Using flash outdoors is a classic method photographers employ to create separation between the subject and background.
A tricky technique to get started off on if you are a beginner, mixed lighting can give some fabulous results.
We’ve put together an analysis of ten such images. We hope it will serve as inspiration and also to salute the photographers who have made these incredible images.
This is a thoughtfully composed image, with diagonal lines leading the eyes to the model. Booth the building in the background and the edge of the vehicle provide these diagonals. You also see color contrast between the ca rear view mirror and the model’s skirt. And then, the sheer combination of natural light with ambient light makes this an image to remember.
Color contrast? Yes Depth of field at work? Yes. Rule of thirds at work? Yes! Apart from the other thoughtfully composed elements of this image, flash lighting tremendously separates subject and background, giving this image a very post card-like feel.
Compositions framed within an existing rectangle make for interesting viewing, such as demonstrated in this photograph. Again, soft and intense light flash on the model crates pleasing skin tones while the background saturates because of mild under exposure.
The use of flash is very artfully done in this image. Without the flash, you would have seen a silhouette of the model. With an intense flash, one would see a very harsh separation between model and background. With a low intensity flash of the right color temperature (color temperature possibly adjusted during post processing), we get a very natural looking image.
This is a pretty straightforward image as far as lighting in concerned, but effective nonetheless. One powerful flash provides the key light. What makes it interesting is the direction of light. The same image photographed with a flatter light source would have killed the shadows and made a very ordinary image. Also, notice the subtle detail in the background, thanks to ambient light.
Here we see a subtle use of the flash. The ambient light creates interesting highlights (the edges of the jacket), while fill flash eliminates natural shadows on the face.
Using flash outdoors is not something that a beginner to photography would think of, especially in broad daylight. However, this is something to really ponder over if you are serious about your photography. All the best!