An external flash is a great tool, a valuable asset in a dSLR or advanced compact owner's camera bag, and the more you can control the light that comes out of it and that hits your subject, the better your photos will look. A flash can really enhance your photos and lend to your creativity. While straight-on, automatic flash will yield a perfectly acceptable image, external flashes have the ability to yield beautifully lit, professional-looking photographs with a little tweaking. Here are five things you can do to get the most out of your external camera flash.
1) BOUNCE IT: For most indoor shots the addition of some bounced light from your external flash will enhance your photos. Angle it toward the ceiling, giving you a large light-colored surface to reflect down off of, creating a giant pseudo soft-box. Rotate it to the left or right to bounce it off a wall; angle it and rotate it into a corner. Try some different things, and see the results of the soft, diffuse light it creates.
2) REFLECT IT: Sometimes due to high ceilings or being outdoors bouncing the flash is not an option, but you can reflect it to reduce the harshness of direct flash. Some flashes have a white card built in that extends out from the top of the flash head, so that when the flash head is pivoted up there is a surface for it to bounce off of toward the subject. Although these cards are small, they are very convenient. There are a host of products on the accessory market that attach to your flash that provide a surface to bounce off of. An old trick is to use an index card and a rubber band, pivot the flash head upward at an angle, rubber-band the index card to the top of the flash head so that it extends out above the flash tube, and you have a great bounce card.… Read more