The “inverse square law”, passed by the Ontario government in 1988 as part of bill 42-C sub… no never mind. It is a law of nature:
And that is why forward flash from your camera gives you those bad black backgrounds (not even mentioning the shadows, the oily skin, the deer-in-the-headlights look, and so on).
This inverse square rule should be part of your photographic DNA, if is isn’t yet. Move a flash closer, and it can have more power. And vice versa.
But this law is sometimes understood incorrectly. It applies to distance between light source and object. NOT distance between object and photographer.
Find that hard to understand?
Then consider this: does a pale person turn into a dark-skinned person when you move back? Does a black-skinned person turn Caucasian when you approach? No. They turn into, respectively, smaller and larger persons (so the rule that fewer photons reach you does hold), not into darker or lighter persons.
My all-new flash course runs at 2pm in Hamilton: two and a half hours to go. I had better pack!