The best light produced by your flash doesn't come directly from the flash itself. Rather, it comes from wherever the light is bounced. That's because when the light from the flash is bounced off a ceiling or wall, that surface becomes the actual source of light that strikes the subject being photographed.
The bright spot bouncing off the ceiling functions like an enormous softbox that illuminates the subject with directional, soft lighting. The effect is comparable to placing a physical softbox above the subject.
Now, you may already know all this but have wondered why some of your bounced-flash results look undesirably similar to direct flash.
Here's the reason: If the subject can see light coming from your flash, that means the light will hit the subject in the face, washing out potential benefits of the light that has been so beautifully bounced. It's easy to point your flash at an angle without realizing that part of the device is also aimed at the subject, explaining why your bounced-flash shots may not always look picture perfect.
The eclipse light shield solves this problem, affording you the best possible bounced lighting at all times.
Lighting manipulated for optimal results, exactly the way it should be. That's what is meant by Light Done Right!
Q: Why do I need to shield my flash to bounce light?
A: To prevent direct flash from striking your subject being photographed. If yo ur subject can see *any* light emanating from the flash, they will be hit by this direct light. Many photographers don't realize that when they turn the flash head to bounce the light, they are still blasting direct flash at the subject being photographed. This in effect ruins the beautifully bounced light.
Q: What zoom setting should I use to bounce light?
A: Use the longest zoom setting (200mm or 105mm) available on your flash.
Q: Should diffusers be used with the eclipse?
A: This is not recommended. When you bounce light off of anything, you want the maximum amount of light hitting that surface, in order that there be enough light bouncing back to the subject. If you apply a diffuser, the light output will be reduced by 2 stops or more! The flash will have to work extra hard and still may not be able to produce enough light from the bounce back, due to the power hungry diffuser. Also, adding a diffuser may raise the profile of your flash head where it protrudes beyond the eclipse.
Q: Can I add a piece of white or reflective material inside the eclipse to reflect light outward?
A: You certainly can experiment with this, but just understand that if your subject can see *any* light emanating from the additional reflective material, they will be hit by this direct light.
Q: Why not just use a snoot to block the light from the subject?
A: A snoot will block too much light. For exa mple, without a snoot, the bounced light on the ceiling might be a 5-foot spot; with a snoot, 1 foot. Also, the lip of a snoot can reflect light (direct flash) especially when the inside is silver. In addition to that, the weight of some snoots can cause the snoot to break free from the detents that hold your flash head at certain angles.
Q: Why not just use a flag or flags to block the light from the subject?
A: You can, but you will have to manage it. If your light or subject moves, you will have to make sure the flag is still working. You can use multiple flags, but you will still need to manage them if the light or subject moves. You will need to be careful how the flags are used, so that they don't block any more light than necessary. In addition, the weight of all this can be too heavy for the flash head to hold up.
Q: How does the eclipse compare to the BLT ("black foamie thing")?
A: Mr. Neil van Niekerk is a professional photographer who teaches how to use his famous BLT ("black foamie thing") to achieve great results from bounced lighting. He teaches the techniques and reasons behind using the BLT, rather than discussing the device itself. Once you understand this, you will know how to position (roll it up/down, fold it back, push it up, etc.) the BLT to fit the situation. While you're on the move shooting a fast-paced event, all this may be too much to handle. The eclipse solves this problem, since its patented design eliminates the need to make adjustments from shot to shot.