Flash-lamp Demonstration of a magnesium flash powder lamp from Studies of magnesium by Bunsen and Roscoe in showed that burning this metal produced a light with similar qualities to daylight. The potential application to photography inspired Edward Sonstadt to investigate methods of manufacturing magnesium so that it would burn reliably for this use.
Whether it be speedlights or high-powered studio strobes, there are infinite ways to create or augment light in our photographs.
Photographers work extremely hard to create amazing lighting setups for dramatic effect or sometimes simply for their own satisfaction, but keeping the light subtle can often be the best way to make use of the power of flash. I love flash, and any chance I get to use it, I will.
Here are a couple of ways in which I use flash more subtly to enhance my images.
Replace the Existing Light Nino Batista recently wrote an excellent article about creating shade and then re-lighting for beautiful results. Another simple way that I like to work in this manner is to use my modifier to block the existing light and then replace it.
For example, in the image below, I had extremely hard dappled light coming through the canopy. This was beautiful on the background, but I could not find a place to put my model where she would be lit in an even way. To counter this, I set up a Westcott Orb with a Nikon SB inside and positioned the softbox between the sun and my model.
This meant she was covered with an even shade.
Then, I brought the flash up to match the power of the sun coming through the trees. This left me with the same moody scene, but a much more flattering light on the model. Augment the Existing Light When I walked into the restaurant below for the Italian Food Festival here in Seoul and was asked to make portraits of the chefs 5 chefs, 5 dishes, 15 minutes, of course!
The light was gorgeous, but a little dim and possibly too soft for the gentlemen I would be photographing.
I had about two minutes to set up while they were plating, so whatever I did would need to be simple. I quickly got an exposure of the natural light to where I would be happy. The next step was to reduce my ambient exposure just enough to where the flash would have some effect, but not make the image seem overtly lit.
By reducing my ISO tothe scene was two-thirds of a stop underexposed, giving my flash something to light, while not having it be the only light in the scene.
Use a Fill Flash Off-Camera We often associate fill flash with TTL-metered fill on the camera, the sort journalists often use and camera manufacturers work so hard to make effortless for us.
Putting your speedlight on the camera and letting the TTL system drive will give you this look, and it has its uses. But what if we moved that exact exposure off-camera? We could gain a more shaped result instead of a simple filling of shadows and a sparkle in the eyes.
With the flash in close and firing on all cylinders, I was able to get just enough light to bring up the detail in his face. We can subtly use flash to augment our images by mimicking the existing light as in the first examplegiving shape as in the second exampleor filling shadows in a natural-looking way as in the final example.
If your first thought is to overpower the existing light and make it your own, perhaps try simply augmenting the existing light next time. How else do you use flash subtly?Using Flash - Night/Indoor Flash Not my favourite of lighting as direct flash at night can leave the subject looking "whitewashed" and cause some pretty horrendous shadows.
Here are a few tips for better flash photography;. Filed Under: Flash Photography and Lighting Tagged With: Portrait Photography, Tips for Beginners, Flash Photography, Off-Camera Flash, Photography Tips About Lola Elise Lola Elise is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based out of Denver, Colorado.
Use a flash for snow photography.
The thing with, while you may be able to clearly distinguish falling snow with your naked eye, your camera may not do so. For a multitude of reasons, snowflakes, if they are even visible, generally do not “pop” in the image; they are merely dim dots around a scene.
Early flash photography was not synchronized. It's hard to imagine an non-synchronized flash today, but the way those worked was that one had to put a camera on a tripod, open the shutter, trigger the flash, and close the shutter again - a technique known as open flash.
This is a series of articles where I will walk you step-by-step through the basics of flash photography. It isn't nearly as in-depth as my online flash photography class, but the articles in this series contain exactly the information I would tell you if you walked into my office and asked me for a crash course on flash photography.
Learning to use flash effectively is a very important and, at times, undervalued aspect of nature photography. Flash has many different applications for photographing wildlife; from providing a touch of fill light, to using it as your main source of light, or getting creative using off-camera.