Use of Fill Flash Outside

I’ve read about using fill flash, but I had never tried using this photography technique until last week. Now I think it is the most valuable tool ever invented on the camera (just kidding) .  Many people totally believe in natural lighting, while I can respect that I also believe in using tools to improve results.

Use Fill Flash Outside

When my daughter and I took a trip to Missouri and Arkansas to tour a few colleges we decided to make it a camping trip. Two out of the three days we camped out in tents by the lake and it was wonderful  The scenery is so unlike the plains of Nebraska I was itching to capture and play with different settings on my camera. My daughter was a willing subject on this trip and I was bound and determined to make the most of the opportunity.

With so many trees around she was constantly in the shade. The first photo above was disappointing  as I had too much shadow on her face. Then the brainstorm. “Let’s try the flash? Stay right there and smile. ”  I popped it open, heck why not? I set the intensity on the menu as high as it would go as I was using the 75-300 lens from about 20 feet away.

What a difference! The extra lighting opened up the shadows, warmed the tone of the photo, and overall enhanced the image.

Photo was taken with a Canon Rebel XS so it’s far from a professional camera by far, but I got much better results straight out of camera which is the ultimate goal of any photographer. Time saved in post production is more time shooting.

Using a Flash Diffuser

Many times people avoid using a flash for the dreaded “flash burn” on the skin and highlights. Professional photographers control this in the studio by using soft boxes or flash diffusers which cover or screen the bright bulbs. The same thing can be accomplished with using a diffuser.

There are even flash intensifiers such as the Rogue flash booster. This is designed when long range lighting is needed beyond the 10-15 feet of a pop-up flash.

Pop-Up Universal Soft Screen Box External FlashRogue Safari DSLR Pop-Up Flash Booster (Black)Opteka PD-10 Universal Soft Screen Pop-Up Diffuserpangshi® Flash Bounce Reflector Card Diffuser ReflectiveMicnova Universal Soft Screen Flash Diffuser forProfessor Kobre’s Lightscoop, Warm Version Bounce Flash

 

Xpert Advice: How to Use Fill Flash for More Even Lighting

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Fill Flash In Wide Angle Macro Photography

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Fill Flash

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How to Mix Ambient Light and Fill-Flash for Outdoor Portraits

If you would like to capture perfectly exposed images in ambient light, the real secret is to use fill-flash and a light modifier. Sure, if you have a reflector and an assistant you may be able to achieve similar results using only natural light.
Bit by Bit: A Digital Fill-Flash Technique for Improving Images

Many of the consumer and “prosumer” digital cameras have a built-in strobe flash that can be used for fill-flash — adding light to a brightly illuminated scene. But my Nikon D1X does not have a built-in flash, so I carry and use a separate strobe …
Using Fill Flash – Digital Photography School

In addition to helping with backlit subjects fill flash helps in more subtle ways also by helping to eliminate shadows cast by facial features (under eyes, noses, chins) or under hats – especially when light is shining down from above. It also might …
Eliminating Fill Flash Hard Shadows – A Controlled Test …

Defining the problem: While shooting a portrait outdoors, I usually add a fill flash to eliminate any “racoon eyes” and dark shadows on the face. The fill flash is set set at 1.7 stops under exposed for a light touch. My setup is a …

7 thoughts on “Use of Fill Flash Outside

    1. I seem to learn and forget a technique so easy, I just have to use, use, and use it for something to stick. My daughter thanks you for the compliment.

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