Play the bounce card

Im­prove your party pic­tures

NPhoto - - Contents -

The pull-out bounce card found on most mod­ern flash­guns is per­fect for achiev­ing bright, flat­ter­ing shots of peo­ple in­doors when you need to work quickly. (See this is­sue’s Big Test on page 118 for more on bounce cards).

If you’re shoot­ing in low light you gen­er­ally have three op­tions: you can use a tri­pod and a long ex­po­sure; in­crease the ISO to shoot hand­held; or add light­ing. If you’re tak­ing pic­tures of party-go­ers, forget the first op­tion, as your sub­jects won’t stay still! And while a high ISO can pre­serve the am­bi­ent light, you will have to make do with grainy pic­tures and the widest aper­ture and slow­est shut­ter speeds pos­si­ble. Adding light, by us­ing a flash, is of­ten the most flex­i­ble op­tion. You can stay mo­bile, and you have a greater range of shut­ter speeds, aper­tures and ISO set­tings.

The prob­lem with us­ing built-in flash is that the harsh, direc­tional light kills the at­mos­phere, adds hotspots to faces, and casts ugly shad­ows be­hind the sub­ject. The an­swer is to slot a flash­gun into your hot­shoe. Most ex­ter­nal flash­guns have a bounce fa­cil­ity, and some also en­able you to turn and tilt the head, so you can bounce the flash off a ceil­ing or wall for more dif­fuse, even light­ing.

How­ever, even bounced flash can look bland! The light is just too even and eyes lack sparkling ‘catch­lights’. Which, of course, is where a bounce card comes in. This tiny white plas­tic re­flec­tor di­rects some of the light straight at the sub­ject, giv­ing a smidge of direct light and adding mir­ror-like catch­lights.

If you’re shoot­ing in low light, adding light, by us­ing a flash, is of­ten the most flex­i­ble op­tion. You can stay mo­bile, and you have a greater range of shut­ter speeds, aper­tures and ISO set­tings

bounce flash only

with bounce card

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