Saturday, September 21, 2013

Take that flash off your camera!

Bouncing our flash is a good way to soften our lights, but if we keep on using it all the time, all of our image will look the same.

Soft, pleasant and even light.Yeah it looks good...but..uhm..boring! Kinda like "meh".

I always mention that I prefer to take my lights off my camera.

Why is that?

Because with off camera flash we can create dimensions in our image.

We can change our light's direction.

We can play with shadows and highlights.

Blah blah blah...

Here's how


There are a lot of ways to take our flashes off our cameras. 


A cord used to attached your flash to your camera's hot shoe. 


2. Radio triggers

One piece you attached to your camera's hot shoe and the other piece to your flash.



3. Using optical slaves

Using our pop-up flash to trigger our off camera flashes. 



The two flashes above was triggered by my pop-up flash. 

Remember, always buy flashes with optical slaves. It's great and convenient. 

And don't forget to use  light stands for your flashes.


They are cheap and very light to carry. They are very useful to hold our lights.

Or you can also use an assistant to hold your lights for you.

But light stands are more reliable, non-complaining and cheaper. (In my opinion)


So why again should we bother taking our flashes off our camera? 


Answer: For us to be able to change our light's direction.




In the photo above, I placed my light on camera right using a light stand. 

By changing the direction of our light sources, we created shadows. That gave our photo dimensions.

It doesn't look flat, more like 3D.

This is the bread and butter stuff of flash photography.






In this photo I placed my  light on camera left. The shadows will tell you.

Again, it adds dimension in our photos. It create shadows and highlights. It looks 3D compared to a flat direct on camera flash.

It is a good habit, it trains us to be more creative.

It makes us think more about our lights.

And by changing the direction of our lights, we change the directions of our shadows. We add emotions, tensions and drama to our photos.

We are like painters with our brushes when using our lights off camera.

Take that flash off your camera!

Cheers.

Alex