Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ceiling-Bounced Fill Flash

View On Black

40D, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 430EX flash

The window to the left provided most of the light here, but with harsh shadows on the right. I could either blow out the left side to bring the right in a little bit, deal with dark shadows on the right, or use a flash. The first two options are compromises - the latter, if done subtly, can still look like it wasn't used at all.

To pull this off, I used my camera-mounted 430EX flash, bouncing it off of the ceiling to the right, set at -1.5eV.

The flash was very dim compared to the sunlight, so it didn't affect a majority of the scene, but was just strong enough to brighten up the shadows a bit. At 0eV, the flash would probably have lit up the right side of her face to match the left, but that's just flat, boring lighting. I was able to keep the scene looking more natural by effectively taking the flash off-camera and increasing its size by bouncing.

Here's a test shot without flash to demonstrate how harsh the shadows are:

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