Essential flash techniques for outdoor portrait photography
Many amateur photographers dismiss flash because of the harsh, direct light it can produce, but neither of these need to be the case. Don’t be scared of flash, because with a few simple techniques and a bit of practice, it can totally transform your outdoor portraits.
There are two effective approaches. The first is to use something to soften the light, such as a softbox or umbrella. These make the light source much bigger, reducing the harsh shadows produced by direct flash.
The downside, however, is that they will reduce the amount of light reaching the subject. This can become an issue when shooting outside, because the flash may not be bright enough to light the subject effectively.
The second approach is to embrace the harsh light and use it to your advantage. This works best when you take the flash off the top of the camera so that the light isn’t coming from the same position as the camera.
Using this technique you can even position the flash to mimic the effects of early morning or late evening sun, for dramatic results.
On the next page we’ll run through some of the best flash settings to use for outdoor portraits and how to balance exposure
PAGE 1: Outdoor portrait photography overview
PAGE 2: Master the basics of outdoor portrait photography
PAGE 3: How to make the most of natural light
PAGE 4: Master depth of field in outdoor portraits
PAGE 5: The best lenses for outdoor portrait photography
PAGE 6: Using telephoto lenses for outdoor portraits
PAGE 7: Using wideangle lenses for outdoor portraits
PAGE 8: Essential flash techniques for outdoor portrait photography
PAGE 9: How to set up and use your flash outside
PAGE 10: Easy flash techniques and ways to fire your flashgun