Flash photography tips and tricks

flash photography
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Taking flash photography is the element that photographers must master to be able to use the light correctly at all times. We do know that getting to dominate the light for a photograph is not an easy task, but neither impossible.

It is not only used for low light conditions but also to fill dark shadows generated by the intense sunlight, freeze moving objects, and create effects.

With the advancement of technology, it is more comfortable every day to achieve the perfect exposure of the light. Another factor that comes into the scene is the technique that you can improve with every picture that you take.

Flash photography tips and tricks

There are two ways of working with flash. The first one is about finding that natural light from one unique source or a sunlight reflection. On the other hand, the second alternative is about modeling the light through many units.

In this post, we will show some tricks for improving the illumination in your pictures using flash.

Bouncing the light

The light bounce is one of the camera flash techniques that will give you better results in your photographs. This technique consists of bouncing the flashlight on the ceiling, wall, or any brightly colored surface, which will provide you with a soft illumination of natural hue.

For this, you must turn the light bulb in the direction of the surface you choose, instead of focusing it directly on the object you are going to photograph. You can aim directly at the ceiling or an angle of 75°.

If your equipment has the capacity, you can turn backward at an angle of 45°. You can use these two angles on the ceiling or walls. Doing these tricks is a matter of practice and adequately directing the flash. The flash bounced on a surface will give you a broader and softer source of light for the photographed object.

When shooting a portrait, you tilt the flash unit so that it bounces off the ceiling or wall. With this, you will achieve a divided illumination range that goes from a grammar or a soft light. A secondary bounce around a room gives you fill light.


flash studio photography


The role of the light source size

In a photograph, the size of the light source concerning the scene object plays an important role. A significant light source generates a smooth transmission between light and shadow, which is called in the picture as softer light; this one can be obtained by a bounce card.

A bounce card is nothing more than a small element that reflects the leading light under the object of the scene to reduce shadows.

If you are looking for more professional settings, you will need to use the softboxes. This element consists of a similar structure to a box with translucent walls, which is used to illuminate objects, and it is achieved through external spotlight lighting.

The application of these boxes in photography generates soft shadows in the scene. So the final scene of the object will be of better quality.

Mode through the lens (TTL)

Nowadays, the flash devices that you find in the market offer different ways to shoot. The mode through the lens puts the flash output in sync with the camera.

This mode, when operating at the same time as the camera will allow you to choose how much light the flash should produce to efficiently illuminate the scene subject. In most cases, the mode through the lens is used in shooting situations, be fast motion shooting, or for camera flash jobs.

The mechanism of work of this way implies that, at the moment that the trigger sends the order to the flash to fire at the same time, it launches the flash. This flash remains until the camera sensor measures the amount of light that bounces off the subject.

With the help of mathematical algorithms, the sensor determines the adequate power of the flash should be to obtain a good exposure.

High sync

Modern flash units mostly feature high-speed sync. With this, you get all the objects in the picture to be appropriately illuminated as the part of the sensor that is to take the reflected light is discovered.

These flash sync speeds will be limited to a range from 1 / 250th to 1 / 350th of a second. This range is suitable for an environment that has a dim light.

If you need a faster shutter speed, being indoors or outdoors, the high sync will allow you to shoot at any required range, generally 1 / 8000th of seconds.

High-speed synchronization is an alternative to solve the shadow caused by a single flash of the flash and the curtain. With this trick, you can not only make a shot but several recreating lighting similar to the continuous one, where it adapts to the movement of the curtain, avoiding the presence of shadows.

Gels for flash

These colored plastic sheets are placed on the head of the flash. By the time it is available, a color effect is achieved. This has several uses, but the main one is to accentuate the light. This adds dramatic color to the object of the scene.

These accessories allow you to balance the different color temperatures at two or more points in a photograph. You can make portraits with a creative gel touch employment; you will get a touch of color in casual portraits, cheerful attitudes, and dramatic poses.

If you have two flashes, you can place one in front of the subject to be portrayed and another with direction in the background so you can color everything. The final result will be a photograph with two predominant colors in the scene.

In case, you need to photograph an object, but you need to give it a more artistic touch, you can use the same technique, and several flashes with gel to illuminate the object and background. Choose a neutral surface so that all attention and color fall on the object of the scene.

Environmental light

When the light in the scene is not adequate, a dark funnel effect is obtained in the photograph. You must ensure that the light is the one for your scene; this will give an atmosphere to which you will capture in the image.

You have to look for ways to adapt the natural light source and show a scene where it is reflected in equilibrium between the flash and the ambient light.


Adequate lighting plays a significant role when taking a picture, and using these different tricks will allow you to refine your technique and manage to dominate the light in the scene.

The creativity when using the flash will give you unusual and quality images, do not limit yourself to let your imagination run wild, and the results will be incredible.

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Author: condruzmf

In love with photography!

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