It's Saturday night and you decided to be the analogue freak that you are and take out a Diana Baby 110 loaded with a gorgeous Lomography Color Tiger 110 ISO 200 film and a LomoChrome Metropolis 110 ISO 100-400.
Since the Diana baby has an aperture of 1/100 at f8 shooting at night requires the use of a flash. The flash for the Diana baby has that retro style that will turn heads and make you feel like a real paparazzi. Today we look at some tips for shooting with a flash.
To connect your flash on your camera body, you will need to attach an extension. Then connect the flash to your camera and through the cable of the hot shoe the flash will fire when you press the shutter release.
The Inverse Square Law
The most important rule to remember is to be aware of your distance from the subject. When we use a flash we must remember the inverse square law.
If you double the distance from your subject you cut the powers of your light to the square space from the light source. From the light source, it decreases inversely proportional to the square of arrival of the light.
To make it simple, the further away you move from your subject, the less light you will have to produce your picture. This means that you need more power in your flash in order for the light to arrive at the scene. With the same logic, if you get closer to your subject you need to adjust your light power to avoid overexposure on your image.
Another factor that we need to keep in mind is the reflection that will come from a mirror or a window. They can be helpful as much as troublesome, so balancing this delicate aspect is always tricky. Try to consider the angle that you are shooting at. Taking a photograph straight into the glass can produce a star like reflection, while positioning your flash at another angle can help diffuse the light and spread it evenly.
Hopefully you will appreciate some extra grain, as it will be a feature of your images. We know that increasing speed in your film means increasing grain. Grain comes from the sizes of crystals that are present in your nitrocellulose gelatin that is your film. The higher the ISO, the larger the silver halide crystals in the film’s emulsion, that allow more light in, thus resulting in more grain.
You will need a higher sensitivity during your night shoot as light will most likely be low. Even when we push our films, for example, it will inevitably show more of those crystals. Rather than being annoyed by it, embrace the grain and know that it will be an integral part of your pictures. It will also increase the contrast and evoke a stylish look.
When shooting at night, the available light from your city is always a great ally. It can come from a well lit building or a neon sign. The combination of available light and your flash can fill the space and help you frame a wider image. But do not turn off your flash. It is a great help if your hand is shaking while pressing the shutter.
With analogue photography, it is mandatory to use a flash for a night shoots. Even with a highly sensitive film, such as 3200 ISO, the light is generally too dim to have a decent exposure (with some exceptions). However, the more you get accustomed to this extra source of light, the more creative opportunities will present themselves to you.
A flash can also be great during the day, and there are various photographers that have made it a part of their signature style. It is worth experimenting and seeing if the use of flash in your photography can become something you'd like to incorporate into your own style.
Have you ever tried a flash before? How do you incorporate a flash in your photography? Share with us your experience in the comments below.