Welcome to the Assignment 8!
You all know The Rules by now- if not, check any of the earlier assignments.
As you’ve probably noticed there’s been some discussion on the forum about using “bounce flash”. What is it, how do you do it, and what effect does it have on your pictures? You’re about to find out for yourselves!
The most common is kind of flash is like one above- the camera and flash are pointed right at the subject. This is the “usual” use of flash as taken by on-board flashes of both DSLR’s and P&S’s. (Note that this is not always a bad thing! Direct flash is very useful for “fill flash” when outdoors.)
Now I’ve set up Ted E. Bear on a handy box a few inches from a handy wall cause he works cheap and has lots of patience. All these pictures are right out of the camera except for sharpening and resizing.
(Oops, got my leg in the way of that one! Oh well!) Also, on purpose, I put an OU Sooner visor on him to provide a shadow.
As you can see, it’s direct, harsh, lighting with harsh shadows on the wall.
Now we’re gonna try Bounce Flash, or #2 in our diagram above. The flash is angled upward, bounced off the ceiling, and down onto the subject. Note that you get a soft, even, “overhead” look to the lighting. If you have TTL (Through The Lens) flash metering, the camera and flash will work together to get a pretty good exposure.
Big difference in the picture, huh? And no harsh shadows on the wall! But notice something- since the lighting is from “overhead” a shadow has showed up under the hat. In our big-headed Mr. Bear that’s not a problem, but people wearing baseball caps or other hats might cause their face to be in shadow.We can fix that by adding a reflector!
I just used a piece of white paper cut like above and rubber-banded it to the flash (course my flash has, and yours might, already have a built-in reflector that you can pop up). Anyway, what happens with this rig is that most
of the light is bounced, but some
of it is directed straight towards the subject, (#1 and #2 in the diagram) lightening the shadows like this:Hints for doing this assignment:
1- Use Full Auto.
The flash and camera need to talk to each other and set shutter speeds correctly, etc. They can do it, they don’t need your help.
2- If you really want to do this “manually”, then don’t forget that you must calculate the distance from the flash to the ceiling AND from the ceiling to the subject AND also add about 2 stops for the light-loss of the ceiling.
3- Got a P&S?
Think because you don’t have one of those fancy-smancy cameras and flashes you can’t do this assignment? Wrong!
Here’s a couple of shots I took using my Canon P&S. The first one is a normal straight-on flash shot, the second I used a hand mirror held in front of the flash to bounce the flash up to the ceiling (don‘t cover up the flash sensor when you do this). Not recommended
, but hey, if you have the tripod and a subject that will hold still for you it works (if your camera has a powerful enough flash)! Remember these are right out of the camera also- without any tweaking.
(Oh, and you P&S’ers don’t have to post the third shot, ok?)Assignment 8
Your assignment is to post 3 shots of a stuffed animal, or a stuffed human, posed within 1 foot of a wall that is wearing a brimmed hat.Shot 1
= a direct flash shot.Shot 2
= a bounce flash shot.Shot 3
= a bounce flash shot with a reflector.
K for those that complete the assignment as outlined. We can’t wait to see your pics!