Flash photography tutorial: balancing flash and ambient exposure

flash photography tutorial: balancing flash and ambient exposure

Flash photography tutorial: balancing flash and ambient exposure

This topic - balancing flash and ambient exposure - seems to one that many newer photographers struggle with. The big hurdle seems to be the basic starting point - how do you decide on the exposure for each? I'd like to explore this topic a bit with this post. The trigger for this was a question that  Read more inside...

Flash photography: applying the Sunny 16 Rule & Flash Guide Number

applying the Sunny 16 rule and the flash Guide Number

Flash photography: applying the Sunny 16 Rule & Flash Guide Number

In essence, if you know the GN of your flash, then you could use (bare) off-camera flash to match the sunlight, without even metering! There is a super-useful shortcut built into those two simple values: Sunny 16, and the Guide Number. Now, I am pretty sure that when you hear mention of the  Read more inside...

various scenarios: balancing flash with ambient light

various scenarios: balancing flash with ambient light

Adding flash to ambient light - its's a topic that can appear to be confusing. With advice that ranges from under-exposing the ambient light by a stop or two ... or dialing FEC down for fill-flash, or advice that you should be metering for the background ... it all appears confusing and contradictory. What we  Read more inside...

you’ve seen the movie; now read the book!

video clip: Direction & Quality of Light - your key to better portrait photography

The video clip of the presentation I did at B&H to promote my book - Direction of Light - has by now been viewed more than 137,000 times since it was posted in January 2013 !! But as the saying inevitably goes, the book is always better than the movie. So in case you haven't seen  Read more inside...

flash photography with a grid

flash photography: using a grid with a speedlight

During this photo session with Austin, I wanted to get a spot-light effect on, similar to that of a video light. Now, I have played around with various speedlight grids before, but never liked the result. Speedlite grids generally they concentrate the light to the extent that the direct light from a speedlight, becomes  Read more inside...

what if bounce flash isn’t strong enough?

What if you need more light from your bounce flash?

Because I so often use on-camera bounce flash, one of the questions I'm regularly asked is, what if there is nothing to bounce your flash off? There is also the variant - what if there isn't enough light from the bounced flash? In both cases, the answer is the same - you improvise! Not only that, but you need to  Read more inside...

controlling bright daylight w/ direct off-camera flash

controlling bright sunlight with direct off-camera flash - (model: Molly K)

Working with Molly K as our model during an individual flash photography workshop in New York, we put in action the thought-process when using flash in very bright light. There's a specific algorithm that gets us to optimal settings. But, as usual, there's more to a final image than just  Read more inside...

Tutorial: Bounce flash photography

bounce flash photography

An photo of a jazz trumpet player during a session in a club, lit by on-camera bounce flash. Since it's a perfect example of how I use on-camera bounce flash so that it looks nothing like on-camera flash, I'd like to use it to illustrate this summary of on-camera bounce flash technique: The light in this image is nearly all from my flash.  Read more inside...

direct off-camera flash photography – fill-light

direct off-camera flash photography - fill-light

I really like using a medium-sized softbox when photographing portraits. A softbox allows me to get soft, directional light pretty much anywhere. The most recent example I showed here, was Lucia and Alvin's wedding in Central Park, New York. I do make it easier for myself  when using off-camera flash for photo sessions  Read more inside...

wedding photography: using high ISO and flash at the reception

wedding photography: using high ISO and flash to retain ambience at the reception

Chatting with other photographers at the recent WPS convention in Chapel Hill, NC, I was again struck by how there are so many different ways of approaching lighting. In this case, lighting at the wedding reception. The one photographer I was chatting to, set up multiple speedlights  Read more inside...