I decided I needed to investigate a little more and get over my fears. I did some research looking at various websites and decided I would experiment it bouncing flash, not sure how successful it would be as I was shooting outside with the probability of not having much to bounce off of or if a bounce card would actually work outside.
all of these were interesting and informative in one way or another but I haven't really had chance to look and learn a lot....what I need to do is experiment and play and see what happens. To this effect I have purchased a polystyrene head and some basic craft materials to make something to bounce my flash. I also dusted off my instruction booklet to remind myself of the basic functions, it does help if you know how to turn it on and also do exposure compensation. Once I have taken shots inside and out I shall upload my results to my blog.
|black and white foam plastic mesh, velcro dots|
|all of the above plus bounce template|
|foam marked out|
|white foam backed with black, mesh between to improve rigidity, velcro dots applied|
|as above side view|
I recognize that images are made or broken due to the available light and how you can play with it creatively but recognizing it and being able to utilize it are completely different. I want to learn how to manipulate the flash to improve set scenarios by enhancing the existing light so fingers crossed that by the time I wade through to the end and try out some of the techniques I will have an idea of how to achieve this even if it not perfected.
Looking at the opening plates that were taken using available light it was good to see the settings with wide apertures and high ISO, this is where my older camera lets me down slightly as grain starts to become more obvious at these higher settings.
The essential concepts are:
The larger the light source, the softer the light - bouncing the flash off walls, ceilings or reflectors creates a softer light and can also make it directional.
Consider, Direction,Intensity and Colour Balance, Post production, White-Balance settings and Manual Flash vs TTL/Auto Flash.
It was really reassuring to read that taking photographs often happens in less-than-perfectly-controlled situations and that "there is simply no photographer good enough to be able to set the exact exposure, white balance, contrast and saturation" for every shot. I frequently worry that I am not getting it right "in camera" and that I need to adjust in post-production, but seems I am not alone :o)
When bouncing light off surfaces colour cast will be introduced, Niekerk suggests using the closest white balance setting then touching up as part of the usual workflow in RAW, and using the same setting throughout the shoot for ease of group adjustment rather than individual.
Manual V TTL is where my head first starts to explode so notes will need to be made and thumped into my brain! With manual the ISO and aperture settings WILL affect the exposure, with TTL it will not- proviso being as long as this is within the equipment's capabilities. I need to brush up on exposure metering, TTL flash and manual flash! I see a steep learning curve ahead......