Bounce Flash Photography – directional bounce flash
One of my favorite photos from a recent wedding, is this one of the groom and bride being hoisted aloft, with his priceless expression of surprise. Timing and framing is everything, of course. And the lighting. This is pretty much the way it came out of camera, with only minor adjustments to the RAW file. Note that the light on the groom is about the same as the amount of light on the bride in the background. (Yes, she changed into white overalls after jumping into the pool with her dress.)
But back to the lighting — an equal amount of light on both of them. Something you can’t do with an on-camera flash diffuser such as any of the transparent plastic “boob” type omni light diffusers. You’re simply throwing light FORWARD from your camera’s position … and that gives you the resultant light fall-off that the inverse square law would dictate. In this case, there would have been some light being bounced into the ceiling of the white tent, somewhat mitigating the effect of the inverse square law.
More about this in this video:
More importantly, the light modifier that I used with the flash was the (infamous) Black Foamie Thing (BFT). But even more important than that even, was the DIRECTION that I bounced the flash into.The BFT controlled both the direction of the light, and how the light spilled. Bouncing into an area about equidistant to both of them, I got an equal amount of light on both of them … even though she is further back in the distance. All of that without spilling direct flash on part of the image. This is the key here in how I decided to bounce my flash — that concept of bouncing my flash off an area that is equidistant to my two subjects.
More about that in the links below, and in this video tutorial on Bounce Flash Photography. Be ready though — it’s an hour-long tutorial.
Camera settings and camera gear used for this sequence of photos
- 1/125 @ f/4.5 @ 2000 ISO
- Sony A1 (B&H / Amazon)
- Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM ii (B&H / Amazon)
- Profoto A10 flash (B&H / Amazon)
- Black Foamie Thing (BFT)
- Flagging bounce flash for directional light – vs – simple bounce flash
- Short lighting with on-camera bounce flash
- Flash photography basics
- Flash Photography tutorials