Off Camera Flash in Wedding Photography
22 AUG – Tips and Articles – by Lucas Kraus
This weeks article explains how we use off camera flash. Off camera flash can be a little daunting for photographers as it’s another variable that we must take into consideration and it’s more equipment that we have to lug around.
It involves using radio triggers that remotely activates the flash off camera, hence the term “off camera flash”. The most difficult aspect in this scenario is balancing the already existing or ambient light with the flash. In order to do this, the photographer can either use a light meter (who has time for this though) or we can set the exposure for the ambient light and blend in the flash to properly expose for the subjects.
In the above wedding photograph, I altered the camera settings WITHOUT flash to expose for the background. The camera settings were set to Shutter speed 1/30, f4 and iso 800. Once I was happy with the results, I then got my assistant to aim the off camera flash at the subjects. My assistant was off to one side to allow for directly light onto the bride and groom. I started off with flash power 1/8 and then reduced it to 1/16 using my remote settings.
Reducing the shutter speed down to 1/30 allowed for more ambient light to be seen in the background. Normally a wedding photographer would never use 1/30 shutter speed due to movement and handshake, however in this situation it is perfectly fine. The flash will essentially freeze the subjects and will counteract their movements and my movements. In regards to the ambient light, any movement on my part would be negated by the fact that the background is so far away and would not be evident in the final wedding photograph.