Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/02/24

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Subject: Re: [Leica] (Leica) Bounce Flash
From: Mark Rabiner <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 13:59:35 -0800

Eric Welch wrote:
> At 11:49 PM 2/23/99 -0800, you wrote:
> > Eugene Smith (you could
> >never tell he used flash), Richard Avedon (assistant holds umbrella on
> >long pole and closely follows the model), Irving Penn(?).
> Wait a minute! That's not direct flash. Gene Smith would use available
> light (whatever was available) but you wouldn't see him using on-camera
> direct flash for those gorgeous pictures, and there is no way anyone can
> use direct flash without casting horrible shadows. If it's off camera,
> Umbrellas are the antithesis of direct flash.

I was thinking of direct flash as non bounce flash as we had just been
speaking of. For me bounce flash is bouncing off the walls. Softboxes
and umbrellas are light modifiers which some might not think of as not
non direct but just direct and softened. (Eric Von Strohiem's down
lighting of Garbo). You are thinking of "On Camera Flash".  Plenty of
people would equate "on camera" with "direct" but that's not an hard
edged deal it seems to me.
Penn was a bad example for me to use and Smith was a bouncer for sure. 
Arbus used a Norman flash with her Rolleiflex and there is no law say
you have to like her stuff but to me it is pretty darn persuasive stuff.
The little guy with the hand grenades? Indelible.
I have occasionally been in the frame of mind flash wise don't panic
"When in doubt, blast' em". Not a particularly Leicalike thing to say or think.
My new 135 apo has limited indoor low light capability. My Metz 32 Z-2
flash has resurfaced from the inner depths. It makes for a stealth
camera effect with the new lens. "Leave 'em with that afterimage" or
"Blind' em then run." I miss weddings sometimes. Briefly.
Mark Rabiner