Photo Question: Why Would You Use a Flash During the Daytime?

What’s the point of using a flash during the daytime if you can just edit the photo later on?

Though the more experienced photographers may already know the answer, there are lots of folks who don’t understand why you’re supposed to use a flash during the day. I mean, why not just overexpose the image or go into the shadows to shoot the photo? Well, life isn’t always that plain and simple. And if you’re really hellbent on fixing it in post-production, please believe me when I say that using a flash during the day will make it much more manageable. You can probably do this with your on-camera flash, but in most other cases, an off-camera flash will do this the best.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: How Deeper Blacks Make Sharper Images

We’re sure that many of you didn’t know the trick in this photography cheat sheet.

You’ve heard of clarity, sharpness, and toning for sharper images–but have you ever thought about deeper blacks? This is a secret that I learned years ago and that I continue to notice in images across the web. Those who love making their photos black and white probably have heard of this before and started incorporating it into their workflows. Getting deeper blacks is admittedly easier to do in post-production, but there are ways to do it in-camera using exposure tricks. It starts with having control over your lighting–which is a method that begins in-camera. But luckily, this technique applies to any situation you could possibly think of, though we’ve seen it done best with low key lighting.

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Using an ND Filter to Balance Ambient Light and Studio Strobes

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Stephs first edits (17 of 18)ISO 160

When it comes to working with a flash during the daytime, one of the best ways to do this and ensure that your entire exposure isn’t blown out is to use an ND filter. To begin with, you’re supposed to use flash during the daytime to prevent shadows. You’ll start by positioning the sun behind your subject–but if you’re just working with ambient lighting then you’ll have blown out skies. And that method of backlighting is totally fine if you want that look.

But if you want to balance the background with your subject in the foreground, the best bet is to use a flash. One option is high speed sync or a fast flash duration, but one method that photographers have been using for years is the ND filter. We’ve used it too, but photographer Craig Beckta demonstrated this very well in the video below that shows the difference that an ND filter can make.

One big warning though: an ND filter can also affect your camera’s autofocusing abilities because it cuts down the amount of light in the scene that the sensor sees until the flash goes off.

Try it this weekend, and check out Craig’s video on using an ND filter to balance ambient light and strobe after the jump.

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Useful Photography Tip #110: Don’t Forget About the Rim/Hair Light

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A99 Studio Samples continued (5 of 9)ISO 100

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Check them out right here.

The importance of a rim light, also known as a hair light is very overlooked. It can add a lot of extra beauty and a beautiful halo effect to your subject whether it be a person or a product. The reason why it is often overlooked is because we focus on literally what’s right in front of us and not enough on what’s behind our subject.

Photographer Jim Johnson sent this tip into us:

“If you do studio photography, bounce a light off of the ceiling behind your subject. This accomplishes two things. It lights up your background & also gives your subject a nice hair light to boot.

This does not work well with follicle challenged (bald) people. I have a boom to which an older white lightning strobe is attached. It is bounced into white ceiling panels or I could use an umbrella if need be.”

What Jim is saying doesn’t only apply to rim lighting in this case but also the idea of making a background go to a seamless color–as is the case with photographing a subject on a seamless white background and having to crank the light up one stop higher than your key light.

More specifically, a rim light doesn’t always have to be created with artificial lighting. The easiest way to add a rim/hair light is to backlight your subject using the sun. This is where golden hour is usually best because of the nice, warm glow that it can give to hair. If your flash/strobe is capable of overpowering the sun, you can create a very evenly lit image and surround your subject in light.

This tip comes to us from photographer Jim Johnson.

Three Tips on Using a Flash in the Middle of the Day

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impact Quikbox and LiteTrek photos (10 of 17)ISO 200

Shooting with a flash in the middle of the day? Why would you do that? Believe it or not, you’ll want to use a flash during the day more than any other period. Well for starters, you can sometimes get better looking images than what a normal camera and lens can give you and you can also create images that might be otherwise tough to do. You’ll also find that shooting with a flash in the middle of the day can teach you a lot more about the way that light works.

If you want crisper, cleaner, sharper images and to boost the already great effects that natural light has, read on.

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Five Techniques Every New Strobist Should Learn

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Pentax K50 image samples (3 of 10)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 8.0

When you’re starting out as as a strobist, you’ll immediately see just how much better your images can potentially become. But in order to make them even better, you’ll need to learn a couple of techniques that can help you get a creative vision across.

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The Phoblographer’s Visual Introduction to Overpowering the Sun’s Light For New Strobists

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Stephs first edits (17 of 18)ISO 160

In the strobist community, we often hear about overpowering the sun. While the sun can deliver quite an insane amount of light, you can actually work with camera and strobe physics to get even less of the sun’s affect into your image. The results often are higher contrast images with a significantly more professional and beautiful look. But depending on your settings, you can add more or less contrast for your own creative style.

But if you’re totally new to this whole strobism game, here’s a quick guide on it all.

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