Flash Photography -
I love using flashes. Flash photography has become my go to when taking pictures of people. That means headshots, portraits, groups, and literally any type of people photography.
It used to be different. I used to take photos of people in natural light primarily. The issue with doing natural light photography is there is less control over the lighting. Sure, you can put a person next to a window, under a tree, by a lamp, or wherever else, but you still don’t control the light that is coming out of there.
Flashes give you the power to add light to a subject or a different part of the scene. They let you take control of the dynamics of the area, and they allow the opportunity to add an extra dimension to a notably two dimensional art form. That extra pop to an image can separate you and your photography from the rest.
I use bare-bulb flash can be used a ton on its own. I started out doing this the day I got my first speed-light. I took the light off the camera, put it on a tripod (didn’t have a stand yet), and I created dramatic portraits of my roommate with super harsh directional light. The shadows it created as well as the extreme sharpness it brought out in an otherwise dark area was incredible!
You don’t have to only use the bare bulb. You don’t have to at all! I like the look it creates, but not everybody does. You can use modifiers too! This lets you create that nice window light with a large modifier and a couple flashes at any time of the day anywhere. This lets you fill in shadows during the middle of the day, create epic shots in a bright landscape, expose perfectly in a backlit scene, and so much more!
There is no good reason to call yourself a natural light photographer. It is holding you back. Flash photography is not difficult or scary. This is going to bring your work up to the next level almost instantaneously! Just to give you an idea of what it opens up here is a “short” list of what you can do with a couple of flashes set up for a portrait.
· Butterfly, Rembrandt, copy, etc… lighting
· Rim lighting
· Bounce flash
· Fill light
· Overhead light
· Freezing action
· Creating drama
· Separating the subject
· Spotlight effect
· Background gradient