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Aston, PA
USA

484-352-2104

Philadelphia photographer Natasha Esguérra is based out of Aston, PA and serves the Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland areas. 

Photography offered:
weddings, engagement, mitzvahs, food, family, headshots

Aston, Media, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Chester, Swarthmore, Deptford

Natasha Esguerra Photography - The Blog

The blog for Natasha Esguerra Photography

How I Do: Using Flash Outdoors

Natasha Esguerra

Lately I've been going to a lot of cool photography seminars and workshops b/c I really want to improve my craft as a photographer.  I am planning to blog about that in a separate blog when I get a chance, but for now, let me just tell you a teeny bit about how I use an off-camera flash.  At least, how I did it today when I went out to practice..

I apologize in advance if I don't explain things well.  I am working on it HAHAHAH!

Step 1)  Get your background to the exposure you'd like it to be. 
In the first 2 photos below, I basically underexposed the background because that's the feel I wanted (I made it darker than it really is).  You must also consider what your flash sync speed is.  On my camera, it's 1/250 of a second.  So I set it to that as a starting point, and then I made the aperture as small as I had to in order to darken the background (higher f/stop numbers).  It ended up being f/22.  And to give you an idea.. this is basically noonday, and it's a bright and sunny day.  Bright blue skies and all that.  But in this case, I was able to mute the background.

Step 2) Place your flash somewhere near the subject. 
Ideally if you want a traditional shadow pattern on your subject, you should place it at a 45 degree angle to the subject.  I did that for both the first pic and the third.  The second one was sidelit. The closer the light is to the subject, the less flash power you need to use.  So get in close (without the flash being shown in the pic).

Step 3) Fire and see what happens.  
If your background is set the way you want it to be, then all you have to do is worry about the flash power.  You can adjust the power up and down as you see fit to allow the subject to be lit properly. 


I guess I will include my settings below in case that's any help.. It will always vary depending on the light and all that, but .. yeah hehehe.  And these are straight out of the camera, except for a vignette on the last pic.

 1) Background underexposed, flash firing at 1/2 power to beat out the sun, coming from camera right
iso 160, 35mm, 1/250 sec, f/22



2) Background again underexposed, flash still firing at 1/2 power, but it's more of a sidelight from camera right.
iso 160, 29mm, 1/200 sec, f/22




3) My fave pic of the day:
Background is closer to what it really looked like.. flash still at 1/2 power coming from camera left
iso 200, 24mm, 1/200 sec, f/14

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