The Beginner Photography Podcast

466: Cris Duncan - The Flash Formula: How Umbrellas Can Transform Your Images

April 23, 2024 Raymond Hatfield
466: Cris Duncan - The Flash Formula: How Umbrellas Can Transform Your Images
The Beginner Photography Podcast
More Info
The Beginner Photography Podcast
466: Cris Duncan - The Flash Formula: How Umbrellas Can Transform Your Images
Apr 23, 2024
Raymond Hatfield

In today's episode of the podcast, I chat with portrait photographer Cris Duncan about mastering light with an umbrella for your flash and creating dimension in your photographs to transform your photographic techniques and storytelling.

The Big Ideas

  • Embrace Manual Mode with Flash: Unlock the true potential of your creativity by understanding how aperture and shutter speed interact with flash, enhancing your artistic expression.
  • Practice Leads to Instinct: With regular implementation, you'll develop an instinctual grasp of lighting, leading to faster setups and more confident shooting.
  • Light Shapes Stories: Learn to control light to sculpt the narrative of your photos, using hierarchy and contrast to direct the viewer's attention where you want it most.
  • Modifiers are Game-changers: Discover affordable tools like umbrellas that soften light, adding depth and nuance to your portraits, and elevate the professional quality of your work.

Photography Action Plan:

  • Practice Shutter Speed Variations with Flash: Take your camera and flash unit, set the camera to manual mode, and experiment with various shutter speeds. Observe how changing the shutter speed affects the areas of your photo not illuminated by the flash. Aim to shoot in both bright and dimly lit conditions to see how ambient light interacts with the flash at different shutter speeds, remembering that flash exposure remains constant.
  • Master Lighting Placement: Position your light source at a 45-degree angle from your subject to create appealing shadow and depth, enhancing the three-dimensionality of your portraits. Use a reflector to bounce light onto the shadow side of the subject, experimenting with reflector distance and angle to manipulate shadow density and contrast.
  • Utilize Umbrellas for Soft Lighting: Incorporate a bounce or translucent umbrella into your setup to diffuse and soften the light. Begin by pointing a bounce umbrella towards your subject and adjusting the spread of light accordingly. For larger groups, opt for a bigger umbrella to ensure even light distribution across all individuals, and try using translucent umbrellas for a wider light spread when necessary.
  • Control Contrast with Off-Camera Flash: Detach your flash from the camera and place it off to the side to create more dynamic lighting with visible shadows, which contribute to the form and texture in your photos. Test shooting outdoors with off-camera flash to balance the daylight and flash exposure, giving you more control over the contrast and mood of your images.
  •  Learn and Apply Light Hierarchy: Begin by crafting a lighting plan that assigns priority to different elements of your

Grab your free 52 Lightroom Presets at
http://freephotographypresets.com/

Transform your Love for Photography into Profit for FREE with CloudSpot Studio.
And get my Wedding and Portrait Contract and Questionnaires, at no cost!
Sign up now at http://deliverphotos.com/

Watch the Free Maximizing Mini Sessions Video training and start earning money with your camera!
https://beginnerphotopod.com/minis

Connect with the Beginner Photography Podcast!


Thanks for listening & keep shooting!

Show Notes

In today's episode of the podcast, I chat with portrait photographer Cris Duncan about mastering light with an umbrella for your flash and creating dimension in your photographs to transform your photographic techniques and storytelling.

The Big Ideas

  • Embrace Manual Mode with Flash: Unlock the true potential of your creativity by understanding how aperture and shutter speed interact with flash, enhancing your artistic expression.
  • Practice Leads to Instinct: With regular implementation, you'll develop an instinctual grasp of lighting, leading to faster setups and more confident shooting.
  • Light Shapes Stories: Learn to control light to sculpt the narrative of your photos, using hierarchy and contrast to direct the viewer's attention where you want it most.
  • Modifiers are Game-changers: Discover affordable tools like umbrellas that soften light, adding depth and nuance to your portraits, and elevate the professional quality of your work.

Photography Action Plan:

  • Practice Shutter Speed Variations with Flash: Take your camera and flash unit, set the camera to manual mode, and experiment with various shutter speeds. Observe how changing the shutter speed affects the areas of your photo not illuminated by the flash. Aim to shoot in both bright and dimly lit conditions to see how ambient light interacts with the flash at different shutter speeds, remembering that flash exposure remains constant.
  • Master Lighting Placement: Position your light source at a 45-degree angle from your subject to create appealing shadow and depth, enhancing the three-dimensionality of your portraits. Use a reflector to bounce light onto the shadow side of the subject, experimenting with reflector distance and angle to manipulate shadow density and contrast.
  • Utilize Umbrellas for Soft Lighting: Incorporate a bounce or translucent umbrella into your setup to diffuse and soften the light. Begin by pointing a bounce umbrella towards your subject and adjusting the spread of light accordingly. For larger groups, opt for a bigger umbrella to ensure even light distribution across all individuals, and try using translucent umbrellas for a wider light spread when necessary.
  • Control Contrast with Off-Camera Flash: Detach your flash from the camera and place it off to the side to create more dynamic lighting with visible shadows, which contribute to the form and texture in your photos. Test shooting outdoors with off-camera flash to balance the daylight and flash exposure, giving you more control over the contrast and mood of your images.
  •  Learn and Apply Light Hierarchy: Begin by crafting a lighting plan that assigns priority to different elements of your

Grab your free 52 Lightroom Presets at
http://freephotographypresets.com/

Transform your Love for Photography into Profit for FREE with CloudSpot Studio.
And get my Wedding and Portrait Contract and Questionnaires, at no cost!
Sign up now at http://deliverphotos.com/

Watch the Free Maximizing Mini Sessions Video training and start earning money with your camera!
https://beginnerphotopod.com/minis

Connect with the Beginner Photography Podcast!


Thanks for listening & keep shooting!