Off-camera flash: how to stop fearing your flashgun and take control of lighting

Lighting portraits with off-camera flash

Improve your vertical shots with off-camera flash

Improve your vertical shots with off-camera flash

Shot with on-camera flash

Pop-up flashes and hotshoe-mounted flashguns can draw attention to themselves in photos framed vertically.

With the camera held upright, the light from the flash comes from one side of the frame, which leads to dense, ugly shadows getting cast across the other side of the picture, such as in our first picture above.

A reflector held near the dark side can bounce some of the light into these shadows, but it’s not always practical to do this.

Improve your vertical shots with off-camera flash

Shot with off-camera flash

A hinged flash bracket attached to the camera can help in these instances. This bracket screws into the tripod socket on the base of a camera and enables you to keep a flashgun positioned directly above the lens, whether the camera is held horizontally or vertically.

A cheaper option is to use an off-camera cord and simply hold the flash in position – something that’s easy to do with the camera mounted on a tripod.

PAGE 1: Common questions about off-camera flash
PAGE 2: Shoot with off-camera flash using cords
PAGE 3: Adding texture with off-camera flash
PAGE 4: Improve your vertical shots with off-camera flash
PAGE 5: Lighting portraits with off-camera flash

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