Wedding photography: Bounce flash “indoors” … in the limo
This is a reminder that when you have a high-contrast situation such as when photographing the bride and groom inside the limo – then using on-camera bounce flash is your easiest way to control the lighting. Simply bounce your flash behind you into the limo. Even with the dark interior and fittings inside a limo, enough light should spill back to lift the shadow detail.
The trick here of course is to expose correctly for the ambient light, if possible. With the camera settings then dictated by the ambient light coming through the window, simply use TTL flash to give enough fill-light. Dial down the FEC if necessary.
If you look closely at this image, you’ll see the slight trace of the shadow from the flash – this is because, even though I bounced the flash upwards behind me, I hit the ceiling of the limo and with it so close to the flash, it created a secondary smaller light source instead of just the larger bounced light source. Even with that, the effect looks quite natural, and the reduced contrast certainly did help post-processing.
Camera settings and photo gear (or equivalents) used
- camera settings: 1/160 @ f4.5 @ 1000 ISO; FEC -1.3EV
- Nikon D3s
- Nikon 24-70mm f2.8G AF-S / Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II
- Nikon SB-910 Speedlight / Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite
- a BFT (black foamie thing)
- How to bounce flash
- How do you meter for TTL flash & ambient light
- More wedding photography tutorials
- Justine & Kyle – wedding – The Palace, Somerset Park, NJ
- NJ wedding photographer
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.
9 Comments, Add Your Own
1Mike Zurynski says
Looks so natural! The pose and the lighting, that is!
If you had used the BFT would it have made any difference in how the shot was lit? Thanks
3Neil vN says
The black foamie thing is mostly used to flag the light for directional light. That wasn’t necessary here, since I just wanted general fill light. As far as I remember, I did have my BFT on the speedlight, but had rolled it back so it wasn’t doing much. So nope, the BFT wouldn’t have had any effect here.
Thanks Neil, much appreciated. Kinda figured that but wanted your take on it.
4Ken Soliman says
Thank you for sharing Neil! Kudos!
Nice. Just the right amount of fill light. Great tip. Thanks for sharing.
It looks so natural. Thanks for sharing!
7Ed Shum says
Love the pose and the light, thanks for sharing Neil. :-)
This past weekend I was shooting a birthday party with my SB-910 and I got amazing results bouncing my flash backwards, even if the ceiling was black instead of white.