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Travis Pavek wrote: ...Should I just learn how to bounce the light from ceiling and wall first or should I go straight to off camera with an umbrella? When shooting outside how many of you actually bring out some kind of light modifier opposed to just using the flash straight on for fill light?
For "formal" portraits, indoors or out, I'll often use an umbrella or softbox on one light and a dish or other modifier on another. If I only have one light, I'll usually bounce.
For informal portraits, candids, and such indoors, I usually use on-camera flash, either bounced or direct, and usually the flash is on a bracket. (I still consider that "on-camera.") Sometimes I'll use a second (or more) flash in wireless mode.
Outdoors, informals and candids are almost always on-camera direct. I have a taller-than-average bracket for outdoor use that gives the kind of highlight/shadow modeling I like. My flash head is almost two feet above the lens axis with this bracket.