle would be a definite advantage in this respect. However, I am delighted with what I have gleaned as a SA student and so appreciative of what I have learnt, plus I did find that a lot of my queries came up and were answered in the Q & A sections.

    I have given my printer a real workout this past 3 weeks printing off everything to do with this course and collating it all in a large folder with clear poly pockets for future reference, plus I have all the videos downloaded and feel happy that I have an excellent wealth of reference material on OCF (which I actually understand) to return to as and when I may need a refresher on the subject at any point.

    I am delighted with my purchase and would say to anyone considering this course – don’t put it off! You miss many shooting opportunities where poor light would otherwise mean missed shooting opportunities but with OCF skills, you open the way for opportunities you may otherwise have missed.

  • I’m a natural light photographer – at least this is how I’ve always defined myself. I decided to learn OCF because there are situations where the available light is non-existent or unsuitable, and I wanted to have a trick up my sleeve for that. In short, I took this class because I needed it, but I never thought I would actually love it. And after 4 short weeks, I’m realizing how wrong I was! OCF is opening a whole new world to me, and thanks to Michelle’s incredible teaching skills I was able to understand the basics so quickly! I’ve already captured many images that I love and that I could never had taken without OCF. I’m officially hooked, and fabulously inspired! Thank you so much Michelle for being such an amazing instructor!

  • Camille Robison says:

    Michelle is a Wonderful instructor! This class re-energized me and got me excited about improving my skills with off-camera flash. I will be re-reading and using these materials for a very long time. Despite using off-camera flash and a camera for years, I gained some very crucial understanding about how a flash affects your aperture and speed settings and how to work with difficult light! I will definitely be looking for more classes to take with Michelle!

  • I am a studio photographer wanting to branch out into OCF in the field. Michelle’s class was a great way to start. I had not shortage of technical questions and she had no shortage of answers. Her weekly assignments were creative, inspiring and really helped me learn more about the effects of OFC. I may even sign up to take her class again just so I get access to all she has to offer. Thanks again Michelle for your encouraging words.

  • Trish Kozola says:

    This was the class that really jumped my shooting techniques. It gave me a good understanding of the direction and type of light, the use of modifiers and the appropriate time to use OCF (always). I practiced my technique on some still life photos I was shooting and was amazed at the difference in emotion the light type and direction gave to inanimate objects. I just recently did a maternity shoot for a friend of mine, I was shooting during the golden hour, but in some areas it was very shaded, using OCF gave that pop of light on their faces that I needed to expose the photo correctly and bring out the color in the fall leaves around them. I impressed even myself!

    So all that to say – TAKE THIS CLASS!

  • Stop thinking about taking this class and go sign up! Michelle is an incredible teacher and the ability to use OCF is a game changer. She does an excellent job explaining different styles, techniques, and equipment options. I hesitantly signed up for this class and am so thrilled I did! The options for OCF are endless. I would have described myself as a natural light photographer, but now I will certainly incorporate flash into my sessions. She beautifully showed us how to make flash look natural and it will be instrumental in my lifestyle photography. Now, there are so many new things I want to try! You will not regret investing in this class.

  • Olga Levien says:

    I took Michelle’s OCF as SA and it was a great experience so far! I never before used a flash and promote myself like natural light photographer but really wanted to learn how to use OCF (especially after shooting my last wedding reception and family formals, I just needed these knowledge!).
    It was a great materials, Michelle is a really gifted teacher who explained everything step by step (from moments of set up flash to more complicated light situations and how to deal with it). I love how Michelle explained everything really good way with real structure and put out all main points and repeated them for best memory.
    Also there tons of video materials so you can see in reality how to archive different look and how to work with different lighting scenarios. What a great course! No matter what you specialised in (it can be helpful for newborns, portraiture, lifestyle sessions, studio work, weddings, events and all styles of photography!)
    I can’t say more then BIG thank you, Michelle!
    Now just practice, practice and practice! :)

  • Kim Peterson says:

    This workshop took me from wishing I could shoot OCF to actually doing it. I already owned a Creative Live flash workshop, but although it contains a lot of great information, it really go me no closer to actually shooting OCF. Michelle’s workshop gives you all the information you need combined with what I think was a perfect format for learning to use your gear. Weekly assignment submissions are critiqued via assignment videos, and for me, this was the perfect way to learn. Using OCF really seems to be all about problem solving for each and every unique environment, and the videos walk you through a wide variety of scenarios teaching you how to problem solve in them so that you will know how to problem solve in your own unique set ups. I took this as a study along participant and learned so much from the full participation students, the weekly teaching videos, the weekly assignment videos, and the weekly pdf’s. Learning OCF is really all about practice, practice, practice which means I have a long ways to go in the process, but I am excited to have been propelled in the right direction by this awesome workshop!

