Lighting tricks: Ceiling bounce

Ceiling bounce is a very simple way of creating a large soft light source using the tilt of your speedlight-which just happens to feature in all my favourite photographs I’ve taken. After setting the exposure wall bounce requires little to no further attention and with a thyristor/ttl flash you can even set it to work automatically. This becomes invaluable when shooting candids and can really help set the beat of a photoshoot.

Ceiling bounce only requires two things:

1) an overhead ceiling (If the ceiling isn’t white you may need to compensate white balance for colour casts)

2) A bit of guesswork, try to set the head midway between the subject and camera.

So here are some of the ways ceiling bounce can be used:

To freeze motion: Here in dim indoor lights I was able to freeze the motion from the dealer.
During a game of poker I was able to freeze motion whilst still giving pleasant and believable light.

Styling: in this photo the light bounces not only off the ceiling but across the walls, giving a layered look.

Finally in candid situations you can use it to simply cast pleasant, believable light indoors.

So I’ve just about exhausted my flickr stream and will be taking a short break from posting until my exams finish at which point I’ll be out taking photos again and sharing more tutorials. Until then I’m tossing up a seamless white tutorial or whether to wait until I’ve experimented a bit and do an entire coloured background tutorial. When I get around to it I’ll also put a “further reading” section on my posts so stay tuned. Thank you for reading.


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