The Benefits of Off-Camera Flash Over Natural Light

Off-camera flash can be a bit intimidating for a lot of photographers, but it opens an entirely new world of creative possibilities and is well worth learning. This excellent video discusses the benefits of off-camera flash over just natural light and how it can improve your work.

Coming to you from Ashley Boring with Westcott Lighting, this great video talks about the advantages offered by off-camera flash over natural light. Many photographers who are new to artificial lighting often think of it as one or the other, but as you will see in the video, artificial lighting can actually be a great way to balance an exposure. For example, say you want to shoot a portrait with the sun in the background for drama. If you expose for your subject, you will likely blow out the sky behind the subject, and if you expose for the sky, your subject will be quite underexposed. Adding a strobe can help you get the correct exposure on both and create the best possible photograph. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Boring.

If you would like to continue learning about lighting people, check out "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley!"

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7 Comments

Edison Wrzosek's picture

I appreciate tutorials like these, except when they parrot a specific brand / product as blatantly as this...

Rick Blanc's picture

Yeah, I was also disappointed and completely surprised, baffled, shocked, stupefied, confounded when Ashley from Westcott talked about using Westcott products. Also I think the bird reference you’re looking for is hawk, not parrot.

Jay Jay's picture

If you haven't realized it already, you'll notice that transparency and honesty does not go hand in hand with this website, that's very evident in the articles and videos. Great website, but honesty doesn't pay the bills, brand placement does.:/

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

I liked the reflector photo more. :P

Jim Bolen's picture

Yep, right there with you!

Jim Bolen's picture

Most of the time when shooting seniors or couples on location, I prefer to use a reflector. Easier to control the light. Although, I just bought a bigger LED light panel for shooting individuals outside. Can't wait to try it!

Daniel Medley's picture

I don't have a preference of one over the other. I want to be able to do the shoot no matter the lighting conditions or the time of day, or create whatever look I want. When it comes to portrait photography, you should be well versed in both. If you're not, than you're lacking skills that you really should have if you call yourself a portrait photographer.

I'll say that I cringe a little when I hear someone go on about only doing a shoot either late in the day or early in the day because of light. That's silly.

If you get your head around artificial light, you're a better natural light photographer. If you master natural light, you're a better artificial light photographer.