Learning to use a flash can be overwhelming, especially with the amount of information out there on settings and techniques. It has its own set of terminology that can sound like a foreign language. Thankfully Pye Jirsa broke down some of the most common myths about using a flash in this video:
1. Flash is Complicated
It’s true that there’s a lot to learn about flash, but it’s only complicated if you try to approach it all in one sitting. If you start with something simple and learn the basics of that tool, then each new piece of equipment you try out will already make sense to you; all you have to do is learn where the buttons are.
2. Flash Can’t Look Natural
Yes, it can. The way you use your flash determines the outcome of your image. You can take a very natural looking portrait with a flash and have it look like ambient light. Depending on how you use it, flash can look very dramatic and unnatural—or just the opposite.
3. Flash Photography is Too Expensive
Some workshops teach you to buy everything you could ever possibly need right from the start, and this can be prohibitive for people just starting out with flash. It’s better to start with just an on-camera flash that you can master before spending money of fancier equipment. Most flash accessories are actually quite reasonably priced and don’t need to break the bank.
4. Flash is Only Needed in The Dark
Many times people think a flash is just for illuminating a subject in a dark place or if a subject is in shadows. You can obviously use flash in the dark to light your subject, but it can also be used during the day to add some light direction and add natural looking light in places it didn’t already exist. A flash gives you more control over your light—and this can mean in broad daylight. In a studio, a flash can be used to accent different features and create dramatic shadows and contrast.
Flash is a versatile tool that adds a degree of control over your images. Hopefully you’re feeling brave enough to go test out your flash in a new way!
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