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If we didn’t tell you so, most folks would think that the photo above was shot with ambient natural lighting. And most of those folks would be dead wrong. We did it by using a TTL flash with a large Rogue Flashbender. Considering the miniscule size of the flower, the light from the large panel provides some very soft lighting when the according shutter speed is used to mix in enough ambient lighting.
To refresh, when it comes to shooting with a flash, your shutter speed lets in the ambient lighting while your aperture controls the amount of light that hits the subject from the flash. And in a situation when you’re working with lots of ambient lighting and you just want to add some fill light, you should use TTL flash lighting to blend effectively with natural light.
TTL lighting is so effective because it works with the camera’s metering to provide an even exposure to the scene. If you were working with the light manually, then it would require some extra steps and may probably not even give you anything near the results you were looking for. But when blending TTL lighting with your camera’s metering, all you have to do is tell it to go brighter or darker accordingly. Of course, we also recommend using a large light modifier in relation to your subject.
If you want to do this with manual metering, it requires you to take an ambient light reading, then a flash light reading, and then somehow or another figure out a happy medium depending on what kind of look you’re going for. And again, that depends on your own creative vision.