Bounce Flash - 90 degrees or 60 degrees?

Started Apr 1, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Re: Bounce Flash - 90 degrees or 60 degrees?
In reply to chuxter, Apr 1, 2010

chuxter wrote:

GideonW wrote:

tyoung wrote:

It's like shooting pool.

Actually, it's not entirely like shooting pool. In pool, the angle of incidence is the same as the angle of reflection. With light, this is only the case if the surface you're bouncing off is fully reflective, like a mirror. A regular ceiling will bounce the light in a diffuse way, spreading it out over all possible angles. There will be some bias towards the "mirror-case" angle of reflection, but not a whole lot.

To determine the optimal bouncing angle, first decide at which angle you want the light to hit your subject. Say that's 30 degrees. Then imagine a line from your subject towards the ceiling at that angle. The point where this line hits the ceiling is the point to aim your flash at.

In the first paragraph, you say that Tom was's not like shooting pool.

In the second paragraph, you describe an example that is exactly like shooting pool.

Apparently, Tom was right.

No, his (Gideon's) post wasn't inconsistent. The point on the ceiling that is 30 degrees above horizontal from the subject might be directly over the head of the photographer, or even behind him. He made no statement about the angle of incidence, just the angle from which the center of the diffuse bright spot on the ceiling emanates toward the subject. That's the spot you aim your flash at, regardless of its angle relative to you !


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