Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Direct Flash?

Posted by larrylohrman on March 2, 2006

I recently photographed a home of the fiancé of a professional photographer and teacher. While shooting we discussed the fact that I was shooting direct flash with a diffuser instead of bouncing the flash off the ceiling. He suggested that I use a wireless controller to trigger the flash unit off the camera. I would have tried some off camera flash but I’d foolishly left my Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter at home.

Several days later we discussed one of the resulting shoots above. He pointed out that the brightness of the white couch in the foreground was distracting and that bouncing the flash off the ceiling would get rid of this problem. I pointed out that when ever I use ceiling bounce flash with a wide-angle (16-35 zoom) I find it creates a very distracting “hot” ceiling. He then suggested that this many be a situation in which Flash was not essential since there was plenty of natural light and the two incandescent lamps would add warmth.

I was already aware that shooting with direct flash had downsides but I’ve kept coming back to that technique because when pressed for time, like I usually am when shooting, I tend to come way with the highest percentage of usable shoots in the shortest time when using on camera, direct, diffused flash.

What I took away from this learning experience is that in the future I’m going to take more time and shoot more varied shoots done with different lighting so I have more choices when I get the editing stage.


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