Direct vs Bounce

for DSLRs
This starts with a direct flash in the first frame and increases the amount of soft bounce fill lighting until there is only the bounce light source.

If you like the silhouette shadow, but not the harsh look, you can try image 5, 6 or 7, in which the bounce light is strong, but the shadow still shows.

Note the color does change — direct light will almost always have a different color than light bounced off of — anything.

Bottom Line: Most people opt for the bounce light, unless you are looking for the harsh look, or trying to simulate sunlight.

100mm, f11

direct flash
8 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
4 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
2 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
1 part direct to 2 parts bounce fill
1 part direct to 4 parts bounce fill
1 part direct to 8 parts bounce fill
all bounce light
direct flash
8 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
4 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
2 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
1 part direct to 2 parts bounce fill
1 part direct to 4 parts bounce fill
1 part direct to 8 parts bounce fill
all bounce light
direct flash
8 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
4 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
2 parts direct to  1 part bounce fill
1 part direct to 2 parts bounce fill
1 part direct to 4 parts bounce fill
1 part direct to 8 parts bounce fill
all bounce light
Left
Right

One direct flash — with HONL grid — on left.
direct flash

A ratio of 8 parts direct to 1 part bounce light.
8 to 1

Four parts direct to one part bounce.2 to 1

Two parts direct light to one part bounce.2 to 1

1 part direct light to 2 parts bounce.
2 to 1

1 part direct light to 4 parts bounce.
1 to 4

1 part direct light to 8 parts bounce.
1 to 8.

All bounce light.
all bounce light

One direct flash — with HONL grid — on left.
direct flash

A ratio of 8 parts direct to 1 part bounce light.
8 to 1

Four parts direct to one part bounce.2 to 1

Two parts direct light to one part bounce.2 to 1

1 part direct light to 2 parts bounce.
2 to 1

1 part direct light to 4 parts bounce.
1 to 4

1 part direct light to 8 parts bounce.
1 to 8.

All bounce light.
all bounce light