Top 10 Tips for Flash Photography Portraits
Follow our ten tips to improve your flash portraits today…
1. Av shooting mode
For more natural-looking results, switch to Av shooting mode for a better balance between flash and ambient light. But watch out for camera shake or motion blur, caused by slow shutter speeds.
2. Increase your sensitivity
In dull conditions or indoors, relatively distant backgrounds can look too dark compared to flash-lit foreground subjects, but you can decrease the contrast by raising the ISO setting of your camera.
3. Flash Exposure Compensation
When taking portraits against white backgrounds, ﬂ ash under-exposure is common. Try applying about +1EV Flash Exposure Compensation on the ﬂashgun, or through the camera’s Shooting menu.
4. Bounce the ﬂash
When shooting indoors, make the most of white ceilings by tilting the ﬂashgun head upwards and bouncing ﬂash off the ceiling. This creates a softer, more ﬂattering light for portraits.
5. Keep your distance
Especially in outdoor shooting, a long telephoto lens enables you to hang back and be unobtrusive, shooting from a distance. Again, keep shutter speeds fast to avoid camera shake.
When holding the camera in portrait (vertical) orientation, you’ll need to swivel the ﬂashgun head (instead of tilting it) if you want to bounce light off the ceiling. But the swivel function is also useful for bouncing the ﬂash off adjacent walls when you’re shooting in landscape orientation.
7. Fit a diffuser
The Sto-fen Omni-Bounce costs about £17 and ﬁts over the front of the ﬂashgun to diffuse the ﬂash. It gives much more natural results. Point the ﬂashhead upwards to an angle between 45 and 60 degrees.
8. Great Outdoors
Flashguns aren’t just for indoors or dull lighting. They’re great for taking portraits on bright sunny days, as you can turn your subject away from the harsh sun and use the ﬂashgun to ﬁll in the shadows.
9. High-speed sync
When you want to blur the background with a large aperture on a sunny day but still use ﬂash, switch to High-speed sync ﬂash mode and Av mode on the camera, so you can use ﬂash with extra-fast shutter speeds.
10. Off-camera ﬂash
For kinder, more natural lighting, invest in a Canon OC-E3 Flash Off-Camera Shoe Cord, which costs about £50. Hold your ﬂashgun high up and off to one side of the camera.
This entry was posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012 at 5:00 pm and is filed under 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.