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Understanding Cobra Flash Triggering Modes

Posted 27 Feb-2022 12:35 PM by INFO | 776

Lighting is an essential element in photography, if not the most important. Without absolute control of the latter over your shots, you will never obtain the precise results you had in mind. That's why the cobra flash is the ideal accessory, whether for  indoor or outdoor photo shoots. A small accessory that could replace the best lighting studio. You probably still use it with more or less confidence, so for easier and more efficient use, we are going to show you the different trigger modes of the cobra flash.

The cobra flash firing modes are easy to use, provided you know their functions and applications in depth, and that's all you're going to learn about today.

Cobra flash trigger modes

It sometimes gives the impression of being an accessory designed with a lot of mischief, impossible to master, but nothing could be further from reality. The first thing to do is to read the cobra flash instruction manual. It is essential to know what your cobra flash is capable of, it is essential, in the same way that you discover a completely new camera right after buying it. This is the most overlooked step so it is essential.

Once the functions of your cobra flash have been clearly identified, you will look at the triggering modes. First of all, you should know that not all shoe flashes offer the same working modes. In most cases, even their name changes, so read carefully the part of the manual devoted to the triggering modes of the cobra flash to dispel any doubts.

Cobra Flash Triggering Modes: Automatic

Just like our cameras, the cobra flashes have an automatic mode which facilitates the experience of the photographer but as with the automatic mode of the cameras, it has its small limits.

This working mode is ideal whenever the position of the subject or the featured object in relation to the cobra flash is important for the photo. Indeed, it will always be well lit, regardless of the source of the flash light. You may be working outdoors, with good lighting, and want to bring a pilot light to the scene. You will therefore be interested in knowing how far the object to be photographed is from the flash.

This is a trigger mode that offers more freedom compared to manual mode. Indeed, it would suffice to take into account the distance at which the photo is taken, the power of the flash and the opening of the diaphragm to be used to have a correct exposure, while with the manual mode, everything remains to be done at the hand, by definition. In most cases, the automatic mode of cobra flashes makes it possible to define a large range of distance of which one can move the subject or the protagonist object.

In this case, the flashes include sensors capable of instantly calculating when the flash flash must occur to capture a photo and that it is well exposed.

Although it is an excellent mode, with many possibilities for our photo shoots, it does not allow us to know in depth all the technical functions and the possibilities of the flash.

Cobra flash firing modes: TTL

Its acronyms refer to its English name: Through the Lens. It is nothing other than the measurement of the flash flash through the lens installed on the camera because it is the latter which takes the measurement of the flash produced by the flash and therefore, it is also the camera that decides what intensity will be adequate to obtain the correct exposure in the photo.

We venture to say that this is the best mode to work in most situations and it is even more true when you do not fully master the operation of the flash and its functionalities because it is very easy to use, for more than satisfactory results.

Although this is an automatic flash mode, it must be configured as a different mode from the one already mentioned because the TTL mode is the improved version. The main difference lies in the fact that in the automatic mode, it will be you who will take care of the calculations corresponding to the distance at which the photo is taken, the power of the flash, whether to increase or decrease it, as well as the diaphragm opening to be used. All these calculations, you will do without using the TTL mode.

With the TTL mode of your cobra flash, the only thing to take into account will be the power of your flash and the distance between the equipment and the subject or object on which you will be working because, as we have said, it is your device that will take care of exposing the photo well. This is the big advantage of this mode.

To test this working mode, your flash must have TTL triggering mode just like your camera. The camera has a TTL sensor which will allow the components of the equipment to work together.

Cobra Flash Triggering Modes: Manual

As is the case for the manual mode of your camera, it will also be up to you to adjust the parameters, on the manual mode of your cobra flash. This presupposes total control of the device and consequently better use of its functionalities. Over time, you will know the optimal settings for each situation, without burning your neurons. For the time being, we advise you to experiment by modifying the ISO sensitivity and the opening of the diaphragm.

Before using the manual trigger mode of the cobra flash, there are several factors to take into account to obtain the correct exposure.

First you need to take care of the ISO sensitivity. As you know, it is a great ally to ensure that a scene has good lighting, especially in low light conditions. But its excessive use generates noise on the image, resulting in a loss of quality. We advise you to use the lowest sensitivity to avoid this problem.

With the increase in ISO sensitivity, we can increase the distance at which the object is located and therefore also the guide number of the flash because to obtain a correct exposure, you will need less light. That being said, select the ISO sensitivity that you consider appropriate.

If your flash has a zoom on the lamp, you also need to know the guide number of your cobra flash, which corresponds to its power. So depending on the zoom you use on your triggers, the guide number, in other words the power of the flash, will vary. The zoom flashes on the lamp are amazing to adapt to all situations and focal lengths. You will always be able to achieve the photo you had in mind.

If you're using manual flash mode, you'll also need to set the aperture on your triggers to get one depth of field over another. The diaphragm opening can be decisive for the choice of a frame rather than another, for the distance that you will use to photograph the object.

When you have established the settings to use, move on to focus and shoot. If you think you didn't get a good exposure, make adjustments to the aperture or ISO sensitivity until you get the desired result.

Cobra flash trigger modes: Strobe or Multi 

It is a mode of work that few flashes have and of which we take little advantage despite all its possibilities. Really creative photos can be taken so easily it's hard to believe.

The strobe trigger mode, also known as multi, involves integrating a complete sequence of moving elements into a single photo. It would be like shooting a burst on a runner, for example, then joining the photos into a single image using digital editing software. But instead of "cheating the computer", let's use the magic of light.

Ultimately, if you use your flash in strobe mode, it will trigger multiple flashes of light within a given time and at a very specific frequency, thus giving this capture of the footage of a moving subject translated into a single shot.

If you want to make a sequence photo like the one above, with the background completely black, you have to take into account that you will have to work in manual mode with your camera and opt for infinity focus. As for the diaphragm opening, we advise you to close it to at least f/18 and depending on the tests carried out, you can modify the value.

Other Cobra Flash Triggering Modes

Although they are considered as types of connection of the flash to the camera, by including them in the release modes, one will better understand their purpose on photo shoots. We are talking here about slave flash and master flash modes.

Cobra flash trigger modes: Slave

This connection mode or triggering mode is the best known and the most accepted by cobra flashes. This is the only way to make your cobra flash universal. It consists of assembling the flash on the shoe of your camera so that it triggers from this location.

But it is also the mode with the most limitations because the photographer completely loses the possibility of creating creative lighting schemes, capable of giving a more striking dimension to the subject or object.

But all is not bad with this mode: even if we lose creativity, we gain space. This is without a doubt the best way to take your camera out onto the streets and ensure optimal lighting.


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