Flash Photography Tutorial: Bouncing Flash to Soften Light

Speedlights work great as light sources for run-and-gun situations when you cannot set up proper studio lighting. They do have one major drawback, however: their small size means that they are a hard light source. The resulting images can therefore end up having hard-edged shadows and even unwanted specular highlights. By bouncing flash, you can overcome the issue and make that tiny speedlight work like a bigger lighting unit, resulting in a softer light. In this video, professional wedding and portrait photographer Vanessa Joy shows you how can bounce flash the right way and take some gorgeous portraits:

The first thing you’ll want to do when you arrive at your event location is to look for areas with white walls and ceilings, which will do a great job of bouncing light back to the subject while softening it in the process. For that to happen, make sure you align the subjects and the flash head in such a way that the light from the flash hits the wall or ceiling and gets reflected toward the subject.

Joy also shows how you can set up the camera settings in a way to prevent killing the location’s ambiance with your flash. This is very important, as you’d not want the lighting on the image to appear too artificial, making the subject appear out of place.

If you’re new to flash photography or don’t have a good concept of bouncing flash, be sure to go through this insightful video. You’ll surely benefit from the tips, tricks and practical examples that Joy demonstrates.

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One response to “Flash Photography Tutorial: Bouncing Flash to Soften Light”

  1. This was really helpful. Thanks for the tips!

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