Photography Tutorials and Articles

Off Camera Flash

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Off Camera Flash Photography

Using Off Camera flash to create shapes and shadows

Why and when should I use flash?

These are very good questions, which can be answered in numerous ways:

1-You need to use the flash whenever there is not enough light.

2-You need to fill the shadows on your subject.

3-You want to shoot with a faster shutter speed, or higher f stop.

And the list of reasons can go on and on. In this article I am going to show you how you can create the third dimension by using Off Camera flash techniques.

Camera settings: Manual exposure, F 5.6, shutter speed 1/125s, White Balance Flash, ISO 200

Lens: Nikon 105 Micro f2.8

On Camera Flash Photography

In this picture I used the flash mounted on camera, TTL mode, and shot directly. As you see it is a flat looking image with no sense of the spherical shape of the apple.

Off Camera Flash

TTL flash on Camera direct to subject

For this photo I used the flash on camera and bounced the light to ceiling. The result is again a flat looking picture.

Off Camera Flash

TTL flash on camera Bounced

Off Camera Flash Photography

Next I moved the flash off camera to a 45 degree angle and adjusted the power manually to 1/64 to maintain the exposure. Notice how the change of direction of light reveals a nice shape to the apple and the shadow helps to create a sense of dimension and depth.

Off Camera Flash

Off camera flash 45 degrees left

Then I moved the light to 45 degree behind the apple. Notice the stronger effect of 3D.

Off Camera Flash

Off Camera Flash 45 degree behind the subject

In this photo I moved the flash right on top of the apple. Same object, same light, and same exposure, but a totally different effect.

Off Camera Flash

Off Camera Flash right on top of the subject

In this photo the flash was placed at 45 degrees on the right hand side of the image and at a lower height to give an even stronger shadow and 3D effect.

Off Camera Flash

Off Camera Flash on the side and lowered the flash

Then I moved the flash to the left side of the camera, and lowered the angle. The spherical shape of the apple is well presented in this image.

Off Camera Flash

flash at the left side of the camera and lowered

For the next two photos, I kept the flash in the same location, and added a reflector. Notice how the shapes and shadows changed.

Off Camera Flash

(reflector in 45 degree at right side of camera)

(reflector in 45 degree at right side of camera)

Off Camera Flash

(reflector in 45 degree at right side of camera)

For each time I changed the location of my flash, I ended up with different effects. In the next article I am going to repeat the experiment with a model and you will see how these set-ups can enhance you portrait photography. Stay tuned, and till next time enjoy getting creative with your off camera flash photography.

Ted and the Omnilargess team

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