How to remove hard shadows when using flash
If, like so many of us, you’ve the ‘official family photographer’ whenever your loved ones get together, you know all too well the pressure there is to get the shot right. Often we get called to the front lines at weddings, when our Canon DSLR and flashgun make us an instant expert.
However, one of the common problems we find when using flash in such situations are dark shadows appearing to one side of the subjects in our portraits. Below we’ll explain what causes these shadows and how can you make sure this doesn’t happen the next time you’re using flash with your Canon DSLR in a high-pressure situation.
When using flashguns mounted in the hotshoe of a camera, the proximity of the flash tube relative to the lens makes for a hard, dark shadow especially noticeable to one side with the camera in portrait orientation. The best way to fix this on your Canon DSLR is to invest in a Canon OC-E3 off-camera flash cord (note: recent Canon DSLRs like the Canon EOS 600D feature wireless flashgun control).
Shoot with the camera in one hand (a battery grip helps), while also holding the flashgun high and to one side of the subject. This produces a much more natural lighting effect as well as reducing the shadow.
For best effect, use a Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce flash diffuser to soften the flash or bounce flash light off white walls and ceilings. You can also increase your camera’s sensitivity up to around
ISO 400 to ISO 800, so there’s less difference between the intensity of the fl ash and ambient lighting.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 at 6:06 pm and is filed under Photography Tutorials, Portraits. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.