What is bounce flash lighting? Bounce flash lighting means turning your flash head away from your subject, and reflecting the light off something else.
The techniques are so simple, here are a few every photographer should know:
1. Bouncing off the Ceiling
Set your flash to TTL and aim your flash unit directly at the ceiling. Your flash will automatically compensate for the loss of light due to the extra distance the light will travel. Since the light source is directly above, be mindful about shadows under the subjects eyes.
This method will not work on very high ceilings, angled ceilings such as thatch roofs, and coloured ceilings will create a coloured cast.
2. Reverse Ceiling Bounce
Situate yourself with a white wall behind you, and point your flash head 45 degrees behind you. This combines the above method, with added light reflected from the wall behind you. Since the light source is now the ceiling and the wall, this method eliminates shadows under your subjects eyes.
This method will not work without a wall behind you!
3. Bouncing off a Wall (Side Bounce)
Swivel your flash head 90 degrees (to the side) and bounce off the nearest wall, preferably adjacent to your subject. This method creates beautiful directional light, mimicking ambient light from a window or a studio soft box at 45 degrees.
4. Bouncing off a Reflector
This method is similar to bouncing off a wall, except you need an assistant holding a reflector. (If you don’t have a reflector, you can substitute it with a white Poly board) Aim your flash head at the reflector, and have your assistant aim the reflector at your subject. To get this right, imagine you’re playing snooker, but with light! Although this method is not as convenient as the others, you can use this method anywhere, and you have an element of control in terms of the direction of the light.