Outside direct flash technique

You can use a flash outside on the camera for some pretty cool shots, like this one I took yesterday of talented model Kim:

You do this as follows:

  1. Position the subject away from direct light (see the back light here? The sun is behind her).
  2. Expose to make the background a little darker (using either manual exposure, or an automatic or semi-automatic mode and minus (-) exposure compensation).
  3. Turn on your flash.
  4. Adjust your flash if and as necessary with Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC). In this example, a subject with a white dress needs “+” flash exposure compensation. If not sure: try!
  5. Because your flash is aimed directly at the subject, you need to allow for this. Ask the subject to aim their head slightly down, perhaps, so the light will come at the head from slightly “above”. Watch for shadows.

And this very simple technique makes for some pretty good “flash outside” shots when you have no off-camera flash or softboxes etc available.


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