Flashes are more than just fill.
My initial reasons were:
- Reason #1: Flash is Awesome.
- Reason #2: Flash is Awesome.
- Reason #3,4 and 5: Flash is Awesome.
But of course, what kind of article would this be if those were the only reasons (although all those reasons are warranted!). Check out the video and article to see our 5 reasons to use flash.
REASON #1: CONTROL OF LIGHT
Flash is awesome because you have the ability to control the light in any scene you are working in. Control of light is really the umbrella reason of why and how to use flash. Delving deeper, we will illuminate the 4 aspects of light and how to control each one.
REASON #2: CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF LIGHT
Flash is widely thought of as a tool to create dramatic portraits, whether it be in the studio or on location. While flash certainly can be used in that way, it’s not the only way it can be utilized. If you look at the picture below, the model touching her hat looks a little dark and flat. There’s nothing technically wrong with this picture, but we can control the amount of light to improve the image.
To improve this image we strap on an orange gel (Color Temperature Orange or “CTO”) right onto our flash to imitate the orange glow of sunset. We also use a reflector to bounce our flash off of a reflector. This softens the light, creating a natural look. This is one way to enhance shots using your flash to control the amount of light.
REASON #3: CONTROL THE DIRECTION OF LIGHT
In every scene you are going to have an existing ambient light. If this light is not flattering for your subjects or if the light is not powerful enough, there are ways you can improve your lighting situation with flash. The family below is a little dark, and if we expose for their faces the background will be overexposed. The solution here is to add in some light to get a proper exposure for their skin and the background.
The natural direction of light is coming from the right. To make this as natural as possible, we add our flash in the same direction of the existing light; in this case the sun. We use a reflector to direct the light where we want it to go, as well as add some softness to the image.
REASON #4: CONTROL THE QUALITY OF LIGHT
While there is no “best” quality of light, there are however many different ones for many different styles. Soft or Diffused flash lighting can be used to create flattering portraits. Hard or Direct flash lighting can be used to create punk/editorial or dance motion shots.
Specular flash lighting can be used to create a dramatic light for athletes. This hard light is used to define shadows. Soft diffused flash lighting can be used to direct and enhance the existing light in a scene.
There is not one right light, but this knowledge will help you accomplish which style you’re shooting for.
REASON #5: CONTROL THE COLOR OF LIGHT
If you have seen our first workshop, Photography 101, then you will know that every type of lightsource has it’s own color. From daylight to tungsten to fluorescent; every light color is different. We use flash to creatively control or even fix the color of light in our shots.
In the bikini shoot above, there was nothing wrong with the orange glow of sunset to match that style. A change in flash color made the blues of the ocean and our model’s bikini pop more in the second image. This is an example of creative control over the color of light.
- 1.1 Lighting 101 Trailer 6M 13S
- 1.2 Chapter 1 Intro 1M 14S
