Reasons to Flash
Let’s be honest here, every now and again, we all have the desire to flash. Something wells up inside up, and we feel the need to break out our gear. Sometimes it can be hard to know why we want to, but the situation just seems right.
In all seriousness, flash is a great tool. The technical side of it really isn’t all that hard, even though it can be intimidating in the beginning. In the end, it’s just light. The first step, however, is deciding your intent. All the technique in the world won’t save you if you don’t have a motivation to shape the light to your vision. Here are five good reasons to get your gear out and flash.
That harsh directional light may look great on your background, but not be so flattering on your subject. Why not use a soft box to place a beautiful, soft light just on your subject. Then you can have the best of both worlds. Sera would have been covered in this dappled light if it weren’t for my flash. I much prefer the flattering look of the soft box on her.
Remember that time when you were out on the seaside in Incheon and saw the old man playing the flute on a rock? I do. The light was bland, wasn’t it? The scene was there, but the light wasn’t doing much for us. Quick and dirty, I grabbed a light on a stick and made 5 frames. This would have been a very different image without a flash.
Even with our wonderful modern sensors, accurate autofocus, and fantastic image stabilization, we often find ourselves in situations where there simply isn’t enough light on our subject or background. We can use a flash to make up for that and create the scene we envision in our minds. Or perhaps our subject is moving just fast enough to blur and we’d like them frozen.
Perhaps you’ve found an amazing background, but you either need to blow it out, or silhouette your subject; there’s no in-between. Why not bring in a flash and even out the exposure, wrangling it back into a range your sensor can handle? This scene is not the classic example, but a practical everyday situation nonetheless. Without the flash Michelle and Eric would be at the wrong end of the brightness scale. I needed a way to keep the background, yet still have them visible in the frame.
Sometimes, there’s no other reason than to make a cool image. You find a cool character, and it seems like the best way to show them off would be to chisel out their features with a couple of rim lights. Or is that just me?
Join Dylan Goldby in Seoul for a one-day workshop on June 20th and learn to flash with the best of them. We’ll be taking to the streets with small flashes and learning the ins and outs of off camera flash techniques. From spontaneous portraits to elaborate setups and photographing your lunch, we’ll be covering our scenes with light from every angle. Each and every participant will have the chance for plenty of one on one time, as we will accept only 10 participants for each workshop. To sign up go to http://flashlight.welkinlight.com/workshops/seoul-off-camera-flash/