Natural light versus Off Camera Flash – This is one of those topics that can cause a huge argument amongst photographers and this article isn’t about to reignite that either! Rather it is to show the difference that using a flash off camera can make to the image straight out of the camera and how easy it is to edit it in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop once back in the studio.
The two images below are very slightly different, one with the flash working and the other without the flash working.
Technical stuff for photographers… I use Fuji XT2’s and Godox triggers & lighting kit. I’ll edit this post when I’ve done my blog about the Godox lighting kit I specifically use.
The one on the left is WITH the flash on. The one on the right is WITHOUT the flash on.
Natural light versus Off Camera Flash – As you can see the couple on the left-hand image is lit up, are brighter and stand out more from the background clutter. This isn’t achievable unless you use flash of some kind. I know some photographers will talk about how I could have used a reflector, but this wedding photograph was taken Decembercmber in Wales. Notice the very overcast clouds – it was also damp and drizzly with rain. A reflector just wouldn’t have cut it.
Setting up Time – minutes. Seriously. I can get the flash out of my camera bag, set up with the bulb and reflector and grid and on a light stand in 5 minutes. If I’m using a smaller flash then it’s less than a minute and I get a bridesmaid/usher or guest to hold the flash for me. (I’m too tight to pay for an assistant usually.)
Technical bit for photographers… 99% of the time I use my flashes in manual mode. The one I was using for this shot (Godox AD600) doesn’t have TTL anyway.
Natural light versus Off Camera Flash – The Edit
I’m going to edit both photographs to try and achieve a similar style / look & feel using either Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop or perhaps both.
The first edit is going to be the left-hand image – the one with the flash OFF the camera.
Natural light versus Off Camera Flash – Off Camera Flash Edit
Natural light versus Off Camera Flash – No Flash Edit
Confession Time – Yes I could have edited a bit more carefully…but that would have trebled the editing time for the non flash images. Time is money remember!
What does this mean and why is it important?
Put simply using some simple easy to replicate techniques you get much more dramatic images much quicker and thus saving editing time. You get images that people love immediately without the hassle of the fiddly edits. You get images that look more natural, without that halo’s around them (a tell-tale sign by the way).
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