Photographing Friends on a Night Out

It can be really difficult to capture atmosphere and ambience in a photo, which is why knowing how to control the power of your flash is key.

In this photography class Karl explains how to get memorable images from a night out with friends with just a few simple tricks that you can try next time you’re on a night out.

You’ll learn how to control the power of your flash and why it’s important to balance your flash and shutter speed. Karl also demonstrates how to bounce flash, using the most simple accessories, and how you can even get great photos without using flash.

In this photography class we cover the following:

  • How to use your compact camera
  • How to use flash in low light
  • How to control flash power
  • Balancing flash power and shutter speed
  • Camera modes: TV mode
  • How to bounce flash
  • ISO explained

To learn more about some of the concepts discussed in this class, take a look at our Photography Quick Start Guide.

If you have any questions about this photography class please post in the comments section below.

NOTE: This photography class is available with subtitles.


  1. Hi Karl, what was the shutter speed used for the movement shots? i.e the group one in the bar and the walking group shots? thanks

    1. Hi Magdalene, I can’t remember but looking at the shot it would have likely been around 1/4 to 1/15th of a second combine with the flash. It’s best to just take a couple of experimental shots first.

  2. Hi Karl, I was actually assuming that there is no control for adjusting the flash power, but my point is: Under low light, low ISO condition the camera tends to compensate for that raising flash power, which leads to overexposure; under low light high ISO condition however the camera doesn’t need to compensate as much, i.e. needs less flash power, which should result in a nice mix of ambient and flash light. Would you confirm that or tell what’s wrong in my thoughts? ☺

    1. Hi Giovanni, in theory yes but how good will a compact camera be at deciding the correct amount of flash power, for example the camera I was using in this tutorial was an older one and not that intelligent. In setting the ISO higher then yes hopefully an intelligent camera system would reduce the flash power.

  3. Towards the end while still in the bar you raise the ISO and switch off the flash; why not keep the flash on instead? In my opinion this would have also done the trick of capturing ambient light and lowering flash power at the same time, am I right or wrong? ☺

    1. Hi Giovanni, I think the problem was that there was no control to reduce the flash power so the flash would have become overexposed because of the raised ISO. I’ve not seen this one for a while so I’ll check when I get a chance.

Leave a Comment