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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 18 May 2013 (Saturday) 01:12
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Flash positioning (off center or on center)

 
Ralph ­ III
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May 18, 2013 01:12 |  #1

Hello All,

The question is mainly in regards to on-camera flash per se, whether hand-holding or with use of a flash bracket. Otherwise, with a one flash setup near the camera.

I relize one obvious objective is to get the flash higher BUT would it also be preferable to have it off-center also? Whereas the flash is a little off to one side versus direclty over the camera/lens. Is this called off-axis?

If this is the desired, as it seems I read somewhere, what about in case of group shots? Wouldn't this cause a side shadow -or- is a slight side shadow desired in also helping with depth?

Thanks,
Ralph


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Rashkh
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May 18, 2013 09:52 |  #2

Depends on what effect you want to achieve. Firing flash on camera tends to make the subject look flat whereas firing off axis tends to give some shadows that many consider pleasing. My avatar is an extreme example of this.

Same thing for group shots, although the lighting setup will have to change depending on group size.




  
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May 18, 2013 17:53 |  #3

While flash in-line with lens axis causes the light to be 'flat' and less 'flattering', one benefit is that 'side shadows' are very distracting and ugly and result whenever the flash is any distance to left or right of the lens.

One needs to keep in mind that in studio photography, the Fill light is indeed close to lens position and that the Main light provides modelling of facial features by being off to one side. The fact that Fill light in studio photography is often a large source (umbrella or softbox) is what allows the Fill source to NOT cause harsh shadowing seen on the backdrop.


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Zerimar
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May 18, 2013 23:22 |  #4

Only fire on axis if you are using a larger light source such as a beauty dish or softbox, and have it higher to produce some shadows. Most of my work is on axis flash.

Off axis helps to make an image more dynamic and if using a speedlight is ideal (thus bouncing with speedlights is all I do when using them)


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Ralph ­ III
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May 19, 2013 13:16 as a reply to  @ Zerimar's post |  #5

Thanks for the replies.


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Flash positioning (off center or on center)
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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