Your on-camera flash is a portable light studio – provided you use it right. That means:
- Finding the right balance between that flash and ambient light. In many cases I want the ambient light to be the fill light, so I set it to -2 stops. My flash will be the key light.
- Bouncing the flash.
- While bouncing, aiming the flash to get the effect you need.
That third step is essential. To see why, look at the two examples below, of a kind volunteer in yesterday’s Sheridan College class.
Picture one – I am aiming the flash behind me. That’s just like having a large umbrella behind me: butterfly lighting:
And in picture two I swing my flash to the left, still behind me. Now that is like having an umbrella on my left, behind me. This results in broad lighting, which gives the face some modeling, some dimensions, some roundness: in other words it is now a three-dimensional face, not a flat face:
See what I mean? Beginners often fail to think about where they aim their flash, while this is one of the most important steps. Try!