How to shoot portraits with single flash
- Dec 11, 2019
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From the perspective of photography, there is nothing else in the world that attracts us to watch more than other people's photos. Simply put, "yes, you can take great pictures of people with a flash." There are so many ways to shoot with flash. Here's a summary of using a flash to take a portrait.
The characteristics of the light you get from the flash are largely determined by its location. A single flash can perform one of the following four tasks:
·Main light - the main light that provides the main body of illumination.
·Fill light - add light to the shadow so that the viewer can see the details that might have been hidden.
·Split light - illuminates the subject from behind, separating its hair and shoulders from the background.
·Background light - illuminates the background, either to show the details of the environment, or when the background is very bright, the main body becomes a silhouette.
Single flash and reflective fill
The camera can record a much narrower range of bright and dark tones than we can see. With a single flash, it's quite possible that when you expose the light on one bright side of the subject's face, the other side will fall into a deep shadow. A simple solution is to fill the shadow with a reflector when using a single flash.
The idea of using a reflector to fill in light is to intercept light that has passed through the subject and reflect it back. Adjust your flash so that part of the light passes through the front of the subject, which is the light you need to block with a reflector and reflect back. If you adjust the angle of the light so that it flies away from the main body, it is feather lighting.
When I took this picture, I lit it with a flash on the right side of the camera. The two key points in this photo are to block the flash with the flag board to avoid direct light on the steel door behind the model and to fill the shadow side of his face. To block the background, I strapped a large rogue flashbender to the side of the flash and pointed it toward the model's shoulder. To fill in the shadow, I used a 42 inch gold / silver reflector to reflect the light passing through the front of the model's nose back into the shadow. The following is the lighting diagram:
Environment: indoor time: night scene light: weak tungsten flash lamp: a 580ex II metering mode: manual output power: 1 / 4 zoom / Swing: 70mm gelatin film: no decoration accessories: the flash lamp head is equipped with sto Fen Omni bounce diffuser, and the large rogue flashbender is installed on one side of the lamp head. Distance from the subject: about 0.9m height: same height as the model's head trigger: extra long E-TTL cable
Camera: 5D Mark II lens: 24-70mm f / 2.8L distance from the subject: About 2.4m exposure mode: manual exposure parameters: 1 / 60s, f / 8, ISO 400 white balance: Flash
Consider the shutter as a light decoration accessory
There are two types of light in your Flash Photography - the light you already have at the scene and the light you produce with your flash. It's better to consider them separately.
The existing light (field light) can be dimmed with a higher shutter speed or brightened with a lower shutter speed. If you are shooting with the camera's AV (aperture priority mode), you can use exposure compensation to dim or brighten the field light. If you shoot in the camera's manual mode, you can adjust the shutter speed directly.
The camera's light meter wants to see the world as medium density gray. If you are shooting in a dark environment, the camera will usually overexpose the scene (relative to the scene in front of you). The picture below was taken in a rather dark conference room of a company. My home credit tripod allows me to take this picture at the shutter speed of 1 / 3 second that the camera wants. The background is brighter than it is. Note that the E-TTL triggered flash creates a nose shadow, which is mixed with the scene shadow.
In the picture above, I change the shutter speed from 1 / 3 second to 1 / 200 second - 6 gears. The flash output power set by E-TTL is similar to that shown in the figure above. The lighting diagram is as follows:
Environment: company meeting room time: unimportant field light: dim incandescent flash lamp: a 580ex II metering mode: E-TTL flash exposure compensation: 0 FEC zoom / Swing: zoom to 105mm gelatin film: no decoration accessories: no distance: About 1.8m from the subject: subject head height trigger: super long E-TTL cable
Camera: 5D Mark II lens: 24-70mm f / 2.8L distance from the subject: 1.8m exposure mode: AV, then manual exposure compensation: 0, then - 6 exposure parameters: 1 / 3S above, f / 8, ISO 400; 1 / 200s below, f / 8, ISO 400 white balance: sunlight
The sun makes the outline light, and the flash makes up the light
I like to shoot in front of the sun. This works especially well in outdoor portraits, where the sun creates a bright outline around the subject's hair and shoulders. The problem is that our camera can't capture the details of this bright highlight and shadow at the same time. At this time, the flash will be very willing to act as a savior.
When you face the camera to the sun, unless you want to show the main body as a silhouette, you need to use flash to fill in the light to show the details in the shadow. There are several aspects to consider: where to put the flash, whether to modify it, and how to modify it.
Of course, you can put the flash on the top of the camera to fill in the light (this is the idea of Canon Engineers), but I prefer to move the flash away from the top of the camera. Usually, I put it on the opposite side of the sun. I will imagine a straight line, starting from the sun and passing through the main body, and then I will put the flash on the extension line of this straight line. As for whether I need to decorate the flash, it depends on two aspects: how much light I need from the flash and the characteristics of the light I need. I suggest you try both direct flash and large reflector flash.
In the above group of pictures, there is no fill light in the above picture, the model is just a bad silhouette, while the following picture uses direct flash to fill the light. The lighting schematic diagram below is as follows:
Environment: Vineyard time: afternoon spot light: direct sunlight flash: a 580ex II photometry mode: E-TTL flash exposure compensation: 0 FEC zoom / Swing: 105mm gelatin film: 1 / 2 Density CTO decoration accessories: no distance: About 3.7m from the subject: About 0.3m above the head of the image: super long E-TTL cable
Camera: 5D Mark II lens: 100mm f / 2.8L macro is distance from the subject: About 4.6m exposure mode: aperture priority exposure compensation: - 2 / 3 block exposure parameters: 1 / 1600 seconds, f / 2.8, ISO 100 white balance: sunlight