Humdrum to competent in easy steps

One thing I teach photographers in my flash courses (like the one I teach tomorrow in Hamilton – hint, just two spaces left) is to take pictures away from what Uncle Fred does. You know Uncle Fred, the guy with the camera, who always carries it but h knows little about how it works. Every family has one.

If Uncle Fred knows about exposure (which is not at all a given!) he might produce this:

So he has exposed for the subject. Good. But a little boring.

I prefer this:

By using flash I have achieved:

  1. A much better background, with colour and saturation.
  2. My subject is now the Bright Pixels (and remember Willems’s Dictum: Bright Pixels Are Sharp Pixels).
  3. We have shaped the subject’s face. Flat light “from where the camera is” is boring and makes faces look flat.
  4. We have catch lights!

Not bad, and not difficult. Simply:

  1. Camera to manual
  2. Expose for the background, keeping shutter below 1.250th
  3. Bounce flash up and left (or right)

Oh. That was easy.

Yes, and those of you who read here and especially those of you who are my students tomorrow will learn this, and a whole lot more.



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