Viewers: in countries Watching now:
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.
When the popup flash on your camera isn't right for your situation, you might want to move to an external flash. Now, I'm sure that an external flash is not any kind of big surprise to you, you've probably seen them; you may already have one. This is kind of a mid-size, external flash. There are bigger ones, and kind of a key defining thing between a flash of one size and a flash of a bigger or smaller size is simply output. A bigger flash is going to be able to throw out more light. That's going to give you more range, will be able to illuminate things farther away. It will allow you to simply pour more light into the scene in front of you.
But there are some other advantages to external flash. Ashley, could you hold that for a minute; Thank you. They can tilt, they can swivel. That gives me the ability to take my flash, and use it to turn something else in the room into a light source. And that can be a very powerful way of getting a particular type of illumination into your scene. I can add modifiers to the flash. Right now this flash has a bunch of velcro on it. That's so that I can attach certain type of diffusers and things that we are going to see later. Using colored pieces of plastics called gels, I can change the color of the flash.
That can be critical if I'm going to seen with different types of light sources and I want to make sure my white balance is okay throughout the scene. I've got a lot of special features I can use with some external flashes. So for example this external flash has the ability to let me use a faster sync speed. So, if I'm wanting to shoot with a faster shutter speed, maybe for depth of field variations or freezing faster motion, something like that. I also have the ability here to do multiple flashes in a single long exposure.
And one of the most useful things about an external flash is that I can chain bunches of them together, and create complex multi flash lighting situations. So, if you're into flash, external flash is really probably going to be where you find the most power. What we are going to use it for now is to see if we get a better key light than we were getting with our pop-up flash. I've got a hot shoe on the top of my camera, the flash just slides right into it. Later, we're going to talk about the buying an external flash and the difference between buying one specifically made for your camera and just buying one off the rack.
So I'm going to turn it on, and basically shoot the same picture that I shot before, and let's just see what happens. Again, I'm just using in-camera metering. And here's what I've got. Now, this is very interesting. I have no flash exposure compensation dialed in, but right away, I'm getting a better result than I did with my popup flash. Look at the difference between the light on her forehead and the light on her chin. There's a little more light on her forehead, than there is on her chin, and that right there is giving me a little bit more of a sense of, of shape of her face.
There's a little more depth there. I think the flash is maybe a little hot, I'm going to turn it down by one third of stop. Yeah, there we go. Now I'm not getting as much glare off of her forehead, but I'm still getting that nice extra highlight right around her eyes. What's going on? What's going on is that it turns out just that distance alone, just that extra what is that three inches of raising the flash up is giving me light that's not hitting her quite so full in the face. It's giving me a little bit of an angle, and that's starting to create some shadow and contour.
So I'm getting pretty close to having a good key light here, in fact I might be able to just get away with this. If I could move the flash up a little more maybe, I could exaggerate that further or just think of the possibilities, if I could even move it from side to side. By now you've probably figured it out that I'm leading you on here, and of course I'm going to show you how to do that. So we'll move on to that in the next movie.
There are currently no FAQs about Foundations of Photography: Flash.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.