Play the bounce card
Improve your party pictures
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