My tips for creating natural light with external flash.
Having the right ambient lighting can make a drastic difference in your photographs. When shooting indoors, there would be a time when you feel the need for a little extra light to capture the perfect shot. Off-camera flash indoor photography is all about making optimal use of flash and natural lighting. The following tips will help to create natural light photographs with external flash:
Maintain Natural Light Direction
A basic principle of off-camera flash indoor photography is to maintain the natural light direction. Determine the natural direction of the light and place your flash to come from the same direction. If natural lighting is decent, then try to minimize the flash lighting. You should keep the flash lighting to a bare minimum use it only for providing a light fill. Keeping the flash lighting subtle will help you capture more natural-looking and realistic photographs.
Use Large Light Modifiers
You can use large light modifiers to achieve a more even and uniform lighting. Objects like umbrellas and softboxes can be used to soften the light. This will prevent harsh shadows in the indoor conditions that would otherwise not be present in natural lighting.
Bounce the Light
Bouncing the light from a nearby surface like a wall or ceiling helps to soften the ambient lighting. It is an important component of off-camera flash indoor photography. You should use an external flash that has the swivel feature. Bouncing the light also prevents the occurrence of red-eye. Bouncing the light from the sidewalls can provide great directional lighting. A good reference point for bouncing the light is to point your flash in the same direction as the nose of your subject. This will create great highlights and shadows on the face of your subject. You should avoid bouncing the light from dark-colored walls as it can create a color cast that is difficult to manage during processing.
Slow the Shutter Speed
Slowing your shutter speed is a good way of increasing the ambient lighting in your shots. While practicing off-camera flash indoor photography, you should set your camera for the ideal ambient lighting and then add flash to control the light you want to hit the subject. Using an external flash allows you to maintain a lower shutter speed than what you would set regularly. This is because the flash duration is much faster than the shutter speed and helps to freeze the frame.