Before I knew anything about flash, I ranted at everyone about how I was an available light photographer. Now that I understand flash, I can safely say that I understand available light.
This is not an attack on anyone out there; this video only exists because I was that person. You may find yourself hating flash, Photoshop, or raw files before you have tried them; they are daunting, or you simply tried and failed hard. It is what we do when we are scared of the unknown. For years, I told people that I was an available light photographer, but in reality, I could only expose for ambient light, compose, focus, and hit the shutter. I didn’t actually understand light at all.
A decade after venturing into flash, I started to use it daily for my commercial work. It really is the only answer for the genre of food photography that I work in, especially when dealing with the British sunshine. So, I had no choice but to begin the long process of mastering flash.
Recently, I was asked to photograph an event, which is pretty much my worst nightmare. I sucked it up (it was for a friend) and went along to the venue, where I was told I couldn’t use flash due to some old paintings. I suddenly realized how well I now understood light since working with flash. Before, I would have snapped away nicely composed images; now, I had a purpose for the shots and how I was going to light them.
In this video, I go over my experiences of going from flash hater to daily flash user and how this transition has made be a far better available light photographer than I believe I would have been had I stuck to my guns.