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Monday, October 24, 2011

News Flash on Flash....

I just love when I grasp some new concept. 
Recently, I have been studying off camera lighting. 
That means you use your flash off of your camera - 
you could hand hold it or use a light stand*...whatever.  

The reason you would want to do this is the quality of light you get. 
Instead of straight on, flat lighting, 
you get side lighting which creates shadows, 
giving your image a sense of depth. 

Here is what I learned...
When you use your flash, 
set your shutter speed where it should be to 
get the background exposed as you would like. 
Then use your aperture 
to minimize or increase the amount 
of light the camera picks up on the subject from the flash.

In detail...
If you want more background exposed, 
slow down the shutter speed. 
If you want less background exposed, 
speed up the shutter speed.

If you want more light flooding on your subject, 
open up your aperture. (Smaller number=larger opening.) 
If you want less light on your subject, 
close down the aperture. 

It works like a charm!!
Here is a test photo.
The background is cluttered with flash gear 
on a piano bench in front of a piano.
In the past I would have put up a black board to hide it.
Today, I just sped up the shutter speed to hide it!!
Isn't that great?
Especially if you are a little lazy like me. 

Now, I am not saying this photo is perfect. 
HA...far from it.
I am just happy you can't see my clutter.

If I wasn't a little lazy I would have tethered the camera to my computer
 and seen that the shadows were a little to strong. 
I would have then added my reflector opposite the flash 
to fill on those shadows with some light. 
But nooooo, I didn't tether. 
And instead of shooting again with the reflector, 
I am going shopping.  

See ya later!

*Note:  You do need some way to trigger your flash when you shoot.  There are lots of ways in all price ranges.  You just need to find what works for you.

I didn't get this revelation all by myself. 
Three sources have helped me immensely:
Creative Live 'Exploring the Light' webinar with Rick Sammon
Understanding Flash Photography book by Bryan Peterson
Improve Photography online class with Jim Harmer & Dustin Olsen