December 22, 2014

12 Days of Tips #11: Bounce Flash

Do you have an external flash for your camera but always find you get that “deer in the headlights” look?  Despite the fact that it mounts right on top of your camera the biggest advantage of an external flash is the ability to get the light “off camera”. Making the light appear to come from another direction is a quick and easy way to get more pleasing results. Surprisingly this can be done while the external flash is still on the camera.  Simply point the flash head straight up or off to the side, anywhere there is a white or neutral light coloured surface like a ceiling or a wall.  When fired the light from the flash will bounce off the white surface and back towards your subject making it appear as if the light is coming from another direction… because it is!

Bounce Flash Portrait

Flash bounced off ceiling to subject left.
Credit: Photography

Bounce Flash Christmas Portrait

Flash bounced off ceiling above subject.
Credit: Photography

Used in the right way bounce flash can actually help overcome some challenges of slow shutter speeds discussed in our last tip post because the quick burst of the light helps freeze the action.  Keeping a lower shutter speed while using bounce flash is essential if you want to keep some of that background light spilling in to capture the mood.

Bounce Flash Wedding Portrait

Flash bounced off ceiling behind camera. Credit: Photography

While the general idea is simple, learning how to control the bounce and when/where to use it takes more than a single blog post.  Starting in February we will have a new ‘Flash Basics‘ course that will cover the basics of bounce flash and several other techniques that will greatly improve your photos.  Check it out along with the rest of our class line-up at

Today’s prize will only be outdone by our upcoming Grand Prize, a hand made Porteen Gear camera bag valued at $300! Here it is, an Ollo Clip 3-in-1 Lens kit for iPhone 5/5s!!!

Ollo Clip iPhone Lens Kit

Ollo Clip iPhone Lens Kit

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Photography, Tips