Bounce Lighting

using a single, simple flash unit (with diagrams)

Off the wall!


Direct flash is extremely harsh and often casts unwanted shadows. Try bouncing the flash off of a reflector next to the model for a much softer light.


The following results used an SB-600 external flash unit attached to a Nikon D80 angled towards and bounced off a wall.


For different lighting effects, try adjusting:

  • the angle of the flash unit towards the reflector
  • the angle of the model towards the reflector
  • the distance between the flash and reflector
  • the distance between the reflector and model
  • the color of the reflector


Experiment with different angles, distances, and placements! Try it out and see for yourself. 


Again, you can substitute a reflector with a wall. The external flash can be attached to your camera or separated and attached to a stand for more flexibility in angle, distance, and placements.

Off the ceiling!


Try bouncing the flash off of the ceiling above the model instead for a much softer and natural looking light as achieved in the results on the right.


This technique works great with an external flash unit or a pop-up flash. Just use a note card to bounce the pop-up flash lighting towards the ceiling. Refer to a search engine for more ways to bounce light with a pop-up flash. 


Of course bounce lighting is not limited to portraiture. It's great for any indoor shoot where walls are plentiful or even outdoor shoots where reflectors are available. 


Revenues from advertising go toward keeping the contents on this site free. 
Contact us if you're interested in advertising with JFotography.

Make a Free Website with Yola.