Some poeple banish flahslights in combination with close-up photography because the look in the resulting images tends to be unnatural. But lets take a look at this topic with a little bit more ease 😉
First of all i like to show a picture
This image owes a lot of its impression because there was a flashlight in the setup. I took a Yongnuo 568 EX II and a mini softbox as i showed you in the article Timelapse with flash. It’s for sure only a mediocre image, but i wanted to show you how to brighten up the calyx.
Now i’ll show you 3 images in a row:
The first picture was taken with the flash fired directly towards the orchis, leaving hard shadows and actually ruins the image, so usually i would delete such an image.
The second picture was taken with diffusor shown here. The diffusor has a diameter of 30cm and is ideal for small objects. (To show the size of the diffusor i put a Yongnuo flash to illustrate the proportion)
Like described in my article about the China softbox the most important thing in flash photography is to increase the size of the flash light surface in relation to the object size. This will make the light softer.
There are different formats, just take a look at amazon or ebay. My diffusor has the advantage to act as a reflector with a silver and a golden side, which make the light warmer. These diffusors are compact, so there is no problem to carry them in your photo bag. I used this diffusor a lot of times to soften the harsh light taking pictures of mushrooms.
Now lets take a look at the last image. This picture was taken with 2 flashes, one additional flash from the back at a rate 1:2 triggered with the Yongnuo 622C. This picture looks good, at least to me.
All 3 images have in common, that flash light was the main light source. Now take a look at 2 pictures, where the flash light is used to light up shadows.
Here i tried to brighten up the shadow regions of the picture (maybe i’ll overdone a little bit) using automatic mode on the cam and a -1 EV correction for the flash exposure (the images are not processed, only converted to JPEG)
One (or more than one) flashlight is not forbidden, either the flashlight supports the impression by highliighting the shadow partions or if you use a diffusor a flashlight can act a the main light source.
What do you think about using flash lights in close-up photography, more a no go or do you use them according to the situation? I’m looking forward to your comments and questions