Using a Flash


TPF Noob!
Jun 25, 2007
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New York City
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In debt to your help;

I just got a 580EX flash for my canon 20D. I'm a new photographer, not academically trained. I have a creative eye, but I'm in the process of trying desperately to understand light. I feel like this is a stupid question, but how do I know which way to point the flash...up..down..left..right etc.. if I'm shooting portrait type photos. I know you can't say it should be a certain way each time, but is there a rule of thumb or could you suggest a website or book where I can learn some more?

thanks in advance,
when you point your light other directions, you are usually adding a second light source to the picture...whether it's the ceiling, a wall, a reflector, etc. In rooms with ceilings nearby, I often point it up at the ceiling...but then you get eye shadows sometimes. Look for objects to reflect the light off of. Maybe you have a large reflector? You can point your flash at that.

Outside I've found that I get best results if I use a bracket and point the flash directly at the subject...since there are usually no reflectors nearby. (Once i pointed it at a white truck though)

Probably other uses for it though..I'm sure it'll get covered here.
As for using an EOS flash, this is a good resource as well.
Excellent instructional information on the technical aspects of using EOS equipment.

Strobist is a great site for getting started with lighting.

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