XZ-1 Pop-up Bounce Flash - Suggestions

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 18,620
Suggestions and/or comments....

First of all, I'm assuming that you mean some type of bouncing aid for an external flash unit, right? If you're talking about the pop-up internal flash, then I can't help you - because other than outdoor limited fill-flash scenarios, I find all internal flash units really lacking.

But with regards to bounce flash techniques and aids, I've been helping quite a few folks on various forums for the past 7 - 8 years (in fact, I've sent out over 2000 PDF bounce flash tutorials in that timeframe), and this method is quite simple, but even more so...effective.

This bouncing method that I'm about to elaborate on is one easily learned, and you can tweak in as much as you want to achieve your own desired results. It was relayed to me long ago by a local major newspaper events photographer.

Before I provide a few samples below, I've made up a PDF tutorial which I typically send out to anyone who requests it. Now, if you're a pro, this tutorial is not for you - after all, you've mastered quite a few superb methods on your own. But for most of us who have been grappling with different issues involving indoor flash photography in the past (regardless of how expensive our flash units are), this can help immensely - provided that you experiment....that's the key. This method is also universal - meaning that you can use any flash and any camera. The tutorial is broken down into two parts - SLR's and P&S (enthusiast) models.

The key to achieving a great bouncing technique is to know your surroundings, the colors of the walls and ceilings, items hanging from the ceiling, bounce angles, and a few other variables (all contained in the PDF file). Yes, you can aid in your efforts by attaching various devices such as the Demp Flip-it units, the Stofen Omni-bounce caps, or the excellent Gary Fong Lightsphere - but these are just a few, and many other viable products have come to market. Some of those items are covered in the PDF tutorial also.

Remember, your goal is achieve an indoor flash result that totally balances out your subject area and provides what appears to be totally natural lighting without any "burned out" expressions in people's faces, etc.

Here are a few samples taken with a variety of cameras (Olympus, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Fuji models) and a variety of external flash units - all used in bounce mode. If anyone wants the PDF, they should email me (see my profile) - but please do not PM me - 'cause then I got to log into my DPReview account, etc., etc. Just email me directly by going to my profile page.

Here's a few varied indoor bounce flash scenarios:

Well, you get the message here....

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Have a great one....
Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
North Carolina, USA

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