November 6, 2011

updated flash photography page: flash + ambient light

When I posted the first few pages in 2006 on the topic of basic flash photography, I never expected it to snowball into a much larger website. Those initial few pages became the flagship articles around which the rest of the site hinged. But with an ever-increasing workload, and the desire to post newer articles, I haven’t had much time to update the original pages. I recently decided to start on those 15+ pages, and update them with newer images and also improve the text.

The page that has been updated, is the flash + ambient light discussion. I’ve expanded the page with more images, and finessed the text somewhat. While the material is familiar to the regular visitors to this site, the page was in need of drastic updating for the new visitors. Hopefully though, in covering the familiar topic, it might just help click things into place for some.

The photo above, is of a couple, Alli and Scott, whose New York photo session took place in Central Park, earlier this year. It is typical of how I use bounce flash to sweeten the contrast, and enhance the available light. I bounced the flash behind me into the large open area there. Enough light returned to brighten the shadows and make the photograph just that little bit more romantic.

I used another portrait of theirs to illustrate the updated flash + ambient light page.  I also used images from this photo session for the article on the technique of using lens flare for effect.

And that’s it … enjoy!


camera settings & photo gear (or equivalents) used during this photo session

  • camera settings: 1/60 @ f4.5 @ 800 ISO … on-camera TTL flash at 0EV


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{ 8 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Jan November 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Excellent update, Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule. Its really appreciated. I keep re-reading all your tangents along with both your books. x


2 Anselm November 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Great info as always.

Out of curiosity, did you need a permit to shoot in Central Park? Thanks!


3 Neil vN November 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm

No problems with shooting in Central Park.
Here are the details for when a permit is required in New York.
The basic idea is if you’re going to start putting light-stands down, or block pedestrians, then you need a permit.


4 Anselm November 8, 2011 at 12:07 am

Thanks Neil!


5 William Ng November 8, 2011 at 4:22 am

Great shot. You don’t happen to have one with no flash to show with and without flash?
Thanks again.


6 Neil vN November 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

William, not in this case. Sorry.


7 Leo Dj November 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Yeah, I too wish there was a picture of one without flash to see how the contrast is not “sweetened”. :)


8 Corey Snapp November 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

Very good read as always thank you for a great blog post!


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