Bouncing light is my favorite skill to use when it comes to taking the photo with a single flash. When I am taking the photos in an indoor situation and the light sources available are not strong enough to make the subject visible, I have to make a decision about how to use my flash: shall I use bouncing light or direct light?
If there is limited space and the distance between me and the subject has to be short, I would choose to do bouncing light. For example:
This is a small editing bay with the black walls. When I use the direct light on the subject's hand, the wall partly becomes white and it looks unnatural. But when I bounce the light to the ceiling:
The flash light illuminates her like it is an available light source that already exists in the editing bay. It looks naturally.
This is in a bouncer in a bar, and when I took the photo of him, I used bouncing light. I tried to use direct light at first, but the light did not ideally fall on him but hit on the back wall, which made the "EXIT" distracting. So, I bounced the flash light on the metal ceiling that's above him, and the light fell on the left side of his face, which is exactly the picture I wanted.
Even if I love to use bouncing light the best, there are some situations that I have to use direct light. For example, when there is nothing I can bounce the light on and the existing light sources are bright back lights (usually an outdoor situation). It is coming on my next blog post!