If the flash is your number one enemy, if you think that this flash does not go with you, if you think that with natural light you are enough and left over, or that the flash is a useless device that always burns your photos and does not give you more What a dislike, this literary recommendation is for you.

And you will say, but I haven’t told you that I hate it? Didn’t I tell you that I gave up the flash a long time ago? To which I answer: First look at the book, read a couple of chapters and you will see how faith returns. Do you think we weren’t many there, at that moment in life where hearing the word flash and making a face of disgust or sarcasm were action-reaction? At least I assure you that yes.   But since giving up is never an option, I decided to get this book. And he returned my faith, that easy. So I invite you to give it a try, and I almost dare to promise you that you will not regret it.


The book is very well structured visually and theoretically. It is divided into 9 major chapters that in turn have several subdivisions within each of them, all of them explained clearly and with a very pleasant language.


Before getting into something more technical, José Antonio Fernández offers a brief reflection on why the external flash is advisable. Its versatility compared to the heavy studio equipment or versus the simplicity of the flash built into the camera, make it a complete complement for any photographer.

© hoselito 2005-2017 (Image courtesy of José Antonio Fernández)


In this book nothing is left to chance or without explanation, so before starting to get into the use of the flash, it offers a complete and clarifying theme dedicated to working the manual mode of the camera and other basic aspects that every photographer should know to do it: exposure variables (diaphragm, shutter or ISO), measurement patterns (matrix, center-weighted, punctual), continuous light, dashed light, focal distance, multiplication factor, color temperature, and so on.



Here the author proposes to know some notes on the light through five basic questions that we must ask ourselves before taking a picture:

  1. Intensity, how much light do I need?
  2. Quality, how do I want the light to be?
  3. Coverage, where do I want to light up and where not?
  4. Color, what color do I want light?
  5. Address, where do I want to light up?



Step by step we enter into the use of the flash, starting to know what a flash is and how it works, up to how it synchronizes with the camera (maximum synchronization speed, high synchronization speed, synchronization to the second curtain …), the coverage angle, the guide number (NG), and so on. Don’t be scared, it’s very well explained


In this chapter you will learn to work with the TTL mode of the flash and get the most out of it knowing its limitations and advantages, but it will also encourage you to dare with the manual use of the flash (as he announces: The manual mode, easier than you think ), as well as with the measurement with and without a manual photometer, you will learn to bounce the lights, backlights, and so on.

© hoselito 2005-2017 (Image courtesy of José Antonio Fernández)


This chapter encourages us to dare to separate the flash from the camera shoe (to generate volume, three-dimensionality and relief) preserving in many cases the automatisms (TTL cables, transmitters, transmitters and receivers of manual radio, photosensitive cells, etc.) as well as information on the best supports for the flash (feet, kneecaps, tweezers, etc.).


In this case we will delve into light modifiers, as well as for the quality of the light, coverage or color.


If you do not know where to start bouncing lights, where to put the flash, etc., in this chapter the author offers you all the secrets to do it in a simple way and with amazing results (butterfly light, hall light, American night, profiled, zenith, etc). You can also know all the secrets of flash in macro photography, strobe mode, photograph metal or glass, or high-speed photography, among other things.


At this point you are ready to plan a photo shoot with good results. As an example, the author allows us to accompany him for no less than 24 real photographic sessions where he will explain his tricks, his chosen lighting scheme for each of them, as well as the quality of the light chosen, its coverage, direction or color.

© hoselito 2005-2017 (Image courtesy of José Antonio Fernández)



Number of pages: 256

Soft cover

Dimensions: 17x24cm

Publisher: J De J Editores (FotoRuta Collection)

Edition: 8th edition (January 2017)

Price: € 23.65


All he or she who wants to overcome his fear of the flash (as we well ahead of the title itself of this fantastic book) and have some knowledge and practice in manual mode, or at least intend to have them in the near future because, if Well there is a good introduction about everything you need to start reading, it is easier to follow it with these well-learned notions, to be able to absorb the rest of the information.


José Antonio Fernández is a deep connoisseur of lighting in photography, and he has a lot of experience as a teacher since he co-directs The Machine Studio and the specialized photography school La Machine where he teaches courses regularly.

He is also known for the quality of his images, which have won more than 80 international awards in various competitions, including 9 Lux Awards in Professional Photography.

© hoselito 2005-2017 (Image courtesy of José Antonio Fernández)


I have already been advancing throughout the article. It is a fantastic book wherever you look at it, but what I like most about it is that, because of the way it is designed and explained, you can follow it in a straight line (chapter after chapter) or you can use it as a book of Consultation for specific topics. In both options the book is perfectly consistent and you receive complete and meaningful information.


May your fear of the flash prevent you from giving this masterpiece a chance


  • WITHOUT FEAR OF PORTRAIT. Complete guide of lighting and pose direction , by José Antonio Fernández
    FotoRuta Collection. J by J Editors. 2014
  • PHOTO TO PHOTO 04 , by Jose A Fernández and Rosa I Vázquez FotoRuta
    Collection. J by J Editors. 2011


If you want to build your photographic library little by little with good and useful copies, this is an essential book, whether you are starting as if you are already mastering the light. It is a very complete and enjoyable book, with many examples to make it understandable to anyone regardless of their level and photographic knowledge. Obviously some will move faster than others through it, since some concepts will be obvious to some and new to others. But be as you are, I dare to say that you will find a fantastic reference guide in this book “Without fear of flash”

Oh and if my opinion is not enough, at Amazon you have more than 200 opinions that give you neither more nor less than 4.6 out of 5. Not bad, huh?

I hope you found this literary recommendation useful. If so, please do not hesitate to share it on your favorite social network so that someone else can benefit from it. Thank you and see you soon

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