Flash Photography

Beginner’s Guide to Flash Photography

Usually when you start your career as a photographer, you normally begin with natural light because it is easier to understand and get used to. As one progresses in their photography career, they try to learn flash photography and get their hands on it.

Some people still believe that natural light is the best but everyone has different opinions and, in my opinion, both the options are good in themselves. If you ask me what flash photography is, I will tell you that it is the use of a flash or other types of lighting to improve your images.

I think most people prefer flash photography instead of natural lighting because this type of photography can be done in close spaces, and without the weather requirements, it gives the photographer full control of the photoshoot, even when the weather or lighting conditions are not good.

I think having a little knowledge of flash photography is important even when you usually use natural lighting. This could help in better editing good quality photos. Flash has the power to stop movement in a photograph, letting you to experiment with light.

This is the reason that it is important to have avid knowledge of flash photography. This kind of photography helps you to have a creative and beautiful picture, which will give great results. The flash of a camera or any other object that you might use for taking your pictures intensify the features of the object or the person that is being photographed.

It changes the appearance of the subject and make the photograph more attractive. It also helps in exchanging the depth of a picture. I believe that natural light isn’t always going to be enough in photography. Experts and professional should know and have an understanding of flash photography.

There are so many aspects of flash photography like you can always control the amount of lighting needed, direction of the lighting, and also the colour and quality of the lighting.

Tips on how to get into Flash Photography

This guide will give you some tips on how to begin your career in flash photography and become good at it.

  1. Realise the need of Flash                

The first thing you need to understand while starting your career in this is by realising why do you need flash in your photographs, why is it so important and how does it improve your photographs.

With the help of flash, you can always control the lighting even in bad weather conditions, even when there is no natural light. You can also always choose the direction of the lighting and also control it the way you want.

The other feature is the colouring of lighting that you can always adjust, and find the perfect colour for your photographs. The most important need of flash is that it helps improve the quality of the photographs. You can always use flash modifiers.


  1. Bounce the Light

One of the most crucial things that prospective photographers should understand about flash photography is that shining the light straight at your subject is not acceptable. After all, no one wants their images to have bright, lifeless lighting and unattractive shadows.

You need to bounce the flash on a different shadow that will cast light on your subject and will give you proper lighting for your photography.


  1. Choose the quality of light

For a good quality photograph, you need good quality light. There are different qualities of light like hard, soft, spectacular and diffused. Hard light has a harsher transition whereas the soft one has a more of a gentle transition shadow to light. These both types are very commonly used in flash photography.

The spectacular one has deep contrasts of light and quite bright highlights, and is amazing for good quality images. Light when hits on the subject on the shoot, reflective light bounces back and is the spectacular quality of light. The diffused one is the light that does not have reflective qualities. It gives a very soft and diffused kind of image as the name suggests.


  1. Learning Light Patterns

There are different kinds of light patterns that every beginner of this field should understand. This is understood by the pattern or the direction of the light. There are about 5 most common types of light patterns that all beginners need to know about,

    • Split Light Set the main light 90 degrees to the subject’s either side of the face. Light and shadow will be separated by a line running down the centre or the middle of the subject’s face and will create an amazing and dramatic effect. 
    • Butterfly Light  This type of light come on top and In front of the subject’s face and show the subject’s features very clearly.
    • Flat Light  From the angle of the lens, flat lighting shines directly into the subject. This does no create very dramatic lighting. 
    • Loop Light  This type of lighting lies between the flat lighting and split lighting, because of this lighting you can see a lot of the subject’s face but also enough shadow and this is the most natural kind of lighting that is usually used.
    • Rembrandt Light  Spread your main light all around the subject until the nose’s shadow touches the face’s shadow. In this most of the face is in the shadow but some are that gives the most effect is in the light and that gives a beautiful effect to the image.


  1. Flash Modifiers

While learning how to utilise a flash is the initial stage, customising it for correction and creativity control can help tremendously in the final result. Flash modifiers are great for beginners and helps the photographers to understand photography faster and more effectively. These also consist on flash diffusers. They are usually made of plastic.

These help in creating a desired mood and atmosphere according to the photographers demands. They are usually and most commonly used to direct the light to white surface or a wall so that the light bounces to the subject and helps in creating the best photograph needed.


  1. Use TLL quality

TTL stands for Through the lens technology. It helps in making the shoot in different conditions easier, this technology helps the flash communicate with the camera and creates the perfect lighting required for the photograph, also the distance between the flash and the object that is to be photographed.


  1. Try more than one flash

You may use more than one flash to illuminate your subject for a more three-dimensional light effect. This demands thorough understanding of how to use and sync several wireless flashes with your camera. It is quite a simple concept in which you use multiple flashes to create a more better quality picture

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Andy Watson

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