Unlock Flash Exposure Compensation for Greater Creative Control

Unlock Flash Exposure Compensation for Greater Creative Control

There’s a misconception that TTL exposure means giving 100% control of your flash intensity to the camera. Let’s talk about using Flash Exposure Compensation to enhance your images.

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What is Flash Exposure Compensation?

Don’t confuse Flash Exposure Compensation with Exposure Compensation which is used in the camera’s automatic and priority modes. 

The Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC) setting is unlocked when a TTL flash is attached to your camera. For example when you’re using an Ikelite DS Strobe with a compatible DS Link TTL Converter. 

Flash comp only affects the brightness of the TTL flash, typically in 1/3 f/stop intervals. Unlike Exposure comp, Flash comp is accessible when the camera is in Manual exposure mode. 

Flash Exposure Compensation with Ikelite DS Strobes in TTL

Flash Exposure Compensation allows you to fine tune your strobe exposure on the fly without switching out of TTL mode.

When to Use FEC

I may dial it down to give a little more depth and moodiness to my macro photos, or dial it up to get a bigger pop of color on a wide angle reef scene. 

Since you’re in TTL, the camera will continue to reevaluate the flash metering with every shot. If you’re shooting close focus wide angle and a hammerhead swims by, your flash will adjust instantly. 

How to Set FEC 

All cameras give you access to Flash Exposure Compensation nested inside of the Flash Menu. I recommend learning how to access it through one of the quick action menus so you can change it easily on the fly. 


On Canon, you can find it in the Q Menu.

Canon Flash Exposure Compensation with Ikelite Strobes


On Sony, you can add it to the Function menu. 

Sony Flash Exposure Compensation with Ikelite Strobes


On Nikon, add it to the i menu.

Nikon Flash Exposure Compensation with Ikelite Strobes 

OM System / Olympus

On an OM System or Olympus camera, add it to the Super Control Panel. 

OM System Olympus Flash Exposure Compensation with Ikelite Strobes 

With our DS Link Converters you can add the power of TTL with Flash Exposure Compensation to a wide variety of camera systems. 


Additional Reading

Manual Camera Exposure VS Manual Strobe Exposure for Underwater Photography [VIDEO]

The Myth of TTL Strobe Exposure Underwater

5 Situations Where You Need a Strobe Underwater [VIDEO]

TTL Underwater Strobes for Canon R10 (and R7) // Setting It Up [VIDEO]

Canon R5 A-Z // Setting up Ikelite Underwater Strobes with DL5 DS Link TTL Converter [VIDEO]

Choosing Strobes for Ikelite TTL Systems

DL2 DS Link Sony TTL Converter Underwater Photos

DL1 DS Link Nikon TTL Converter Underwater Photos

Upgrade Your Nauticam | Installing an Ikelite M14 or M16 TTL Bulkhead [VIDEO]

Reading next

Shooting Underwater with a Single Strobe Flash
The Art of Motion Blur in Underwater Photography