Fresh. Contemporary. Modern. Photography for the fashion-inspired bride.

Experimenting with Flash

This weekend I get to shoot a wedding with the awesome Chris and Brandi of La Brisa Photography. Yep. I’m stoked. I’m even more excited because I get to tag along to a couple engagement sessions and see them in action outside of a wedding. It’s going to be epic.

In preparation for this wedding, I purchased a Canon 430EX II after recommendations from Chris and my other photographer pal, Rik Andes. I’ve never done much with flash before, and obviously it’s a big deal at wedding receptions, so I went for it, and the UPS man delivered it this morning.

Of course, I had to start testing it out right away. But the problem? I have no idea what I’m doing. There’s a bunch of buttons on the back, but who knows what they mean. So I believe it was in automatic or ETTL or whatever, and I just started playing around.

My understanding from reading about flash is that unless you’re in a pitch black room, you want to meter for the ambient light, and use the flash as a fill. So, that’s what I did. There’s a big picture window left of camera, but the blinds are closed, so the light coming in is minimal. Why didn’t I open them? Good question. (By the way, that’s my dog’s carton of treats. I guess it needs to be refilled…)

These are all SOOC (straight out of camera). So then I turned the flash on, increased the angle to 45 degrees so it wasn’t direct flash and fired away.

Obviously it looks a lot better, but just because it’s brighter. I think it still looks a lot like direct flash and, in my opinion, it doesn’t look like how I want it to. So then I turned the flash around, keeping it at 45, and bounced it off of the white wall behind me.

I think that’s more what I’m looking for. The harsh reflections and shadows from the flash are gone, the colors are a bit more natural, and I really do think it still has a natural-light looking feel to it. Obviously adding some contrast in post will give it more of a pop, but basically, I like it.

Now it’s time to find out how to control it manually. Any suggestions would be great!

Happy Thursday!


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