  • We just finished up the OCF class with Michelle. It was such a great class! The PDF material and videos are worth every penny. Michelle is also a great communicator and has a wealth of knowledge that she opens up to us. I learned a lot about flash and how to use it in different situations. I TOTALLY recommend taking her class if you wish to expand your light/flash knowledge. :)

  • Wow. I learned so much. Michelle is a natural born teacher. I will be referencing these materials over and over again. I had the capability of OCF for about 6 months before this class and was just tinkering around. Now I have the foundation to get command of OCF and the possibilities are endless. If you want to make your flash your friend, take this class! And you won’t be cheating on your available light self!

  • KimG says:

    I also took this class in February and it was everything I expected a CM class to be. The instructor Michelle is a natural teacher and she really breaks things down in bite sized portions. And she really encourages you to play. Not to get bogged down with the technicalities but take time to make it fun, then come back and take on the technical stuff! Which really helps you not get frustrated as you learn.
    I took this as a Full Time Participant and to me it was so worth it, for the critique and help Michelle and the TAs give each and every student.

    The list of gear is not long but the possibilities are endless. If you ever find yourself wishing for non-washed out skies, saturated colors, portable light in dark caves…this is your class!

    I have read several books, watched videos, read online tutorials but not until this class did it all make sense!

  • Kim Paine says:

    I also took this class during the February run, and I highly recommend it!

    Michelle’s class has been amazingly applicable! I took the class because I had encountered times when natural light was not enough. I was amazed to learn how off-camera flash can help me get the shots I want whenever and wherever I need to shoot! I can shoot at times or in locations that I would have avoided before the class, because I have so much more control over the light. Just in the last couple of weeks I’ve used OCF for a large-group outdoor event at sunset, for cast photos for a school musical, and for indoor maternity photos when the client’s house was just a little darker than I wanted.

    Michelle is an excellent teacher–supportive and upbeat and able to make such helpful suggestions. I really appreciated that she incorporated creative shooting along with the practical uses of OCF to help us really see more possibilities with flash– and it was SO FUN! I have taken quite a few CM classes, and this is one of the best!

  • Dominique Angle says:

    This workshop was great!!!!!! I took it during February with a really great group of ladies. I didn’t quite know what to expect and asked quite a few questions before I signed up to make sure I had all the gear (triggers, brolly box, gels, lightbenders, not all of which are required) and was ready to go. Michelle Turner answered all the questions, before I even enrolled in course. Once the workshop started, Michelle was always on top of things and was extremely helpful. I can’t say enough good things about her!

    As far as the class and material – it was a ton of fun! Quite a bit of the material is for outside shots (balancing ambient light with flash light, using OCF during mid-day sun, taking pictures at sunset), which in winter in Ohio is probably not the best, BUT she encouraged us to be creative and try out new and different things (using the flash as your sole light source, using gels, snoots and light benders). :) I have some really wonderful and interesting shots from the workshop. Definitely worth taking!!!!

    Since the end of the workshop, I’ve started working with OCF outside (the weather has improved immensely here!) and it’s still amazing the things you can do with it!! I’d totally recommend taking this course! Using OCF definitely adds to your bag of tricks!

  • I took Michelle’s class in February and it has helped me immensely, especially in the crummy spring weather we have been having here. It has literally saved me now several times with indoor photo shoots where I was able to use my OCF flash to either simulate natural light streaming in through a window, or used my flash as fill light so that I could get gorgeous window-backlit images with well exposed faces and with keeping my ISO low. Before the class, I would have either cancelled my photo session or headed there with a huge pit in my stomach, praying for the clouds to disappear…

    And that is not even mentioning all the different looks you can produce with OCF flash to make your portfolio or client viewing gallery more diverse. I highly, highly recommend this class to anyone who is looking to be able to work in diverse lighting situations and to be able to control the light they have.

    • Natalie Holm says:

      I loved this class! Michelle is a natural teacher and did an incredible job with this content. I normally try and teach myself as much as possible and am pretty frugal about spending money, but this class was worth every penny. I do not think I could have learned something as technical as OCF from a book!

      Up to this point, I have always used natural light and was a bit intimidated about flash. This class gave me a solid understanding of how flash works off camera in different situations. Though I still am mostly a natural light shooter, I can now confidently set up my flash on client shoots to capture images during non-ideal times of day (ie, full sun at 2pm, after the sun is gone at sunset, etc.) and also use OCF to finesse my lighting indoors. Michelle goes over all the gear (from triggers, to modifiers, to gels) and makes difficult concepts easy to understand. Her materials are well written and I very much enjoyed reading through them each week. I had LOTS of Ah-HA! moments in her class.

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