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Natural Light Vs Flash - a HUGE Difference!

Amazing natural light vs Flash tips you can apply

Have you wondered what using off camera flash would do for your photos versus just using natural light? This tutorial shows the main differences of natural light vs flash with plenty of examples from different lighting and locations. You can see the huge difference in these examples, which might inspire you to try some off camera flash yourself! Manny Ortiz shows in this tutorial during his shoot on location the difference in his photos taken with natural light and photos taken using an off camera flash disc. https://youtu.be/Ss3YEISeU2Q

HUGE difference in using natural light and off camera flash.

Using Natural Light vs flash

Natural light photos simply use the lighting that is available from natural elements, mainly the sun or moon, as the light. Natural light gives a soft and - you guessed it - natural effect to the objects in the image. Using only natural light creates a more raw looking photo that more closely resembles what you see with the naked eye.

What is off camera flash?

Off camera flash, on the othe hand, is a setup that includes a special flash bulb usually with a lighting disc which can be moved around to light the objects in the photo from different angles. Not using the flash that your camera may have attached next to the lens - but a separate set of gear altogether independent of the camera. Using off camera flash usually includes needing another person to hold or manouver the flash into position, or using a tripod stand and moving that around when you want to adjust the flash angle. Off camera flash exposes the image more than natural lighting, which means that more light will be consumed by the camera lens and affects how bright or dark the image will be.

Natural light vs flash photo

How do you use off camera flash?

Once you have the off camera flash gear (flash bulb, beauty disc, umbrella, light box, stand) you can use this with your camera. It’s all up to your camera settings from here. You will want to adjust the exposure on your camera - which is the combination of your shutter speed and aperture settings. Larger aperture (the ‘pupil’ of your camera lens) and slower shutter speed lets in more light than lower and faster shutter speeds. Play around with your settings to lock in the best exposure with your flash setup. Then move the flash anywhere you’d like - beside the subjbect of your photo, behind them, behind the camera - experiment with different angles!

Camera flash photo

Why use off camera flash?

While some photographers choose to only shoot in natural light, it’s a good idea to know how to utilise the flash when needed. Not all compositions will look good using only natural light. Maybe you want more depth in the photos you take, or to take good photos in a bad natural lighting situation where there might not be enough light or the right lighting angle. Knowing how to set up with off camera flash is a useful skill. Using off camera flash is a skill that will also help you in the studio taking better photos. If you can take off camera flash photos outdoors, you can bring that knowledge into the studio setting.

Turning a bad lighting situation into a good one using off camera flash

When you are out on the street, the weather may not agree with the camera. Cloud cover can make for nice, soft natural lighting but can sometimes make the photo come out flat. Sunlight creates a soft, romantic, moody look, but sometims the sun is too bright, at the wrong angle or reflecting too much. Try natural light first to see if you like those photos, and if you need different lighting, use your off camera flash. the natural light photos first turned out decent. Your photos will have more depth to the colors and light vs dark parts with the flash.

Natural light vs flash photo

Natural Light Vs Flash - a big difference!

Looking at the difference in photos that Manny was able to take with the natural light and also the flash is incredible; the effect that the flash setup has on the lighting of the photos is amazing! The naturally lit photos have that raw softness to them which we love about natural light, and the off camera flash photos give that powerful depth and energetic feel.

What is one tip from above you can use TODAY? Share your comments below!