Sunday, 20 April 2008

Using flash, part 2

For further photography-related information check out my compendium of tips.

The effective size of the light source is the most important factor in lighting a subject as it determines the type of shadows produced. Bouncing flash is a simple way of increasing the size of the light source and reducing the contrast between light and shadow - referred to as 'softening' the light. An ideal surface for bouncing flash will provide diffuse (same brightness regardless of viewing angle) rather than direct (as from a mirror) reflection and will not impart any colouration to the light. Another consideration is distance to the surface, as the resulting light intensity will be inversely proportional to the square of the distance.

In practice this means that it's not always easy to find a suitable surface for bouncing flash - it's either too far away (large loss of light), too close (light not sufficiently softened), too reflective (light remains hard), too coloured (light is also coloured) or features shadow-casting objects, such as chandeliers and moose heads! Also, what can you do outside, when there are no surfaces at all?

Read my next post to find out.

2 comments:

Chris said...

enjoying your tips and tricks - v. interesting - is it possible to set up an rss feed to it?

David said...

Thank you very much. At least someone is reading it!

Click on 'Subscribe to posts: atom' for the feed.

David