At this point in the semester, you should have the fundamentals down. To recap, we've covered: manual camera operation basic exposure and equivalent exposure composition color theory shutter speed editing
The reason I wait to introduce flash is two-fold. One, adding flash changes the game. I want you to be able to walk into just about any situation and be able to use your available light, because there will be plenty of situations where using a flash is impractical, impossible, or not allowed. Two, using flash adds a lot of variables that so far you haven't had to deal with. With ambient light shooting, it's WYSIWYG "what you see is what you get." With flash, you now have to worry about reflections, balancing or overpowering ambient light, mixed lighting white balance, and several other variables.
But don't be discouraged. Once you jump in and begin to learn flash, I'm positive you won't want to go back to ambient-only shooting. The reason I always rag on ambient-only shooters is because they are often limited by the available light. As a flash shooter, you're only limited by your skill and your creativity. As a flash shooter, you are in control of almost any situation your find yourself in. You're literally a photographer now, a "light-drawer."
Before we jump into the how-to of flash photography, I need you to understand some basics.
Using a flash is fundamentally different from taking a normal camera exposure because your subject is being lit by two light sources: your flash, which you have some control over, and the ambient light, which is likely beyond your control.
This article and this article go over the technical aspects of using flash, as well as introduce you to a lot of the terms we'll be using from now on. Before you move on to the files below, you need to have read them.
Don't be intimidated by the number of files here; they're all relatively short. I condensed the info down to fit onto a couple of pages. You can save the files and pull them up later on your phone if you're out shooting and have questions but aren't getting good service.
I've talked about the photographer who posted these guides before; he's one of my favorites. His approach to flash is simple and elegant. He can argue the technical aspects of photography all day long, but in the end, he espouses simple and effective techniques that anyone can emulate. Plus, he's a pretty cool dude too. His "Tangents" blog is dedicated to photography education, and he's written several books as well.
A couple caveats about the guides above. Only two of our speedlights are able to shoot in TTL mode (the Nikon SB-910s). The rest are manual only. All of them are able to be used off-camera, but we do not have the right triggers to fire them in TTL off-camera.
So, what's your assignment? 7 polished images created using bounced flash. Our next assignment will involve off camera flash, so don't get ahead of yourself and grab a stand and triggers just yet. I want you to practice using your available surroundings to create good images. Do they have to be portraits? Not necessarily, but this assignment is easier when you can move your subject around.
Standard naming conventions apply, so for this assignment your files should be named "Your Name - Bounced Flash - Original File Number.jpg" and should be uploaded to itsLearning like normal.
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