Using Flash in digital photography


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Using Flash in digital photography, on camera bounce flash, video light, off camera flash, strobist flash,

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Using Flash in digital photography

  1. 1. The use ofFlash inPhotographyBy Chris TimothyImage by Patrick Hoelck
  2. 2. The use ofFlash inPhotography1. Introduction – Purpose and considerations2. On Camera Bounce Flash3. Strobist Flash4. Video Lighting
  3. 3. Introduction- PurposeUsing Flash is key to controlling and manipulating lightwhen available light is not the appropriate for the shotyou hope to capture. Flash gets given a bad name byphotographers using inbuilt factory camera flash. Youhave no control over the direction of the that type offlash. It can only come from one angle and height andusually hits the subject square on. The visual effect looksflat and lacks dimension and interaction betweenhighlights and shadows. As photographers we’re alwayslooking for perfect light and yet, the quality of availablelight isn’t always ideal. But if you use flash wisely, youare able to enhance or over-ride the available light in alocation you wish to shoot in. With careful andconsidered use of flash, you are more in control of light,and hence the way your photos will look – than if youjust accept the ambient light. the existing ambient light.
  4. 4. Introduction- PurposeHaving the flash come from a differentdirection to that of the camera addsreal depth and interaction of highlightsand lows lights thus a nicer contrast.Flash can delete an unwanted lightenvironment and add mood, emotionand connotations to your work.Here Patrick Hoelck’s Flash has addeda nice gradient between the highlightsand the shadows and also a naturalvignette on the background. In additionto this it also acts as a key light to thesecondary light, the window. It solvesthe problem of silhouetting. Flash caninteract with as well as concur naturallight.
  5. 5. Directional Flash by Patrick Hoelck
  6. 6. In built straight on Flash
  7. 7. Introduction – Considerations –Camera Tech/SettingsTo use Flash to its potential you have to consider your camera settings to ensure youcorrectly expose. There is no specific equation to ensure you do this correctly. However youdo need to analyse the lighting situation that you are in and consider what effect the flashwill have on it and ensure you leave room for it in your settings. For example deliberatelyunder exposing to leave room for the flash to enter the shot. Without flash With Flash 1/160 @ f3.2 @ 800 ISO 1/160  @  f3.2  @  800  ISO  with  flash  
  8. 8. Considerations. Exposure.Using the Light Meter  In digital SLR photography it’s important to understand what the light meter isand what it does before discussing how to use the camera’s built-in meter to setand manipulate exposure and in this case use it to helps allow for flash.The built-in light meter found in your digital SLR camera measures the amountof light being reflected off objects through the lens and into the camera.This measurement is then used by the camera’s computer to determine what itbelieves to be the best exposure for the scene, with that exposure being theproper combination of shutter speed and aperture and ISO. Here is a DSLR in built, on screen light meter. It is measured in stops. The image of the light meter says your exposure settings are correct. A -1 = under exposed,+1 = over exposed.
  9. 9. Using the Histogram  When we use Flash there is a danger we will wash out detail in anything which isalready bright/reflective. For example a white dress or the sky. The screen on DSLRcameras are relatively small and it is difficult to check if a small areas has lost detail or isbleached out. You could use digital zoom on play mode to check. However this is timeconsuming. Another way to check is to use the histogram to analyse your exposureresults.
  10. 10. Using the Histogram  A Histogram covers the Dynamic Range of color/tone from black to mid tones towhite. Dynamic range in photography describes the ratio between the maximum andminimum measurable light intensities.
  11. 11. Using the Histogram  As long as the data in your graph finishes before the edge of the graph you are ok. Ifthe data falls off the graph you have either over or under exposed.
  12. 12. Using the Histogram  Under or over exposed? So, when shooting with flash always check you histogram graph to ensure your shot is not under or over exposed. If you don’t you will probably loose detail in the high lights or shadows.
  13. 13. Using the Histogram   Correctly Exposed
  14. 14. The Catch LightTo learn how to use Flash it is always useful to analyse other peoples flash work. There is areally helpful clue to analysing where they have positioned or bounced their flash and it iscalled a Catch light. A catch light is a small white circle in the subjects eye which tells uswhere the flash was positioned in the shot.
  15. 15. The Freeman – Light PortraitsDean Catch Celebrity
  16. 16. On camera bounce flash Image by Tom Munro
  17. 17. On camera bounce flashOn camera bounce flash is a way of controlling your light. It turns being “onlocation” into a studio. The techniques requires the photographer to fire theflash at/on somewhere which reflects. You fire the flash where you would like astudio light positioned.   Window Subject Camera/Flash Firing the flash
