Tips to make better use of your off-camera flash

An off-camera flash is a great tool to improve the quality of your photographs. An off-camera flash ensures that your subject is lit not from the front but the side, allowing you to control the light and, with it, the depth and dimensions of the issue.

It’s essential to control your subject’s depth and dimension because it is three-dimensional, and you’re trying to capture that on a two-dimensional medium. If you lit your subject from the front, you’re obliterating any shadows, and the light will hit the subject flat, taking away any chances of capturing depth and dimension. This is why we’re using an off-camera flash in the first place.

Make the light larger for a softer effect

If you want to capture a softer effect, ensure the light is softer. Bring it close to the subject or use a large light modifier to make the light softer. The best light modifiers for flash are umbrellas and softboxes. But they can take up some space. If you don’t have too much space, you can use a large white wall and bounce the light of it to get a similar effect.

Position the light at an angle to the face

The last thing you would want to do is position the off-camera flash inside a diffuser and position it straight towards the subject. The best option is to set the light towards a side at an angle. Placing the light at an angle creates a brightly lit side, and the other side has some shadows. Depending on the light’s size, some light spill onto the background. That will create the essential depth and dimension in your photos.

Once you’ve tasted this style, you will be hooked on the lighting techniques. There are many lighting styles, all spiraling out of this simple approach.

Broad lighting

Broad lighting is referred to as a lighting technique in which the side of the subject’s face facing the camera is properly illuminated while the side facing away from the camera is unlit.

Short lighting

Short lighting is the reverse of general lighting. In this, the side of the subject’s face facing away from the camera is properly lit, while the side facing towards the camera isn’t lit.

Rembrandt lighting

A lighting technique where the subject is lit from the side and a small triangle of light forms on the subject’s opposite cheek. This lighting technique was made famous by the Dutch painter Rembrandt.

Butterfly lighting

In this arrangement, the light is placed above the head of the subject, tilted at an angle. The result is small butterfly-shaped shadows just under the nose of the issue.

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