Here’s How to Give Outdoor Portraits More Punch by Using a Cheap Manual Flash (VIDEO)

One of the most powerful yet frequently overlooked tools for outdoor portrait photography is an inexpensive, manual flash. This simple accessory is great for filling in shadows, compensating for backlit scenes, and adding extra punch to your images.

In the video below, French landscape photographer Serge Ramelli provides a very helpful 15-minute tutorial on using flash outdoors that's guaranteed to improve the portrait photos of those who have ignored this technique in the past. After demonstrating his flash tips on the beach, Ramelli returns home to provide a quick Lightroom tutorial on editing the images.

As you’ll see, Ramelli’s approach doesn’t involve the use of expensive, high-end strobes, but relies upon an affordable manual unit, a tripod, and an inexpensive reflector. He includes images shot with and without the flash, so you can see the significant difference made by a bit of supplemental light.

Ramelli discusses how to position the camera and flash relative to his model, and describes the simple flash and camera settings to use. There are also a few tips on composition and posing tips for making the most of this technique. All that’s left is the quick Lightroom tutorial, and you’ll be ready to give this a try yourself.

There are more shooting and editing tips on Ramelli’s YouTube channel. And be sure to watch another of his tutorials we posted yesterday, explaining how to make long exposure landscape photos without ND filters.