Photo Tip: Flashing Tips

The past few weeks, I've dedicated myself to lighting. After all, it's the key to good photography. I've been studying lighting solutions and setups. I found a great tip for the manual modes on a camera. I've seen that my Canon 550EX has many manual modes, but I never really understood why it had a manual control for the zoom ratio when it can simply read this from the camera, even when it's attached via a synch cable.

This trick involves mismatching the zoom setting on your flash with the zoom setting on your lens. For this example, Shoot with a 50mm lens and crop tight on the face. Set your flash zoom rate to 105mm (or highest zoom setting for your flash). Connect it with a synch cord to get a directional light and cast a sort of "Rembrandt" lighting technique. With the flash set to 105mm, the angle of the lighting will be more focused, thinking it's going to be working with a 105mm lens. This will allow the light to focus in a smaller area in the center of the face and have some dark shadow fall-off.

It doesn't give you a full snooted effect, but it can help to control flash fall-off in the background. I have only tested this with a 50mm and setting the flash to 105mm. I'd assume if I got the flash closer, or used a wide angle lens, the effect would be more pronounced.