November 29, 2011

off-camera bounce flash – my guest spot on Frank Doorhof’s blog

I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of a phenomenal Fashion photographer last year when Frank Doorhof visited New York. He was gracious enough to be featured on the Tangents blog with a guest spot – on learning the essentials of photography.  And it is my turn to reciprocate. The topic of my post is off-camera bounce flash.

Showing a sequence of images that I shot of Ulorin Vex earlier this year, I explain the thought-process in the lighting that I used. The lighting technique itself was quite simple, but there were some steps in finessing the final result.

And it’s all there on Frank’s blog – off-camera bounce flash.


more photo sessions with Ulorin Vex


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{ 7 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Tony November 29, 2011 at 6:05 am

I have to agree with Tristan (in the comments), regarding the softbox v bounce difference. And as always, those pullback shots help immensely.


2 Ryano Tandayu November 30, 2011 at 12:32 am

Neil, why using off camera bounce flash instead of on camera bounce flash? In this example, I guess you could achieve similar result using on camera bounce flash.


3 Neil vN November 30, 2011 at 1:51 am

Tony … doing so allowed me the freedom to move around without having to adjust how I bounce my flash. Having the flash off-camera on a light-stand like that, meant there was a certain consistency to the light.

Neil vN


4 Ross December 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Hi Neil, just finished your book on off camera flash and had to let you know it was great. Had a quick question though. When you are using speedlight’s (SB-800)off camera in manual mode does your ISO affect your exposure? I am using two bodies a D200 and my new D700. As you know the D200 has a low ISO of 100 and the D700 only drops down to ISO 200. If I am interchanging the camera’s during one shoot (to avoid changing lenses) should I be concerned about this and is there some way to let the flashes know which ISO I am shooting with.

Thanks again for all you great help and advice.



5 Neil vN December 8, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Ross .. if you’re shooting with manual flash, then you’d have to change your settings.
You can either change your flash’s power by a stop, or change your aperture by a stop as you switch between cameras.

The simpler solution would be to work at 200 ISO with the D700. It is the better camera.

Neil vN


6 Ross December 9, 2011 at 2:39 am

Thanks Neil. But how does the flash know what ISO I’m working with in manual off camera flash? Let’s assume I am shooting at f4 at max synch speed and 200 ISO. But lets say I then switch to a group shot and need the increased DOF of f8. If I increase my ISO to match do I have to adjust the power output of my flash as well? Or move the flash closer? And won’t increasing the ISO on my camera affect how much ambient light is registering? I’m sorry but I’ve been working with off camera flash in TTL since I started reading your blog but lately I have been experimenting with off camera manual flash to try and get some consistency in my exposures and I’m struggling. I will try re-reading some of the articles on manual flash.



7 Sabore June 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I love how both this shot room came out… Bouncing off camera flash does come with lots of flexibility and great images… As for Ross I would recommend you always shoot using manual on your flash then just change settings as you shoot… It is not a must to shoot at max sync speed (especially off camera flash) I have done great images at speeds of 1/400sec and still came out nice so long as my SB700 had completely recycled…

Your blog Neil is a great read thank you…




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