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Online Photography Course
Creative Flash Photography

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: 4-Week Short Course: Creative Flash PhotographyFlash is a wonderful tool for the photographer, but it can seem intimidating. After all, you can’t see what you get ... or can you?! With digital, flash becomes a lot easier, especially if you start experimenting to get true hands-on experience with your flash. This unique online class will offer you a series of challenging and enlightening lessons on flash, plus a series of weekly drills to help you master the creative use of standard flash units. Besides his work as author of over 35 books and professional photographer, instructor Rob Sheppard is editor-at-large for Outdoor Photographer magazine and is an experienced workshop instructor.
Key Features

Skill Level: Serious Hobbyist and Intermediate

  1. Make just one flash work for you for better photos.
  2. Master the flash-blur technique for new images.
  3. Move the flash off-camera for better work.
  4. Use flash outside for unexpected results.
  5. Change your flash’s light quality for effect.

  • For Serious Hobbyists and Intermediates (skill levels 2 and 3).
  • Learn to get more from your in-camera and accessory flash units.
  • Achieve professional-level flash photos with these key drills.
  • Guidance from an experienced digital photographer, editor and writer who knows how to help photographers succeed.
  • Course designed for anyone with a digital camera and flash.

What You Get


You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.  
  • Learn at your pace, with structure.
  • Be guided by a real pro instructor.
  • Get your photos critiqued every week.
  • Join students from around the world.
  • Go far beyond any book or DVD.
  • Make great pictures, again and again!



Photography Instructor: Rob  Sheppard Rob Sheppard
Rob Sheppard has had a long-time and nationally recognized commitment to helping photographers become better photographers, regardless of the equipment and technology. He was the editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine for 12 years and was the original editor of PCPhoto (now Digital Photo). Now he is editor-at-large.

He is also the author/photographer of over thirty photo books, including The Magic of Digital Landscape Photography, The National Geographic Field Guide to Photography - Digital, and Adobe® Photoshop Lightroom for Digital Photographers Only. He writes regularly for Outdoor Photographer and teaches around the country, including workshops for the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and the Light Photographic Workshops. His Web site for workshops, books and photo tips is at, and his blog on nature and photography is at

As a photographer, Rob worked for many years in Minnesota (before moving to Los Angeles), including doing work for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Norwest Banks (now Wells Fargo), Pillsbury, 3M, General Mills, Lutheran Brotherhood, Ciba-Geigy, Anderson Windows, and others. His photography has been published in many magazines, ranging from National Geographic to The Farmer to, of course, Outdoor Photographer and PCPhoto.

He and his wife, Vicky (married 30+ years), live in the Los Angeles area. They have a son working on his Ph.D. in youth sports and education, and a daughter studying communications/journalism.

Also see Rob's Nature and Photography blog.

A Couple of Photos by the Instructor

© Rob Sheppard 

© Rob Sheppard 

Course Outline


Week 1: Master the Flash-Blur Technique for New Images
Flash-blur is an amazing technique that will immediately set your images apart from others. You’ll learn how you can merge the sharpness of flash with the motion blur of a slow shutter speed.

Week 2: Move the Flash Off Camera for Better Work
To really step up your work with flash, you need to move the light off camera. Do that and your flash possibilities increase exponentially.

Week 3: Use Flash Outside for Unexpected Results
Even though the simplest point-and-shoot cameras allow you to sync flash with daylight, few photographers do. You can learn to create new and unexpected lighting effects by using your flash when others don’t.  

Week 4: Change Your Flash’s Light Quality for Effect
The quality of light relates to its broadness or size compared to the subject. Diffusing the flash has a small effect, but much less than most photographers think. You’ll discover how you can change the quality of light from any flash and get better photos.
Note: For all weekly lessons, you will get a number of drills to help you explore this idea, and some of those images will be used for the assignment and critique.

© Rob Sheppard 

© Rob Sheppard 



  • Digital camera with aperture and shutter speed control.
  • External flash unit plus dedicated flash cord.**
  • A willingness to experiment and try different approaches.
  • Desire to capture better images.

