Why do you NOT normally shoot at your subjects with a flash aimed straight at them, unmodified? Especially when your subjects are in front of a wall? Especially if they are male?
A picture in the local newspaper shows us exactly why not:
Um, yeah, that’s me there, second from left (this was at the recent art awards ceremony).
And like the three other gentlemen there, I have a “virtual mullet”, caused by the shadow thrown by our ears. Awful, and one reason people hate flash.
And yet the photographer could have easily bounced: conditions for it were prefect. But he did not know the right techniques. Ouch! So you get shiny skin, flat unnatural light, hard shadows, and mullets.
Instead, bounce the flash. Aim it up, 45 degrees behind you – depending of course on where you are, where the ceiling is, and so on. Go to 400 ISO or higher at f/4. It’s what I teach in mu courses… it’s a simple technique and I can teach everyone this. Start with what I just said, and see how that works for you. Better than the mullet shot, I am willing to bet!
Oakville “Flash” Courses 9/10 November: I think Saturday Nov 9 is full, but Sunday Nov 10 is still open. I am limiting the number of students in each class to no more than 4-5, so do get there first. See the syllabus here, and book via the link at the bottom of that page – indicate your desired date!