Flash photography tips: external flash techniques anyone can understand
Lighting can be one of the most challenging aspects of photography, and yet it is so key. An external flash unit is one of the most effective ways of ensuring a correct exposure, but setting them up and usage them correctly is again a major challenge. In our latest batch of flash photography tips we’ve really tried to go in-depth and leave no stone unturned. In this post we run through some of the most effective techniques for using your external flash unit, the most useful accessories, set-ups and more. We’ve also provided a couple handy flash photography cheat sheets to help illustrate the techniques we’re talking about.
The biggest weakness of built-in and auxiliary flashguns is that the quality of light they emit is pretty unimpressive. Because the flash is a high-intensity light source that originates from a relatively small area close to the lens, it yields flat, uneven lighting that creates deep, hard-edged shadows.
It can also eradicate fine textures and contours, bleach out skin tones and cause red-eye – all of which makes for particularly disastrous portrait, wildlife, macro and interior shots.
Larger flash heads aren’t quite as bad because they spread light out over a slightly wider area, but the results are still unsatisfactorily harsh.
This type of lighting, which hits your subject straight from a flashgun, is known as direct flash photography. Although direct flash photography usually looks artificial and ugly, it can generate terrific effects when used shrewdly.
Most of the time, however, you’ll need to minimise the gremlins.
PAGE 1: Overview of external flash units
PAGE 2: Off-camera flash
PAGE 3: Replicate studio lighting with two flashguns
PAGE 4: Bounce flash techniques
PAGE 5: White bounce cards
PAGE 6: Using flash diffusers
PAGE 7: Wireless flash
PAGE 8: External flash photography cheat sheet
Studio Lighting: 4 seriously simple techniques to try at home
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on Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 2:00 am under Photography Tips.
Tags: bounce flash, camera tips, flash, hot, photography cheat sheet