Are you struggling to decide between using natural light or off-camera flash for your photography? Look no further! In this blog, we will explore the pros and cons of both natural light and off-camera flash, offering real-world comparisons to help you make an informed decision. Whether you are a professional photographer or a passionate hobbyist, understanding the differences between these two lighting techniques is crucial for achieving the desired outcome in your images. Join us as we delve into the world of natural light and off-camera flash, providing you with valuable insights that will enhance your photography skills.


This article discusses the differences between shooting with natural light and using off-camera flash in photography. Manny and Kayla, the protagonists of the video sponsored by Squarespace, demonstrate the effects of these two lighting techniques in various settings.

Shot 1: Backlit with Honeycomb Background

Honeycomb Background

Manny starts by using natural light as the backlight, creating a nice rim light on Kayla’s hair. He then adds the flash to illuminate the shadows on her face, resulting in a more dynamic shot with a rim light and properly exposed facial details.

Shot 2: Leaves as a Foreground Element

Leaves as Foreground Element

Manny captures a natural light shot with the leaves as a foreground element, creating a soft and natural look. In the flash shot, he slightly overpowers the sunlight or blocks it with the flash, allowing for a comparison between the two lighting techniques.

Shot 3: Sun as Main Light

Sun as Main Light

In this shot, Manny uses the setting sun as the main light, giving the image a warm orange glow on Kayla’s skin. He shoots with both natural light and flash, overpowering or blocking the sunlight to achieve different effects. The preference between the two depends on the desired look.

Shot 4: Blocking the Sun

Blocking the Sun

Manny blocks the sun in this shot, using only the off-camera flash as the light source. He adjusts the ambient exposure to maintain a natural look and captures a dramatic image with the background slightly underexposed.

Shot 5: Multiple Arches

Multiple Arches

Manny utilizes the multiple arches in the background to create depth. While this shot would look good with natural light, he also experiments with off-camera flash, adding a dynamic element to the image with the black building as a backdrop.

Shot 6: Natural Light and Flash in Bright Sunlight

Natural Light and Flash in Bright Sunlight

In a bright outdoor setting, Manny demonstrates the advantage of using flash to balance the exposure between the subject and the blown-out background. The flash allows for a more dynamic and evenly exposed image.

Shot 7: Powerful Look

Powerful Look

Manny captures a powerful look by shooting from a lower angle, making Kayla appear more dominant. He also incorporates the building in the frame to add character to the shot, showcasing the versatility of both natural light and flash.


Manny emphasizes that there is no right or wrong choice between natural light and off-camera flash. Each technique offers its own advantages and the preferred lighting style depends on the desired outcome. The article encourages readers to share their preferences and opinions on which lighting style they enjoy more.

Squarespace Sponsorship

The article concludes with a message from Squarespace, a long-time sponsor of Manny. Squarespace is recommended for creating websites, blogs, and online stores with ease. Manny highlights the importance of having a professional website, and offers a discount code and link for readers to try Squarespace.



What is natural light photography?

Natural light photography refers to capturing images using only the available light in the environment. It utilizes sunlight or other existing light sources to illuminate the subject.

What is off-camera flash photography?

Off-camera flash photography involves using artificial lighting, such as external flash units or strobes, to illuminate the subject. The flash is positioned away from the camera, providing more control over light direction and intensity.

What are the advantages of natural light photography?

  • Realistic and organic lighting: Natural light produces a soft and natural look, emphasizing the subject’s natural beauty.
  • Ease of use: No additional equipment or setup is required, making it suitable for spontaneous and candid photography.
  • Cost-effective: Since no artificial lighting equipment is necessary, natural light photography can be a budget-friendly option.

What are the advantages of off-camera flash photography?

  • Control over lighting: Off-camera flash allows precise control over the direction, intensity, and quality of light, providing greater creative possibilities.
  • Ability to balance light: In challenging lighting conditions, off-camera flash can fill in shadows, add highlights, or balance ambient light, resulting in more evenly exposed images.
  • Flexibility: With off-camera flash, photographers can overcome restrictions imposed by the natural lighting environment and shoot in any location at any time.

Which one is better: natural light or off-camera flash?

There is no definitive answer to this question as both natural light and off-camera flash have their own advantages. The choice depends on the desired outcome, shooting conditions, personal style, and the mood you want to convey in your photographs.

Can I use both natural light and off-camera flash?

Absolutely! Many photographers use a combination of natural light and off-camera flash to achieve a certain visual effect. This approach offers the flexibility to enhance and manipulate the available light while maintaining a natural and authentic look.

When should I choose natural light photography?

Natural light photography is often a good choice for shooting portraits, lifestyle, or outdoorsy subjects. It works well when you want to capture a specific mood or take advantage of the beautiful natural lighting conditions available at a particular location.

When should I choose off-camera flash photography?

Off-camera flash photography is useful in low-light conditions, indoor settings, or when you need to add drama or creativity to your images. It can be particularly effective for capturing professional portraits, fashion, and studio-like shots.

I hope you find useful my article NATURAL LIGHT vs OFF CAMERA FLASH- A Real World Comparison, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

Please consider joining my newsletter or following me on social media if you like my content.

DJI Osmo Pocket AUDIO adapter studio test

Are you tired of the lackluster audio quality from your DJI Osmo Pocket camera? Look...Read More

Small! Light! INEXPENSIVE! Hands-On With The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN APS-C Sony E-Mount Zoom Lens!

If you’re in the market for a versatile zoom lens for your Sony E-Mount camera...Read More

4 accessories I CAN’T live without (Canon R6)

Are you a photography enthusiast who can’t live without their camera? Do you rely on...Read More

Why you aren’t taking better photos

Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated with the quality of your photos? Despite having...Read More

Surprise engagement video shoot Sony FX6- Ep. 1

Have you ever dreamed of capturing the moment when your significant other says “yes” to...Read More

CONFIRMED: New Sony announcement on February 21! this is what’s coming…

Are you ready for some exciting news from Sony? Mark your calendars because they have...Read More

What Is Christmas? 2020 – Filmed with Sony a7SIII 35mm f/1.8 Lens #Christmas #Sonya7SIII

What is Christmas without the twinkling lights, cozy gatherings, and festive music? 2020 has certainly...Read More

Why you NEED these for the Hero 8 BLACK – PolarPro ND Filters

Are you tired of dealing with overexposed footage when using your GoPro HERO 8 BLACK?...Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *