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Assignment 9: On-Camera Flash

Assignment Day

March 31, 2011 (Workshop Day)

Due Date
April 07, 2011 ( 8 photos due)

Photo Credit: Steve Hanna Diagram Credit: Digital Photography School Photo Credit: Here


Learn about on camera flash (OnCF) and how to use it effectively. We will learn about OnCF in two steps: first we will observe the harsh, ugly shadows and patches of light on subjects when the subject is directly lit by the flash, then we will explore methods on how to mitigate the unnatural look of flash and create more pleasingly lit subjects.

Our aim will be to create "larger" & softer light by two methods: bouncing and diffusing.

Part 1: Workshop Day

Create 3 sets the first illustrating harsh shadows, the second bouncing the light and the third diffusing the light using a diffuser (a translucent material that light travels through).

Set 1: OnCF default: Harsh light - use your on-camera flash, point it directly on your subject and click.

Set 2: Bounce the light - find a surface, preferable neutral surface' bounce you light and take a shot. Observe the shadows on you subject. Try to bounce from ceiling and walls and observe how different directions affect the shadows on your subject.

Set 3: Diffuse the light - use a diffuser, stofen dome, a piece of fabric, and see how that affects the shadows.

Create an album on flickr called: "On Camera Flash" include one image from each set above.

The resulting images from the D300 and D700 are posted in my dropbox (see here), pick the the image that you shot and upload it to your flickr.

Part 2: Practice & Creating your own modifier(s).

For the second part, you need to get your hands dirty and create your own light modifier You may use any material you like, for example: mirrors, paper, fabric, foil, glue, rubber cement, thread, or tape. The goal is to make the light 'larger' and directing the light.

Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Share your DIYs on our mailing list and flickr group (:

Create 2 more sets of photos (2 in each set) illustrating the progression (default, bouncing OR diffusing) with your on-camera flash and light modifier(s). It would be good if one of your sets is the exact 'same' picture (of your subject) where you vary one parameter : how you handle the light from your on-camera flash.

2 sets - 2 images each - showing camera flash and one with your modifier. 2 sets so you can study 2 different environments or subjects.





Add at least 5 more photos to the set "On Camera Flash" on flickr, including a picture of your modifier(s).

Post 3-7 images to our group and comment.