Working With Off Camera Flash

I’ve never been a great one for flash photography, partly because of the nature of work I do and partly because of the flat and lifeless images flash photography can produce. I’ve always been aware of the creativity that flashguns afford but it’s only over the last couple of years that I’ve started using flash seriously and creatively.

Naturally I have a flashgun – a Nikon SB-700 that I use occasionally for fill-in flash.  Much of my work is stage photography, where creative lighting is already part of what I’m shooting, so flash is unnecessary. For parties, events and functions, where ambient lighting is also an important part of the scene, I use slow-sync flash to light the subject whilst still capturing the lighting from disco lights or other effects.

I’m now being tempted in to the world off off-camera flash, thanks in part to my recent discovery of the AmazonBasics Flash, an insanely cheap flashgun available from Amazon for just £26.

This unit is, as you’d expect from both the name and price, basic. It has no TTL metering or any other wizardly. It’s just a flash, powered by 4x AA sized batteries that can be manually set to one of 8 intensity settings. It also has a wide angle diffuser and a bounce card. It also comes with a hot-shoe stand and a waterproof bag. Build quality I would describe as adequate.

The flashgun has three settings – Manual, S1 and S2 – the latter of which provide a slave mode that allows the unit to be remotely triggered. It is compatible with a range of cameras, including Nikon, Canon, Ricoh, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, Pentax and Samsung.

I found the unit worked right out of the box with my Nikon D600, using it together with my SB-600.

In the image above I held the Nikon speedlight in my left hand whilst the AmazonBasics flash was mounted on a tripod behind me and to my right. I remotely triggered the shutter using an infrared remote.

Off camera flash is a relatively new practice for me and I hope to be experimenting with it a lot more now that I have two strobes to play with.

To find out more about the AmazonBasics Flash, go to