Take a day outside. You want to shoot a snap of a pretty model.
If you are Uncle Fred, you shoot in the “AUTO” mode. Or in Program, or even in Aperture mode, with a large aperture (low “F”-number), to blur out the background. OK, here we go. SNAP:
But because you read Speedlighter.ca, you realise that background should be darker. So then you shoot again, after setting exposure compensation down two stops (-2). That gives you 1/1000th second, and the image looks like this:
Mmm. So now you need to turn on the flash (and again, you know this because you are a Frequent Reader here).
So then you do this – and you get this:
Oh. That’s right. The flash sync speed is 1/200th second, so your camera will not allow the 1/1000th second shutter speed you need. So the image is overexposed, at 1/200th second.
OK- so now you use Fast Flash (“High Speed Flash”, on Canon, and “Auto FP Flash” on Nikon). And you move close, very close – or you have insufficient power.
That gives you this:
But could that shadow be softer? Yes. So you put a Honl Photo softbox on the flash – yes, you can use a softbox like this on the on-camera flash – and now (after once again ascertaining you are close enough – even closer now, since the softbox loses some light too), you have the image you were after in the first place:
Compare this excellent image with the snapshot image at the top and you see why it pays to know flash techniques, and you see why I am passionate in teaching them.