My assistant Leah had been hired to photograph one of those challenging midday backyard weddings. She was very nervous about the contrasty lighting.
I told her, "Worry not." We'll get you fixed up with a flash rig that I've used since the film days, and it's still amazing today. I use a Stroboframe Quick Flip 350 Flash Bracket ($20), with a Nissin Digital i40 Speedlite Flash ($269), and a Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe Cord 3 ($69) - although you can get third party versions for as little as $19.
Here are the basic components shown as individual pieces. The Quick Flip bracket works for both horizontal and vertical shots. When you turn the camera to portrait position, just "flip" the bracket arm. The flash is always positioned over the lens.
I set the flash to TTL, dial down Flash Exposure Compensation 2/3rds of a stop or so, and connect all the parts. I told Leah to use the flash outside and in. In the backyard it helped tame nasty shadows. Inside, it helped illuminate the happy couple. And because the flash is away from the lens on a bracket, she never had to worry about red eye or unsightly shadows cast on the wall.
Here's a before and after comparison. The image on the left is with fill flash, and on the right, without. Quite a difference!
Regardless of the type of cameras we have, photography is photography. And taming contrasty light is essential for weddings and events.
More Photo Technique
You can see this technique, and more, in action by watching my Fill Flash Portraits title on lynda.com.
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