Shoot perfect party portraits
Use a white ceiling and a bounce card to turn harsh flash into soft, flattering illumination
01 Control the exposure
Set the flashgun to its i-TTL mode and it will take care of the exposure for you. It’s best to set your Nikon to manual mode, though, setting a shutter speed of around 1/60 sec and a wide aperture to stop the background being too dark. Setting ISO400 or even 800 will also help in this respect.
03 Pull out the card
The secret weapon for making bounce flash portraits look alive, complete with engaging catchlights in your subject’s eyes, is a white plastic bounce card. This slots in above the flash and is pulled out with the wide-angle diffuser. Remove both, then push back the diffuser.
02 Bounce the light
Check the colour of the ceiling as this can add a nasty tint to the shot; white is ideal, but off-white will do. We’re used to things being lit from above, so ceilings provide natural-looking illumination. You can bounce the flash off a white wall too, as this can look like window light.
04 Adjust as needed
Look at your results on the back of the camera, checking the histogram for signs of both over- and under-exposure. If the flash isn’t bright enough, or is too bright, use the flash exposure compensation facility to increase or decrease the light level as appropriate.