Monday, June 29, 2009

More natural looking flash

I have been working on making my flash look more natural and less like Uncle Charlie's on-camera blast-flash. To this end, I made a flying trip (in my minivan) down to St. Louis to a workshop given by Neil vanNiekerk. There I learned to look around me for things to bounce my light off.

This past Sunday I did a wedding in the historic Kemper Center Chapel. As you can see, the ceiling is hopeless for a bounce source.

Which is good, as it would not give us a nice direction of light. As I waited for the processional to start, I glanced at the wall on my left and saw this.

I decided that I could bounce my flash off the wall and create a direction of light coming in from my left. You can see my flash boucing off the wall. Notice that it does not spill forward.

That is because of THE BLACK FOAMIE THING tm that Neil taught us to use. Basically it is a half-snoot that acts as a gobo to help direct the light where you want it to go and keep it from spilling where you don't want it to go. Here is the exact rig that I used, just as I used it. the BFT keeps any light from spilling forward. You can see how effectively it does that by looking at the image of the wall above.

The BFT is simply some black foam paper that you can get at a craft store like Hobby Lobby, Michael's, or JoAnne's Fabric. It costs less than a dollar for an sheet so it is pretty cost effective. I use hair scuncies to hold it on my flash head.

Anyway, here is the resultant image using the wall bounce on my left. I think it looks pretty darn natural. ISO 1600, F4.0 at 1/60, Tungsten white balance.

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