Home Photography Ideas: Fake Portraits in Natural Light with Flash

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While it’s so easy to put your flash on your camera’s hot shoe and shoot, the results often look unflattering and it’s easy to tell they weren’t taken in natural light. However, we are going to show you how to mimic natural light with an artificial flash.

The easiest way to do this is to take an existing natural light source, like a window or door, and control the light through that space. By placing a flash outside said window or door, you can mimic the effect of natural light flooding your shooting area. Diffuse it with a simple bed sheet and it can produce some of the best light around – no need for an expensive octabox.

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You can do this shoot with things you already own, so why not ask a family member to pose for you while they work hard with a task for natural portraits.

Make a portrait in natural light with flash

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tuck in your sheets

Fix your sheet on a window or a door. If there’s something to hang your sheet on, use craft clips to hold it in place, otherwise use your tape. Even with clips, you may find that you have to tape it down to keep it from flying off.

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bring the light

Place your flash on a bracket on the other side of your subject’s sheet and set it to full power. Hold it about a meter away, pointing towards the middle of the sheet. Set the flash to manual mode if you have TTL capabilities, and if it has a zoom feature, set it to the widest setting.

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Preparation work

To maximize the brightness of the light and the “enveloping” effect it has, place your model close to the sheet. The farther they are from the light source, the darker the scene will be. This will force you to increase your ISO, which can introduce noise.

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Sculpt the decorations

Set your camera to manual mode for full control. Choose auto or flash white balance and shoot in RAW – that way you can change the white balance later if you need to. Set the aperture as wide as possible (f/2.8 in our case), and a shutter speed of 1/200 sec with ISO100.

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Chisel the lines

If your images are overexposed, but you don’t want to change your settings, you can use a neutral density filter to block some of the light entering the lens. A variable ND filter will let you adjust the darkness until you get well-balanced exposures every time.

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Scoop the detail

Take pictures with a zoom like a 70-200mm. Bring it up to 70mm to get the whole model, then push it further to 200mm to get hands detail if your model is posing with intricate parts.

Read more

• Best Flash 2020: Top Flashes for Canon, Nikon Cameras and More
• Best camera for beginners 2020: Start your journey with the right camera!
• Best variable ND filters: fade filters for video and photography
• Tips for newborn photography

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