Bounce flash photography in 4 simple steps
Bounce flash photography. It sounds like a complicated procedure, one of those mythical flash techniques we try desperately to avoid.
We’ve all been there. You’re at a party or gathering and want to take a picture that captures the atmosphere of the moment. When shooting in low light, your first instinct is probably to use a tripod with a long shutter speed, or increase the ISO to shoot handheld.
But if you’re taking pictures of people indoors at a party you can forget the first option; your subjects won’t keep still! A high ISO can often work because it preserves atmosphere. But you get grainy pictures and have to use the widest aperture and slowest shutter speeds possible.
Using a bounce flash technique is your most flexible option in this scenario, and it’s also remarkably easy to do. You can stay mobile, and you have a greater range of shutter speeds and apertures to choose from. You can also use a low ISO setting to retain image quality.
By bouncing flash off the ceiling or a wall, rather than firing it directly at your subject, your flash light becomes more diffuse and even. As such, pictures that employ bounced flash look much more natural. In fact, if this bounce flash technique is done well, people won’t be able to tell that flash has been used at all.
Most external flashguns have a bounce flash facility, though some have more flexibility to turn and tilt the head. All modern guns also have a TTL, or through-the-lens, mode. This ensures that the extra power needed from the flash is set automatically.
But be warned, as bounce flash techniques can sometimes look bland if the light is just too even! Portraits also lack sparkle, as eyes don’t have ‘catchlights’ (the small, bright reflections of flash in people’s eyes). To add these, use the pull-out ‘bounce card’ found on many hotshoe guns. This white plastic sheet directs some of the flash output straight at the subject, giving a smidge of direct light and adding mirror-like catchlights. So without further ado…
Bounce flash photography in 4 simple steps | Digital Camera World