Shooting in dim light compromises on the quality of your picture, but you can prevent that from happening. Either go for a good low light camera or buy a flash.
Tricks And Tips
Flash photography could be a bit tricky and a small mistake can ruin your whole picture. Hence, to help you out, here are some useful flash photography tips:
1. Pointing The Flash
What you are pointing the flash to is very important. If you point directly to the subject, the picture has a high chance of getting ruined, as there will be over-exposure of light.
To avoid this, make sure to flash the light on a neutral-colored wall , or ceiling, or any reflective card. Do avoid mirrors. The reflective surface will result in the flashlight to bounce back or reflect from the reflective surface to the camera lens. Therefore, it would seem a bit natural.
You can also flag your flash with a small portion of black foam or any opaque material. This will help in blocking one side of the perpendicular flash-head and won’t hit the subject directly.
2. Use A Diffuser
A diffuser almost works on the principle of bouncing your light on the surface. The only difference is that it enlarges the area of the flashlight, that is, the light is spread rather than concentrating only on the subject. This helps to create an even exposure throughout the picture.
There are two types of diffusers: pop-up flash ones and Tupperware-looking ones for professional speedlights. The two categories don’t have much difference in them, and both of them are used to create a studio-like look. They widen the coverage of the flash, even if you are pointing the diffuser directly at the subject. If you are on a tight budget, you can also use mini softboxes with speedlight.
3. Natural Light
Y might often be tempted to use a flashlight while shooting outdoors. However, this might not always be a good idea. Sometimes, using a flash on a subject outside could almost make the background disappear. Therefore, it is advisable when outdoors to use the natural light you are getting.
If you want to use the flash outside there is a small trick you can pull off. Change the mode of your camera from Auto to Manual Exposure Mode. Then change the settings of your camera to first expose the background. Now, your background will be exposed at first, and to bring the focus to your subject, you can use the flash! This will create an unusual atmosphere in your picture, giving it more depth. You can use this trick while shooting for wedding pictures if you do not have any specific camera for shooting weddings.
Another fun trick is to use rear curtain sync. This setting makes the flash go off just right before the shutter closes. This would create some blurring and moving objects behind the subject, giving it a light trail effect.
4. Color Flash Gels
Flash gels have become very popular in recent times. They completely change the outlook of the picture. Sometimes flashlights may seem to be quite harsh on the subject. Also, if you want to hide the fact that you use a flashlight, this is a great option
You might have noticed that room lights have a different color temperature than flashlights. This makes the flashlight in the picture more obvious. For this, you can use a flash gel. If you do not have that, here is a small trick. The settings of your camera’s White Balance has to be in Auto or Tungsten. Then you can add an amber filter or CTO (Color Temperature Orange) filter over the flash lens. This will help in correcting the foreground color of the picture.
You can also get colored flash diffusers. They work very similarly to normal diffusers and would even adjust the color temperature of the light coming from the flash.
5. TTL Technology
This is the easiest of all the flash photography tips! If you enable TTL (Through the Lens) technology on your camera, the flash would communicate with your camera to check the lighting situation and the distance between the flash and the subject. After acquiring this information, the flash would produce as much light as required.
You can also try to dial down the flash power from before, this would result in more natural light and make the picture more pleasing to look at.
6. High-Speed Flash Sync
This is something that you have to keep in mind while clicking pictures using the flashlight. Usually, the maximum shutter speed you can use with the flashlight is 1/125 or 1/250. If you use a shutter speed higher than this, there will be large sections of black spots in your image. This is because the shutter would block the image sensor in the middle of the exposure.
The trick here is to turn on the High-Speed Flash Sync or Auto FP (name might vary depending on the company of the camera). This would make the flash fire longer and on time, when the sensor will be fully exposed.
7. More Than One Flash
You can definitely go for more than one flash. However, you first have to make sure that you know the working of flash thoroughly.
The easiest way to use more than one flash is through the three-pointer system. This creates a three-dimensional effect on the subject you are shooting. Place a Key Light, facing the subject and positioned close to the camera. Then, place a Fill Light, which will also be facing the subject but will be positioned on the other side of the camera. Finally, a Backlight will be placed behind the subject and opposite to the Fill Light. This usually helps to bring out the highlights of the subject.
We hope that you found these tips helpful. They are small hacks to make your photography session easier and the pictures more beautiful. You can also add some creativity to these tips and make them easier for yourself.