Do you struggle with knowing how to achieve light and airy images with flash?
Here’s what I know about you: you have a love-hate relationship with flash. Am I right? You love shooting in natural light, but every once in a while you find yourself in a situation where you are forced to break out your flash.
Imagine walking into a getting ready room that has tungsten light, dark colored walls, you name it. What do you do? How do you take beautiful light and airy images to match the images on your site?
You know these are the images that your bride has fallen in love with and is expecting on her wedding day as well. So, how do you make your flash go from harsh lighting to looking soft and natural?
Today, I’m going to show you how you can achieve beautiful, soft looking images in any situation!
The secret is to eliminate the ambient light and use flash as the only light that is affecting your image.
This means that you will only have one direction of light, and one color temperature (no more color casts!). So how do you separate the ambient light from the light coming from your flash? In order to cut off the ambient light completely, you’ll want to take a picture (without using flash) that looks completely black on your LCD screen. In order to do that, you are going to adjust the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture (in this order).
Shutter Speed: max out your shutter speed (1/250 for most cameras)
ISO: start around 400 and go lower if necessary
Aperture: f/2 for most details, f/4 for macro shots (rings)
Now, it’s time to take a picture (without flash) and adjust your settings until you get a completely black shot on your LCD screen.
Now that the image is completely black, it’s time to turn on your flash. In order to make your flash feel light and airy, you are going to need two things: an umbrella and a diffuser.
- Place your umbrella at about 90 degrees on one side of the details. Bring it as close to your subject (wedding details) as you can in order to create a larger source of light.
- Position a reflector on the opposite side of the umbrella and bring it in close. This will soften the shadows and make the image feel more light and airy.
The cool thing is that when you turn the flash on, the only light that the camera sees is coming from the flash. This means that you could have tungsten light, green walls, you name it… and it won’t mater because the ambient light is not affecting your picture at all!
And there you have it: how to achieve light and airy images with flash! You will have no more tungsten light or color cast, which makes editing super easy. The third image above was a one-click edit with the Bright & Clean Presets. How easy is that?!