Yesterday was a learning day for me. I went to Suomelinna (an island in front of the center of Helsinki) with a group of photographers. After we had a picnic one of the guys taught us how to use the off camera flash. I’m used to shoot with natural light, not with flashes or strobes, so anything in this topic is new.
So we started by taking some pictures without flash in a quite hard condition, the sun was behind our model and the picture appeared as washed out, the model face quite shadowy and the background ok, also there is a lot of lare in the picture. Then we add the flash camera and we tried again, now the face of the model appeared better, but there was the reflection of my flash in her sunglasses and still the picture is not really good. You can see that in the first set of pictures here (the one in the up is without the flash and the one in the down with the camera flash)
Now I changed my position and tried again without the flash, this picture (the one up) is a little better than the previous one, as I don’t have the background I don’t need to expose for both the foreground and background and also there is no flare. In the picture down I’m using again the camera flash. The picture is clearer than the previous one, but still the face is too flat, now highlights or clear shadows, and also the flash appeared in her sunglasses.
Last attempt, off the camera flash. We had a little tripod holding a flash and a white umbrella to make the light diffuse coming from the left side of the model and from the right side the sun was hitting her face. So Now we can get a really nice expression in her face and clear shadows and highlights. In my opinion this picture is much more interesting than the previous ones, is not flat at all. Also the background does not appear really white, its well exposed you can see the different tones of the sky. And there is no flash in her sunglasses. Also now we can see the different colors of her hair and much more detail in her face.
New thing learnt Now I want a tripod and an umbrella to practice this more!