Removing Flash From Portraits in Post: How and Why?

Shooting off-camera flash outdoors can be tricky, as you need to contend with the brightness of the sun. This means that the flash can get pretty close, especially if you want to get a really soft light on your subject. What if it is in the frame?

Francisco Hernandez from FJH Photography explains his method of creating off-camera daylight flash portraits and why his flash is sometimes within his frame during the portrait shoot. This video explains his reasoning for placing the flash so close to his subjects and how he erases the flash from his images in post-production. The secret? Plate shots!

The video is detailed, with a few examples and explanations about how the inverse square law plays a role in some of his decisions, as well as how he achieves his signature soft-light look. He also has some great tips about when and how to shoot your plate shots with helpful instructions for your assistants so that you can get very usable plates and so that the post-production is as simple as possible.

Finally, it's time to get into Adobe Lightroom, process the images, and take them into Photoshop, where Francisco shows us how to quickly remove the flash and replace it with the background image. There are a few subtle nuances to take note of, so pay attention to this segment.

This technique is not restricted to shooting off-camera flash portraits, of course, so this is a useful skill to develop as a beginner. Let me know if you'll be using this technique of photography and post-production in your work.

Susheel Chandradhas's picture

Susheel Chandradhas is a professional photographer and filmmaker based out of Chennai, India. He has a background in advertising and graphic design.

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