The best way to improve your flash images is to take your flash off the camera.
As I did here in last night’s Mastering Flash class:
You see, that is direct flash – unmodified. Off-camera, using remote TTL (or I could have used a cable).
So yes, it can easily be done – as long as the flash light axis is not the same as your lens axis. Straight into a woman’s face from above is light we love – but crucially, straight into her face does not mean straight from your camera’s perspective!
Now, do not get me wrong: modified is great. Like with a small softbox:
Which from the front looks like this (note the dark circle that prevents light spots):
Which, when combined with a second flash camera right to add edge/hair light, gets me this, of another kind student volunteer in last night’s class:
Simple, no? Just remember:
- Axis of light <> axis of lens.
- TTL is fine, if you know how it works.
- Wireless TTL works very well indeed indoors (and with clever management can be used outdoors also).
- Keeping it simple often works well.
Simple. With just one or two flashes and a modern cameera you can produce excellent work. (Once you know how it all works, and that is we come in!)