Lights and cameras go hand-in-hand in order to capture that picture-perfect shot. Sometimes all you need is to be in the sun at the right place, and sometimes all you need are some really useful flash photography tips.
Even though camera flash is the most used equipment in the photography world, the true potential of this combo still remains unheard of and unused by the majority of the users.
Today we are here to change this particular fact. In this article, we are here to discuss 12 photography tips that you can use next time when you put on a flashlight and are ready to shoot.
When to use Flash Photography
Before jumping on to the flash photography tips, it is very important to know when you shall use the flash in order to make the most out of your efforts.
- The first reason to use Flash photography shall be at the time when there is an absence of lights or have very little light.
2. Second reason could be to bring attention to the viewer to a particular subject only.
3. Another reason to use the flash is to create a drama and convey emotions in an image.
4. Lastly, a flash is used to show the direction or the moment of the subject.
12 Flash Photography tips
Bouncing the light
Among the very first Flash photography tips for you would be to bounce off the incoming light. Remember that direct light can create hard shadows and can even over-expose your image. Until and unless you are looking for an overexposed image, it would be best in your interest to make a flash or the incoming light bounce and then get reflected on your subject.
Diffuse the Flash
In the first flash photography tip, we have already discussed using direct lighting on the subject. But taking this a step further, you shall also keep in mind to diffuse the flashlight, in order to get a soft light effect on your subject. This gives a natural effect, where light shadows aren’t that harsh and lightly bring the required glow on the subject.
Use of Ambient Light
When we talk about flash photography tips, we mean the use of incoming light. Now the sources of this incoming light could be artificial or even natural. Hence you can even use ambient light similar to a flashlight. If the light is coming from the opposite direction you can use reflectors in order to redirect the light.
Use of flash Gel
Flash Gel are little additions to your flash that you can use to bring color to your lighting. Mostly used in street and raw photography, flash gel is a great way if you want to show contrast, or when you already have a color light and you wish to bring in different colors to make the image stand out.
High speed flash Sync
Normally, if you use your flash at a higher shutter speed, the result might not be as illuminated as might want. In order to bring in the right amount of light in the frame, you need to sync in your flash seep with the shutter speed.
This might require you to capture various sample shots to find the right balance. Also using a tripod is highly recommended.
Among the next flash photography tips, this one is especially helpful if you are on to a planned project. In order to get the best use of the flash, you can sync up all the lighting equipment with your camera. This way you would eliminate the majority of shadows, giving you well-illuminated images.
Use TTL flash
TTL stands for Through The Lense. It is a feature in the DSLRs which allows the flash and the lens of your camera to coordinate themselves based on the distance from the subject and the amount of light already present or absent. Now with the following information, the flash automatically adjusts the light giving you ease in setting up quick shots and getting the best images.
Aperture control Flash exposure
Among the most unheard flash photography tips is the aperture control flash exposure. As you already know, the aperture of your camera has a direct relation with the light that enters the lens. Hence you can use this combination to bring attention to a particular subject, whereas shadowing out the rest of the scene.
Use of Inverse square Law
This is among those technical flash photography tips, but stick with us as here’s a simple example for you.
For instance, if your subject is at a distance of 1m, you might only need 50% of the flash exposure to get a well-illuminated image. Now if you move away from the subject for about 2m, you would need to use 100% of the flash output.
This is what the inverse square law is. If your subject is closer to your camera, you might only use less flash output, if not, the subject would be overexposed.
Use of Light Modifier
Light modifiers are used to change the way light falls over the subject. As you are already aware that the direct light creates hard shadows on your subject which is a serious no-no. In order to eliminate this, you can use a modifier.
Some of the most common types of modifiers that we suggest as the flash photography tips are light sharper through barn doors or snoots, bouncers, reflectors, diffusers from the softbox, and umbrella diffuser.
Popular lighting setups
Along with modifiers, the use of lighting setups is among the other great flash photography tips that you can use to really make your subject stand out. Few of the most popular and effective lighting setups are
In the following lighting setup, two lights from the above and either side are focused on the subject in the center.
The subject is at an angle of 45 degrees with light forced from a height. The following setup creates a small loop of shadow around the nose, hence the name, loop lighting.
It creates a small inverted triangle on the cheek of the subject, yet illuminating the subject with soft light.
In the following set up the main light is kept opposite the subject, which creates the shadow on the other side, which brings contrast and depth to the image.
Buy rechargeable Batteries for your Flash
Lastly and among the most important flash, photography tips would be to use rechargeable batteries for your flash. Even though the primary cost of the batteries is higher, in the long run, they will save you a lot. Moreover, rechargeable batteries charge quicker than you may expect and also last longer compared to other batteries.
With this, we conclude our list of top 12 flash photography tips that you can use next time in your shoot. Reminding you, these are in no manner the rules but the suggestions which can jump-start your creativity. Hence make sure you experiment in your free time and use it while you’re working.