Bounced Flash

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by caerlas, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. caerlas

    caerlas TPF Noob!

    Aug 14, 2003
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    I've been reading a lot of essays and short articles regarding photojournalism and "bouncing flash" so it's not so garishly unnatural looking when it hits your subjects. Thing is, nobody is explaining how it's done. I imagine you point the flash somewhere else but how do you get the timing down? Are there ways of connecting it to the hot shoe with a cable or something so you can still hold it in your hand?

  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Aug 25, 2003
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    Lawrence, KS
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    Photos NOT OK to edit

    Bounce flash is different than off-camera flash, although it can also be off-camera. Bounce flash on-camera just requires a flash head that will tilt back so it is pointing towards the ceiling. The main factor that needs to be considered is how much light are you losing by bouncing the flash. This will be affected by the distance to the subject, the height of the ceiling, the finish of the ceiling, tone of the ceiling, power of the flash, etc... So there is no formula that works in all situations; you'll have to practice and get a feel for it. Also, if you are shooting color, the bounced light will take on some of the color of the ceiling so look for light, white/beige/yellow/pink ceilings (the light yellow and pink cast cancels out with the blue of the flash).

    If you want to try off camera flash, or your flash head doesn't tilt and you still want to use bounce flash you will need some extra flash accessories. Depending on you camera and flash you may need one or several pieces of equipment. First you'll need a flash cord. They come it lots of lengths, straight, spiral, etc..., and they will have some sort of socket at each end. You need to make sure you are getting the right one; there are hundreds of different kinds If you are using an older model camera and flash you may be able to plug the cord directly into the body of the camera and into the flash at the other end. more than likely you will have to look for a hot shoe adapter that goes on your camera's flash shoe, and allows the flash cord to be plugged in. You may also have to have a part similar to this for the base of the flash also. If your camera has TTL metering and flash features you will probably have to buy stuff made by the camera manufacturer. If you aren't worried about TTL, then there are lot's of after market brand equipment out there.

    There are so many different combinations of gear out there that the easiest way to get the right stuff is to take your camera and flash into the camera store and get help.

    Also, for some reason flash cords are really fragile. If you are going to an important shoot make sure you take two (I take three). They fail regularly; at least it seems that way to me.

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