Tonight I am going to talk about flash photography. It is a huge subject hence the "1" in the title. There is so much that it is intimidating, at least it was for me. I recall trying to do everything with natural lighting because it was more "real." I was doing it because flashes can be expensive, the flash that comes with the camera isn't good, and it was another thing to learn. Well after learning a little it was fun, I could make the light do what I wanted instead of placing my subject to suit the natural light.
The reason that it is intimidating is because there are new equipment and new terms to learn. For example; bounce lighting, fill lighting, background lighting, wireless, umbrella, soft box, remote lighting, reflected light, catch lights, ring lights, etc.
It is best to start with the simple and go from there. Mind you I am not going to cover all that I listed in this post.
So the flash that we have built in to our DSLR usually sucks and gives a mugshot type image. See below.
Now this might sound and seem discouraging to the built in flash and that is not my intent. I am just trying to make the flaw known so it can be either worked around. There are multiple modifiers out there from mirrors that bounce the light off of the ceiling (doesn’t work outdoors), to softeners that basically turn the flash into a small softbox (more on that later), to filters that change the color of the light, and other items to “fix” the flash.
The camera flash can be used as a fill flash in backlit situations, in documenting subjects, street photography, and my favorite as a trigger for wireless flash photography.
So in the second image I used an inexpensive modifier, a piece of wax paper set at about a 45 degree angle in front of the built in flash. Some of the light bounced off the ceiling and most of it went through the wax paper. Both of the images were shot in jpeg with the WB set to flash. I will go more into discussing flashes at a later time. So grab your camera then go out and shoot.