Last week two readers asked what to do the zoom setting when using the lighting techniques described in The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors by Scott Hargis.
Thierry in Guadeloupe (French West Indies) asked:
Is there a specific way to set flash zoom level when bouncing ? I know I have to try myself different setups but I would like to hear point of view of experimented photographers.
Scott's lighting technique involves bouncing the light from small flashes off walls, wall/ceiling joints to create large soft light that creates a minimum of shadows. Given that you want to create large soft lights there's not much point in zooming flashes any tighter than their widest settings. I doubt that the zoom setting has much effect when you are bouncing a flash off the wall. So just leave your flashes at their widest zoom setting.
After running the above answer by Scott, he pointed out that:
I’d advise AGAINST using the WAD when bouncing off a wall because the WAD is dangerous in that it can “squirt” direct, un-bounced light into your scene even when you think your flash is pointed completely the other direction. Then you’ll have these little hard shadows that will make you question your sanity!
There you have it, an answer from the man who wrote the book!