** The dedicated flash cord allows your flash to communicate directly with your camera so you can use it off camera and automatically. It is "dedicated" because you have to get one that works specifically with your camera and flash models. These cords are available at any camera store.  



Is this a studio class?
No. This is about using small flash for better photographs, although the ideas you will learn from this class will help any photographer use flash better.  

Does my digital camera need to be expensive - a professional model?
No, as long as your camera allows you to control aperture and shutter speed and use an accessory flash - those are important things. A digital SLR is ideal, although an advanced compact digital camera that has a flash shoe would also work fine.   

Are you going to teach things you can do in Photoshop in this photo course?
No, though I will comment about image processing in the critiques if it affects the flash technique. This course is about shooting, not about Photoshop or digital image-editing software.   

Do I need anything else in the way of equipment?
You will need a camera and flash. A built-in flash will get you started, but for the work in this class, and any real use of flash, you need an accessory flash with a dedicated flash cable. That cable lets you solidly connect the flash to the camera, yet keep the flash off the camera. If your system has wireless capabilities, that can substitute for the flash cord.  

© Rob Sheppard 

© Rob Sheppard 

Do I have to be online at any specific time?
No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.

Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.

For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.

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Only $198.00 USD  Click to Verify - This site has chosen a thawte SSL Certificate to improve Web site security  We accept Visa and Mastercard  We accept American Express

At a Glance
4-Week Short Course
Category: Lighting / Exposure

$198.00 USD
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Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
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Read all 7 reviews

Course Reviews:

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BetterPhoto Member Aernout Zevenbergen
Aernout Zevenbergen
member since: 2/16/2012
Great course!
Would want there to be a follow-up one: taking it deeper, with more assignments. Practice makes perfect.

- 4/15/2012 1:57:15 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Aernout Zevenbergen
Aernout Zevenbergen
member since: 2/16/2012
Thanks so much for your feedback over the last few weeks! The material, the assignments and your feedback now give me the feeling I can take on the flash, and use it when it enhances the imagery I am trying to produce. I am looking forward to other courses I have signed up for with you, and will meet you there!

- 4/11/2012 10:56:40 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Stephen C. Fairbanks
member since: 4/1/2009
In four comprehensive, well thought-out lessons, this course really opened up for me the possibilities of an external flash, for both portraiture and stilllifes. Rob's lessons are excellent and his feedback very direct and personal. Anyone wishing to coordinate a Nikon DSLR with an external flash wirelessly should learn to do so first, however, as I found that to be initially a bit daunting.

- 6/1/2010 11:40:37 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member David Gray
David Gray
member since: 7/29/2008
Your class has been excellent! It has prompted me to try things that I would not have tried - diffuser, reflectors and bounce flashes. ... Your material was thorough and interesting. I have taken a number of classes with BetterPhoto and this has been one of the most helpful. Also, your encouragement has been extremely important. You are instructive without being overly crticial. ... Your class has really helped me improve my pictures with better lighting. Thank you for your patience!

- 2/4/2010 5:23:58 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Janice M LeCocq
Janice M LeCocq
member since: 6/3/2007
Rob provides a very disciplined way to begin to understand how to creatively work with flash. His drills are insightful, and he challenges the student to think of flash as another tool in the creative toolbox. I was intimidated by flash, but I'm doing much better now!!!

- 12/26/2008 12:29:48 PM

Read all 7 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"What a wonderful way to learn photograhy! In most workshops I've attended, it was mostly about techniques and not much on critique. I've enjoyed learning from Rob not only with my photography but from others in the class. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to improve their photography knowledge, skills and artistic creativity!" -Janice Threlkeld in Rob Sheppard's Impact in Your Photos class 

Thank you very much for the best BetterPhoto class I have taken yet. Your honest critiques have made and forced improvement with my photography... Being able to interact with a world renowned and respected man as you has been awesome." -Dan Nash  in Rob's Impact in Your Photos class 

"Outstanding class! Rob's methods and logic make absolute sense in learning how to achieve great color in your photos, from capture to print. I don't need to refer back to his lessons to remember how to do a particular adjustment ... it naturally sinks in once you begin to apply it. Thanks!!!" -Susan Totte in Rob's Better to Best Color in Digital Photography course 

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