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Thread: Shooting with the flash facing backwards...

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    Shooting with the flash facing backwards...

    Today I saw someone shooting indoor portraiture with the flash facing backwards (diffuser cap on). Exposure settings are close to ambient light settings, flash on auto. What's going on there? I guess the general idea to bounce the flash off everything behind them to achieve nice soft light, is that right? Any thoughts on this technique?

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    Yip, I've done this too, assuming there is a reasonable enclosed space it works well to spread the light around.
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    this technique works well for portraits.
    only thing is to make sure walls/ceiling are not coloured, as this will put a colour cast through the image
    cc and enjoy

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    I do it often. I usually aim the flash head over the right shoulder at a 45 degree (more or less) angle.

    Expose for close to (you can get away with a bit under) the ambient light then let the ricocheting light fill / freeze the faces
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    Just be careful to not aim the flash head at your eye

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    Just be careful to not aim the flash head at your eye
    That could be interesting! At least you'll know for sure that the flash is firing!

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    I've also used a similar tecnique where the flash actually bounces off a side wall.
    Gives a nice soft light, but lights up one side just a little more than the other for a nice effect of soft shading.
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    Quote Originally Posted by achee View Post
    That could be interesting! At least you'll know for sure that the flash is firing!
    I'm sure I'm not the only one to have done this before...

    Bit like the Coyote (Road Runner) staring down the barrel of a gun to check if it's working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    I've also used a similar tecnique where the flash actually bounces off a side wall.
    Gives a nice soft light, but lights up one side just a little more than the other for a nice effect of soft shading.
    I'll often very intentionally aim the flash at a wall that's not in the picture, to create the look that you're talking about. The difference with that technique and what I was witnessing yesterday is that the photographer didn't seem to take into consideration what was behind him. He was moving around, shooting at different locations (all indoors). The flash could have been pointing at a wall, or down a long hallway, or into my face. At times I was fairly sure that no significant amount of light from the flash was getting back to the subject. So... that confused me.

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    If he was doing that outside, THEN I'd be worried.

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    Was it facing backwards or just off at an angle.

    You can (for eg) face the flash up or to the side so the the light spills from the side of the flash (your not getting the full blast).

    Try it (to see what I mean) take the same pic / same settings but, with each pic slightly rotate the flash head away from the subject. That can give some interesting results.

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