Mastering Flash Photography

So you have an expensive flash unit that goes with your camera. Do you know how to use it or have you become frustrated trying to figure it out? Well you are not alone but don’t worry, this course will show you about photographic light, how the flash works, and then how to apply light to a wide variety of subjects.
Over 1000 students have taken Charlie’s Flash Photography Course!

You have probably heard; “There is no Photography without light!” Light is all around us, but not always where or when we need it. Fortunately, the electronic flash is always there whenever that need arises. But today’s flashes are so technically advanced that even pros find them intimidating!

Flash units are very sophisticated electronic devices and it is no wonder photographers are baffled. Maybe you have said “I HATE MY FLASH!”

mtn bike winter flashHowever, with an understanding of terminology and the amazing features of today’s flashes, your flash unit can quickly become your new best friend.

In this beginning course on using flash, we will take a step by step approach to demystifying all those and a whole lot more.

You will learn how to use your Nikon SB800 or SB900/910

You will learn how to use your Canon 580EX, 580EXII or 600EX-RT.

And you will learn how to:

  • How light works
  • How lighting angles affect your subject
  • How your flash works
  • What all those buttons and symbols mean
  • How to create soft light and hard light
  • fec__nHow to use flash modifiers
  • How to mix flash with natural light

This course then takes you into applying the flash in a variety of situations like:

  • Frontal flash
  • Backlighting
  • Side lighting
  • Wireless flash

And you will learn how to obtain perfect flash exposure, how to work with the flash off-camera, and how to modify the light.

I am confident by the end of this course you will be saying: “I LOVE MY FLASH!”


This course includes written and video lectures for easy understanding. And we have videos for the new Canon 600EX-RT, 580EX, 580EXII, Nikon SB800, and SB900 that show you in great detail what all the buttons and symbols mean.

As co-author of Understanding Flash with Bryan Peterson and author of Outdoor Flash Photography, I have created this course to answer all those nagging questions and advance you from flash novice to flash expert and quickly. All the basics are covered from light and flash theories; to using flash on camera and off; understanding the power of your flash and how to apply it; shutters and f/stop and their effects on flash; flash modes such as TTL, Auto, and Manual; bounce vs. direct flash; diffused flash, and a few surprise techniques thrown in for fun.

Click to see what’s inside this course.

Here’s what they say about Charlie’s course:

Hi Charlie, Thanks so much for my start into digital photography. I learned so much and you are a terrific teacher! I will keep in touch. – Karolyn.

Hi Charlie, wow, I have learn soooo much and got so much information in such a short time. I was thinking of taking another class after this one but I have to wait and try/do all new things that I´ve learned. You have really given me the beginning information that I needed. Thank you so much, goodbye and good luck:-) – Tuss B.

Charlie, Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! This has been one of the most wonderful classes I’ve ever taken. I’ve learned so much about lighting and had so much fun completing the assignments. Thank you too for all your advice about equipment and technique. I’m sorry the class is ending. I have enjoyed it so much. – Fran.

Excellent! Thanks Charlie. Great course. Lots and lots of great material you provided us. I had no idea that flash photography required a different way to think. You’ve introduced a tremendous amount of new ideas that will give me plenty to play with and experiment. I will be looking for more of your courses to take in the future. Thanks! – John.

Thanks Charlie for a great course. I very much appreciate all the detailed knowledge you shared with me. I feel armed and dangerous! You are a great instructor. I’ll let you know how my commission turns out…I’d love to be one of your successful students…Cheers…Helen.

Charlie, Thank you so much, I thoroughly enjoyed your course. I felt challenged with the assignments and greatly appreciated your comments. I especially am grateful for the ideas you left me with to continue to work on.I still consider mys elf a newbie to photography; there are so many things to think about and try to remember while setting up a shot. Flash was something I didn’t think I wanted to try and mess with. When used correctly the results are fantastic. But all too often it is just so obvious and harsh. You helped make it a more natural tool to use to get that “perfect shot”. I would love to take another flash course if one becomes available. I would like to see PPSOP offer more on this subject. Thanks again, Bill


Instructor: Charlie Borland has been a commercial and stock photographer for over 30 years. He has photographed for a wide range of clients including: Xerox, NW Airlines, Fujitsu, Tektronix, Nike, Blue Cross, Nationsbank, Precision Castpart’s Corp., Mentor Graphics, Texas Instruments, Pacificorp, Cellular One, Sequent Computer, Early Winters, Cascade Bancorp, and AGC.  His imagery has been used thousands of times worldwide and a sampling include: National Geographic Adventure and Traveler, Outside, Women’s Sport and Fitness, Newsweek, TV Guide, CIO, Sports Illustrated for Women, Time, Backpacker, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Eco Traveler, Southern Bell, to name a few. Charlie is the co-author to Understanding Flash and the author of Outdoor Flash Photography.  Charlie has been teaching for over a decade and teaches several courses here.

 Note: If you would like to shoot outdoor portraits using flash, click here for a list of gear to do that.