Photography Tips #1 – Fill Flash

With summer here, loads of barbecues, weddings and parties happening every weekend, plus all those lovely holiday photo opportunities, I thought I’d drop you a quick tip to help you get the best from your camera. Whatever camera you use, it’ll probably have a flash… and chances are at the moment you only use that flash at night or indoors. So here’s how you can get better results, sometimes even stunning images, using your camera’s flash by day. The problem with all this sunlight is that it comes from a bright point source (remember your GCSE physics) that casts sharp shadows across the face. From any direction this will cause problems with faces – if it’s directly overhead, you get bright forehead & cheeks, with dark eyes. If it’s behind, then you get dark face or whited out sky because the camera can’t capture that wide a range of lighting conditions. Even if the sun is in front of your subject, it makes them squint which still ruins the photo. The solution – turn on your flash and take the photo with the light coming from slightly behind and to the side of your subject.

If you don’t know how to override the automatic settings on your flash, it’s usually easily achieved. You’ll probably see a button with a lightning icon – pressing it will cycle through several modes, the one you want resulting in a plain lightning icon (ON) appearing on screen. Try taking a photo in bright conditions and the flash should fire.

Now try it on a face as instructed above. You should get a well illuminated face against a brilliant blue sky, or whatever else is in the background perfectly exposed.

If you fancy learning more about photography at any level, take a look at my tuition, courses, workshops, seminars and photo walks around Brighton.

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