When using off-camera flash, modifiers are great for shaping and manipulating the light, but they aren’t always necessary. A bare bulb, or unmodified flash, can be great to fill in shadows and even get in tight spaces. You cannot always carry large modifiers with you so knowing how to use what you have is BEYOND important.
Bouncing the from a bare bulb strobe is a great option when you have a nice neutral surface to use. For this shot of Ava, I chose to bounce the light to help fill in the shadows of the hallway and produce a nice even natural-looking light on Ava herself.
Bouncing light can create very natural-looking light and depend on how you use it, you can also give your images a lot of drama and depth. Be sure to pay attention to the angles in which you have your light positioned. Aimed directly up at a ceiling could cause some unflattering shadows below the eyes of your client. I like to aim the photo in the corners of a room so it can bounce off the wall and ceiling, which creates a very soft, more natural light.
Another thing to keep in mind is the surfaces you are bouncing light off of. A darker wall, or curtain, will absorb the light. A surface that’s painted with something other than a neutral color can alter the hue of the photograph and look unnatural.
Be sure to practice, practice, practice. The more ways you can manipulate light, whether with a modifier or without, the more variety of images you can provide your client which will result in some extra money in your bank account!
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