The Basic Principles of Using a Bounce Flash (And One Advanced Technique)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D810 high ISO samples Speakeasy Dollhouse NYC (4 of 9)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 2.2

Most photographers don’t know anything about how to use a flash. They’ll generally put it on their camera, aim it upwards towards the ceiling (or directly at their subject) shoot, and worry about it later. Nothing could be more incorrect about that unless you’re specifically going for that look. The problem is that most people aren’t going for that look. So instead, they sit there frustrated about working with a flash.

First off, start by considering that a flash isn’t just for adding fill light to a scene. Instead, think about it as a way to creatively elicit a feeling in a photo.

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Useful Photography Tip #171: Placing Off-Camera Flash to Make it Look Natural

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Shanny EX600 EF flash samples portraits (4 of 4)ISO 2001-250 sec at f - 3.2

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

Think about this really quick: when you go into a room, where does light typically come from. Most people really prefer the look of lamp lighting. But the truth is that most light that we see actually comes from above us in some way or another. Think about the sun, or street lamps, or the ceiling in an office. All of these lights are from above.

So one of the ways that you can make flash output or off-camera lighting look more natural is to place the light source above your subject in some way or another. It could be in front and above, to the side and above, etc. This is just how we naturally see light. So when you place a flash in a scene, you typically shouldn’t light a subject from below. Think about placing your light source kind of like adding light to a room or a scene overall. Think about and consider the shape of it too.

This isn’t just how you’ll make the light look more appealing and flattering, but how you’ll also make it just look and seem more natural–by placing the center of the source above a person you’re photographing.

Xpert Advice: Creating Sharper Portraits in Camera

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The secrets to getting sharper portraits in camera are a lot simpler to figure out than you’d honestly think. There are three key components: light, contrast, and stability.

To start, we always recommend stopping your lens down just a bit. With Fujifilm’s lenses and the X Trans Sensor’s 1.5x crop factor though, you generally don’t need to. Part of this is due to a slightly deeper depth of field vs medium format or full frame 35mm sensors. If you have a camera with the company’s 24MP sensor like the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X Pro 2, then you’re guaranteed to get really sharp results to begin with. That’s easy, right?

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Manny Ortiz Demonstrates Off Camera Flash Vs Available Light In A Photoshoot Video

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Screenshot taken from the video.

Whether you are a die-hard available light champion that preserves the images in their original state  or a photographer who has discovered the whole new world of possibilities with creative off camera flash use, we at The phoblographer believe that there is a place and time for both available light and flash uses. Understanding the strengths and advantages of each approach in photography as well as knowing in what situation to use the natural light only versus when to employ camera flash will surely benefit your photography game. Photographer Manny Ortiz recently did an excellent video which effectively demonstrates the difference between the results he can get from shooting a portrait using only available light in comparison to s simple setup of a wireless flash. You can view the video below.

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A Photographer’s Take: Why Work With Constant Lighting Vs Flash

Switronix TorchLED Light

One of the debates so many photographers have with themselves when trying to evolve is whether or not they should work with constant lighting or flash. They’re both used by professional photographers often, and they’re both capable of delivering beautiful images. But they’re also both very different, not only in the look that they can deliver, but the way they are used. For what it’s worth too, the cost differences can be vast.

Here’s a quick introduction on constant light vs flash.

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How To: Creating Sharper Portrait Photos In-Camera

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Milvus 135mm f2 review portrait sample images from Simon Chetrit (2 of 10)ISO 5001-500 sec at f - 2.0

Anyone can take a portrait photo, but making your image stand out from all the rest of the #instafamous photographers requires a bit more effort on your part that will eventually become common and a part of your routine portrait efforts. Most experienced portrait photographers know this already and chances are that if you are one of those people, you already have the necessary people skills to do this. But whether you’re a new photographer or one that’s been shooting for a while, none of us can ignore how important lenses are for us. Take for example the Zeiss Milvus 135mm f2 lens–arguably the best portrait lens on the market right now. It’s difficult to take a bad photo with it, but if you’re going to make the long term investment into the incredible Zeiss glass, we recommend knowing how to make the most of it.

Here’s how.

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The Phoblographer Answers: Do Professional Photographers Use TTL?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Godox Thinklite TT685S TTL product photos (4 of 13)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.0

One of the questions that has been typed very often into our search engine bar is whether or not professional photographers use TTL flash. It’s easy to see how this can become confusing as many photographers out there speak about only shooting in manual all the time. Considering that TTL metering is essentially the same as shooting in auto mode or P (for professional, or Program) mode, then it would just make sense that you shouldn’t use it because no professional shoots in auto, right?

Well, not really.

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First Impressions: Lumu Power Light Meter

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Last year, Lumu launched a Kickstarter for a brand new Light meter for the iPhone that would be able to meter color, ambient light, and flash output. For anyone that uses a light meter of any sort, this sounds wonderful (sans being able to trigger a monolight via the meter). At Photokina 2016, I finally got the chance to see their unicorn product: the Lumu Power. The company claims that it will be delivered this November, and that they’ve had a number of holdups along the way. Sure, they’re late on delivering their Kickstarter promises, but they’re now ready to get it out to the public.

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