Fun With Flash in Wedding Photography
Using an external flashgun effectively can be a challenge but it is not that difficult. Here is how you can make creative use of flash for wedding photography.
Photographers often prefer to use available ambient light. But, at times, it is impractical to shoot in low-light conditions without using a flash. Improper usage of flash can lead to very artificial results. Here is how you can experiment with flash.
Bouncing Off the Light
One of the best ways to use flash is to bounce it off a white shirt or a wall. This prevents harsh shadows in your photo and also avoids the red-eye effect caused by direct flash.
Diffusing the Flash
Butter paper or tissues around the flash soften the light falling on your subject. They prevent photos from looking flat, which mostly happens with harsh light.
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Flash as Fill Light
If you are shooting at an outdoor wedding, you may find dark shadows under the eyes caused by strong sunlight. A burst of low-intensity flash provides extra illumination and fills such shadow areas.
Creativity with Slow–Sync Flash
Slow-sync flash is available as a function in most cameras (Night Portrait mode) and flashguns. With this function, light from the flash freezes motion while a slow shutterspeed allows you to capture the warm colours and tones of ambient light.
Many external flashguns allow you to change the amount of zoom of the flash head. Without altering the intensity of the flash, this function allows you to determine which part of the frame will receive light. In simpler words, it allows you to alter the coverage area. This can be useful when, for instance, you are photographing people and need to highlight the foreground, while throwing the background into darkness.
Off-Camera Flash Techniques
The external flash can also be used off camera. This allows you to control the direction from where light is being cast on the subject. You can also get creative with an off-camera flash by using snoots and grids to change the shape of the light. Use reflectors and umbrellas to soften the light or add warmth to it. Additionally, if your external flashgun has a swivel feature, you can direct the flash head to bounce light off any surface without much difficulty. Flash photography is not easy but once you master the technique, you can improve your photographs greatly.