Bounce flash photography – bridal portrait
As another example of bounce flash technique, here is a portrait of the bride from a recent wedding. The technique is quite simple, and should be obvious by now to regular readers of the Tangents blog:
I used a wide aperture, focused on the eye closest to the camera .. and bounced my flash towards the bride, but blocked by the black foamie thing. No direct flash. No diffuser cup. No tupperware on your flash.
Because of this indirect directional light, we have this broad swathe of light coming in from camera-left. The intention was to mimic window light. The nearest window didn’t have much impact though on the final image. I was more concerned by getting a clean enough background, devoid of hotel-room clutter. I wanted that deep red wall-paper behind her as the single background element. A simple composition to help make the image more striking.
Focusing was tough, since the bird-cage veil got in the way. So I had my assistant delicately lift the veil. As soon as I grunted a “got it” to indicate that I’ve locked focus properly, he would gently drop the veil into position again. I could then fire off a few frames. And there we have it – a strikingly effective, yet simple portrait of the bride.
On-Camera Flash Photography – revised edition
This book is explains a cohesive and thorough approach to getting the best from your on-camera speedlight.
Particular care was taken to present it all with a logical flow that will help any photographer attain a better understanding of flash photography.
You can either purchase a copy via Amazon USA and Amazon UK, or can be ordered through Barnes & Nobles and other bookstores. The book is also available on the Apple iBook Store, as well as Amazon Kindle. Also check out the Amazon Kindle store.
Learn more about how the cover image was shot.
Camera settings & photo gear used (or equivalents)
- 1/125 @ f4 @ 1250 ISO
- Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 AF-S VR II / Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
- Nikon SB-910 Speedlight / Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite
- a BFT (black foamie thing)
On-camera flash modifier – the black foamie thing
The BFT is held in position by two hair bands (Amazon), and the BFT is usually placed on the under-side of the flash-head.
The linked articles will give clearer instruction, especially the video clip on using the black foamie thing.