September 28, 2015

Bouncing Flash

[part of the Monday for Moms blog series – small tips and tricks that will make big changes in photos of your children]

I’m a sucker for natural light photographs.

flash bounce harrisonburg photographer-1I love the way sunlight filters through a window.  It falls evenly on the objects around it.  The opposing side falls into a nice shadow.  But, that sun sets each evening.  Spaces become dim, and even the best of cameras fail to compensate for the missing light.

For this post, I broke out my old Canon Rebel t2i to work with the on camera flash.  More advanced camera bodies often do not have a flash housed in the camera itself.  Aside from feeling like a toy in my hands, the sensor in my old Rebel doesn’t handle low light very well.  To avoid noisy images, filling in the light artificially is a great option.

(Please ignore my kids’ crazy toy room.  I had to get some sample images while my kids were in action today. 🙂 )

Option 1: Use the on camera flash

flash bounce harrisonburg photographer-2

My handsome subject is lit, but harshly so.  The light hits him directly, the background falls off sharply (it’s pretty dark back there!) and there’s a shadow behind his head.

Option 2: Bounce the on camera flash

Using a small white business card or paper attached to the camera (check out the tutorial here), bounce the flash to soften the light.  The flash hits the paper, some of it bounces up to the ceiling and falls back on the scene.

flash bounce harrisonburg photographer-3

I still have a shadow, but the background is more evenly lit.

Option 3:  Use a speedlight

For about $30, a speedlight like this one can improve your artificial lighting immensely.

flash bounce harrisonburg photographer-4Point the speedlight toward the corner of the room where the wall and the ceiling meet BEHIND you to bounce the light off of the ceiling and wall so that it evenly hits your scene.  This method gets rid of the direct, harsh light, eliminates squinting, and fills in the shadows.

Happy shooting! 🙂

Have a topic you’d like me to discuss? I love to hear from you! Comment below.

– Nikki

Virginia Photographer | Harrisonburg Photographer | Charlottesville Photographer | Staunton Photographer | Luray Photographer




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