  18. 18. Blocking Direct FlashIt  is  important  when  using  this  technique  you  block  any  flash  from  hiDng  your  subject  directly.  You  do  this  with  various  pieces  of  equipment  but  you  could  use  a  black  piece  of  foam  or  even  your  hand.  This  technique  allowed  the  photographer  to  bounce  the  flash  to  his  leJ  creaKng  soJer  light  than  a  direct  flash.  The  direcKon  of  the  flash  is  well  composed  as  the  subjects  take  on  a  higher  saturaKon  than  that  of  the  locaKon.  
  19. 19. Here  the  Photographer  has  used  the  70-­‐200mm  lens,  a  f2.8  wide  open  aperture  and  then  simply  has  to  wait  for  the  right  expression.    He  is  posiKoned  so  that  there  are  defocused  highlights  in  the  background  to  help  create  separaKon.    The  flash  is  bounced  off  to  the  right  into  the  large  recepKon  room.  Result-­‐  slight  contrast,  well  lit  shot.  
  20. 20. Still life and T.T.Lcamera settings:  1/80 @ f4 @ 1600ISO; TTL bounce flash. The Flash is shot to the left, reflectsback and makes a nice combination oftones, again nice interaction betweenthe highlights and shadows. All thesame is not aesthetically pleasing.What is TTL?TTL is a AUTO for flash, it stands forthrough the lens. It looks through thelens and judges the light that is enteringthe camera and powers the flash levelsaccordingly.
  21. 21. Considerations – White BalanceWhite Balance is a difficulty when using on camera bounce Flash. This differs from using aStrobist Flash. Your white balance really depends on if the flash fires at the subject directly,then you could set your shite balance to flash, or if you bounce your flash off a wall, texture,roof, it will bring some of the hue/colour tone from that service so your white balance mayneed to change to match it. The images below show the orange tones that reflect from the location. Shooting on RAWwill enable you to change the white balance after you have shot to correct, or you can morecomplexly cool the image in Photoshop or Lightroom to help gain the desired tones. Daylight  white  balance  
  22. 22. Strobist Flash Image by Tom Munro
  23. 23. The catch light
  24. 24. Strobist FlashStrobist means off camera flash. Thismethod of flash photography allows youto position the flash where you wouldlike it as it is totally free of your camera.A photographer usually uses a stand orassistant. Your flash acts as your studiolight. In this technique you need to synca flash gun/speed light with yourcamera. This then enables your flash togo off at the exact moment your cameratakes a picture. There are someadvantages and disadvantages ofshooting Strobist rather than On camerabounce flash. For example the light willbe much harsher in strobist because allthe flash hits your subject. It is notdiffused like bounce flash so therefore ishard more direct light rather than soft.This results in a high contrast image.  
  25. 25. Strobist Flash using T.T.LTo conduct this technique expose your shot pre flash, one stop under toallow for when the flash enters the shot. The camera light meter will helpyou in this.1/200 @F/2.5 @ 200 ISO 1/200 @F/2.5 @ 200 ISO with TTL flashPosition your subject and flash to gain the desired shadows. Here a soft box is used to diffusethe light. The light is being held with a Monopod rather than a stand on this occasion. You  can  filter  flash  to  match  the  colour  of  the  current  light  sources.  Flash  tends  to  be  blue,  cheap  flash  lights  have  more  green  Knts.
  26. 26. Strobist Flash Alex Prager
  27. 27. Tutorial for Strobist Flash
  28. 28. Video LightHere you cansee a circularL.E.D video lighton the CanonFlash gun underthe flash.
  29. 29. Video LightIn addition to using various speedlights and flashguns. Video lighing is another techniquewhich can provide great effect. Using video light in a scenario where tungsten light is thedominant source of light, helps in achieving a more natural look.  Video light is also acontinuous light source, making immediate changes to the lighting intuitive – what you seeis how it will appear. You need to judge each scenario to decide if to use On camerabounce flash, Strobist or Video lighting. On  camera  bounce  flash   Off  camera  Video  Flash  
  30. 30. Video Light
  31. 31. Video LightVideo  light  allows  for  constant  adjustment  of  the  light.  LED  is  usually  day  light  colour.  Its  whiter  than  regular  bulbs  which  tend  to  have  the  orange  warm  tungsten  glow.  
  32. 32. Our task; Shoot 3 portraits Using; 1. On Camera Bounce Flash 2. Strobist Flash 3. Video Lighting Your  images  should  be  perfectly  exposed.  Your  cameras  manual  seDngs/tech,  light  meter,   white  balance  and  histogram  should  be  consulted  when  shooKng.  Your  portraits  can  occur  in  an  environment  of  your  choice  of  whoever  you  wish.  These  techniques  can  be  shot  in  day   or  night.  To  do  this  technique  correctly  your  images  should  contain  a  smooth  gradient  and   combinaKon  and  interacKon  of  highlights  and  shadows.    
  33. 33. Photographer inspiration
  34. 34. Patrick Hoelck
  35. 35. Patrick Hoelck
  36. 36. Alex Prager
  37. 37. Alex Prager
  38. 38. Alex Prager
  39. 39. Zed Nelson
  40. 40. David Hill
  41. 41. Martin Usbourne
  42. 42. Bryan Adams
  43. 43. Michael Williams
  44. 44. Mat Szwajkos
  45. 45. Charlie Gray
  46. 46. Charlie Gray