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Monday, November 22, 2010

The time of the year to flash

I thought I'd pass along photo tips as I learn them. I hope this post might help someone out there.

The days have gotten quite short up here in the Northwest. I tend not to have much light while taking OOTDs. So I've had to change my camera settings and make better use of my Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash.

Recently, I found that bouncing my flash up off the ceiling and slightly backwards (i.e., pointing away from me) creates the best ambient lighting for my indoor photos. Pointing it towards me creates harsh shadows behind me (even when using a diffuser).

See this photo was taken with the flash pointing straight forward AT me:

But this next photo, I tilted the flash backward so that it pointed away from me and bounced light off the ceiling (which then gets reflected back at me).

Even though the first pic had the light pointed at me, it actually looks DARKER than the second pic where the flash is pointed away from me. Counter-intuitive, yes, but also pretty cool.

Using my big flash also means I can't take rapid-fire shots. I need to wait a few seconds for the flash to 'recharge.' Actually, my camera will still take the photo when the flash is recharging. The camera just uses a longer exposure time (which means any movement will be really blurry), and the natural light amplifies.

Here are a couple examples from this week. The photo on the left of each set was taken without flash (using a longer exposure time). The photo on the right uses flash (bounced off the ceiling).

lol, Asha looks so unhappy to be in this pic!

Anyway, I'm now out in the Bay Area hanging with the fam and prepping for the big turkey day. I'll try to take some pics while I'm out here, but I'm not sure they'll be the typical OOTD variety. We'll just have to see!


vintageglam1234 said...

Thanks for these tips! I usually use a standard digital camera for mine. Usually, my photos are taken by shaky they end up blurry :-)
I do have a SLR, but it's too technical for me..hehe

Jamie - Thrifty Threads said...

This is a great tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing! And I hope you enjoy your time in the San Fran area.

Kathleen said...

Great tips! I'm still trying to figure out how to angle my flash. I'm using Husband's video camera that is also a camera so it might just be an impossible dream.

Cindi said...

Thank you for the tip, Lori! It does make a huge difference. I have a flash that points upward on my Canon G10 which brings in a lot of warmth to the picture when we do use it. Too bad I don't take a lot of my OOTDs with it. Haha.

Lisa - respect the shoes said...

I appreciate the tips - they make a world of difference in the pics! This is yet another reminder for myself that I need to upgrade my camera! Unfortunately, I think I'll still be getting another point and click since camera-savvy and I don't socially mix. If you have any recs on some Canon point and clicks, I'd be interested!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Debbie said...

Thanks for the photo tips! :-)

Kristina Clemens said...

That is crazy! I'll have to try this...thanks for sharing this, Lori!
Kristina J.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the tip. Now I just need to go and get myself a new flash as I still only have the one that's on the camera.

Matt said...

Wow, that's an amazing difference!! My latitude is a little better, but we definitely need to give this a try here too, since we've had some trouble with running out of daylight too! :)

Cindy said...

Great tips and such amazing results! This makes me a lot happier to know that there are good-looking options for indoor shots without using studio lighting!

Lori said...

@Lisa I'm pretty behind on point-and-clicks myself. So if you figure out a good option, I'd love to hear about it. I've been thinking about upgrading ours!

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