Useful Photography Tip #159: The Simple Secret to Using a Flash

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Roundflash dish review images with Asta extras (5 of 5)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.8

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If you’re one of those people who is secretly afraid of using a flash and because of that calls yourself a “Natural Light Photographer” you’re going to realize that the simple concept behind using a flash is really, really, incredibly simple.

When lighting novices think about using a flash, they think about it based on the fact that you’re trying to make an image brighter. And so to that end, they raise the ISO, open the aperture and slow down the shutter speed. In reality, that isn’t really what a flash is designed to do or how it’s designed to be properly used in today’s digital photography realm.

Instead: a flash is designed to create light in a scene that isn’t there to begin with. Let that sink into your head. So in the image above, I had the option of backlighting Asta with the lights on the left or just raising the ISO and adjusting the settings to get a good enough exposure that would be pleasing. I could have also just moved her towards the light. However, what I did was had those lights blend into the scene and also add my own light source. The results? Well, they’re after the jump.

The point: that the lighting that you’ll see on Asta after the jump couldn’t have been created without adding in my own light source.

So start thinking about using a flash differently.

Light from the Roundflash Dish

Light from the Roundflash Dish

Model: Asta Peredes

Model: Asta Peredes

  • Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

    When I ask newbies why they dislike flash, most of them will say because it creates a “dear in headlights” look. Not natural looking at all. This can easily be solve by just bouncing the flash or shooting it off camera.

  • @photogoofer
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

    This poin is fairly obvious. What isn’t said is what’s implied in the headline. HOW to blend it in. Most “natural light” photographers avoid flash because they don’t know HOW to get natural light out of a flash.