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Harsh, unflattering lighting can ruin a photo—and with flash, it's easy to get harsh, unflattering lighting. But flash is a necessary part of a photographer's toolset—after all, the world doesn't always provide you with the best natural light.
Fortunately, it isn't difficult to get great results from flash, and in this course, photographer, author, and teacher Ben Long details the concepts and techniques behind effective lighting with flash. Ben starts with fundamentals that build on exposure principles taught in other installments of Foundations of Photography—simple techniques that improve the results from a camera's built-in flash. He then focuses on fill flash techniques and on using flash as a key light. The course also explores topics ranging from bouncing and syncing flash to shooting with one or more off-camera flash units.
If you don't already know what I mean when I use the term white balance, then you should go watch the white balance sections of my Foundations of Photography Exposure course. Your flash produces light with a particular color temperature, this is probably a much cooler, bluer light than the ambient light that you are typically going to be shooting in when you are working especially in low light. That means that your subjects will be lit with a very blue bright light while your background will probably have a strong orange or red cast. Now, there's often nothing wrong with that discrepancy but if you'd like the color qualities to better match, then you're going to need to take some action.
If you're shooting in raw format then your raw converter software might let you adjust the white balance of your foreground and background separately. For example the last few versions of Adobe Camera Raw have allowed you to brush different white balances into different parts of an image. However, you can also solve this problem by cutting, putting colored gels over your flash. To make the color temperature of the flash match the color temperature of the ambient light in your scene. You'll learn all about this, and see a demo of how it works in my Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light course.
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