TIP #16: When shooting with a flash, point your flash up and bounce it off the ceiling for softer fill light.
Using flash is a different kind of look and something new to learn. I am not an expert on flashes, studio lighting, or any kind of artificial light. Most of my photography is done with natural light. But I do use it now and then and would love to share what works for me. When I have a situation that needs some artificial light such as an external flash I prefer to point my flash up toward the ceiling whenever possible. When a flash is pointed at a white ceiling it will bounce off the ceiling and fill the room with light. If my flash was pointed directly at my subject I would get a more forced flat lit up look. I want the natural shadows on my subjects’ faces that are supposed to be there. I want it to look real and not over lit or flat.
Below are some pictures that I took of my boys in their halloween costumes this past month inside my home. I used an external flash when shooting these. I used Canon’s 580 exII with a small diffuser on the end. And it was pointed up toward the ceiling. My manual settings for both of the pictures below were:
ISO – 1000
aperture F 3.2
shutter – 1/160 second
used my 580 ex II flash
lens – 35mm 1.4