- 1.3 Why Just One On-Camera Flash
- 1.4 5 Reasons to Use Flash 10M 43S
- 1.5 4 Common Flash Myths 7M 5S
- 1.6 What Makes Flash Challenging
- 1.7 Chapter 1 Quiz: Getting over the Fear, Hype & Myths
- 2.1 Chapter 2 Intro
- 2.2 Flash-Strobe vs. Ambient-Constant Light
- 2.3 Flash vs. Ambient Light Exposure
- 2.4 Flash vs. Ambient Demo
- 2.5 Flash and Ambient Balancing For Natural Effect
- 2.6 Assignment: Balancing Flash & Ambient for Natural Effects
- 2.7 Flash and Ambient Balancing For Dramatic Effect 4M 29S
- 2.8 Chapter 2 Assignment 2: Balancing Flash & Ambient for Dramatic Effects
- 2.9 Flash and Ambient Balancing For Creative Effect
- 2.10 Assignment: Balancing Flash & Ambient Light for Creative Effects
- 2.11 Understanding Flash Duration
- 2.12 Chapter 2 Quiz: The Basics of Flash
- 3.1 Chapter 3 Intro
- 3.2 5 Common Key Light Patterns 8M 45S
- 3.3 5 Common Key Light Patterns with Diffusion + Fill
- 3.4 5 Common Secondary Light Patterns
- 3.5 3 Primary Subject Positions
- 3.6 Assignment: Flat Light Portrait
- 3.7 Assignment: Loop Lighting
- 3.8 Assignment: Butterfly Lighting
- 3.9 Assignment: Rembrandt Portrait
- 3.10 Assignment: Split Lighting
- 3.11 Light Qualities 10M 3S
- 3.12 The Inverse Square Law 8M 20S
- 3.13 Inverse Square Law In Practice
- 3.14 Corrective White Balance
- 3.15 Creative White Balance 6M 4S
- 3.16 Assignment: Creative White Balance
- 3.17 Chapter 3 Quiz: Understanding Light
- 4.1 Chapter 4 Intro
- 4.2 On Board vs. Hot Shoe Flash
- 4.3 Full Feature vs. Manual Flashes 9M 6S
- 4.4 TTL vs. Manual Control
- 4.5 TTL vs. Manual Recycle Times
- 4.6 Flash Power & Zoom
- 4.7 HSS vs. ND Filters
- 4.8 Assignment: HSS vs. ND
- 4.9 FCS vs. RCS
- 4.10 Chapter 4 Quiz: On-Camera Flash Gear Basics
- 5.1 Chapter 5 Intro
- 5.2 4 Tips When You Must Use Direct Flash 6M 26S
- 5.3 Bare Bulbing Done Right
- 5.4 Assignment: Bare Bulb Flash Portrait
- 5.5 Grid Snoot + Direct Flash
- 5.6 Assignment: Grid/Snoot + Direct Flash Portrait
- 5.7 Mini Beauty + Direct Flash
- 5.8 Ring + Direct Flash
- 5.9 Assignment: Direct Flash with Modifier Portrait
- 5.10 Understanding Modifiers 9M 17S
- 5.11 Exercise: Understanding Modifiers
- 5.12 Direct Flash + Shutter Drags 9M 31S
- 5.13 Chapter 5 Assignment: Direct Flash + Shutter Drags
- 5.14 Chapter 5 Quiz: Direct Flash Done Right!
- 6.1 Ambient vs. Direct Flash vs. Bounce Flash
- 6.2 Chapter 6 Intro
- 6.3 Silver Bounce
- 6.4 More Light Silver + White
- 6.5 Assignment: Silver Bounce
- 6.6 Soft White Bounce
- 6.7 Assignment: Soft White Bounce
- 6.8 Overhead Bounce 11M 40S
- 6.9 Overhead Bounce + Fill
- 6.10 Assignment: Overhead Bounce
- 6.11 Event Bounce
- 6.12 Chapter 6 Quiz: Studio Light? Just Bounce It!
- 7.1 Chapter 7 Intro
- 7.2 Dramatic vs. Natural Light
- 7.3 Filling and Refining Existing Light
- 7.4 Multi-Point Light Setups 13M 52S
- 7.5 Assignment: Multi-Point Light Setups
- 7.6 Using Gels for Creative Effects vs. Corrective Effects
- 7.7 Assignment: Coloring Light for Creative Effect
- 7.8 Chapter 7 Quiz: More Lights, Refinement and Creativity
- 8.1 Chapter 8 Intro
- 8.2 Case Study 1 | Dramatic Sunset
- 8.3 Case Study 2 | Desert Sunset
- 8.4 Case Study 3 | Sinister Headshot
- 8.5 Case Study 4 | Quick Lighting for Family Portraits 8M 15S
- 8.6 Case Study 5 | Athlete Portraits
- 8.7 Case Study 6 | Working Angles
- 8.8 Case Study 7 | Drag + Composite
- 8.9 Case Study 8 | Less Is More
Total Course Run Time 8H 17M 4S
Tutorials Completed 0 / 66
Quizzes Completed 0 / 7
Assignment Completed 19 / 19