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.
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
How to use On Camera Fill Flash
- 8 On-Camera Flash Tips: How To Get Better Lighting From Your On-Camera Flash (digital-photography-school.com)
- Photography 101 – Adjusting Your On-Camera Flash (tech4mommies.com)
- Tips for Using Your Pop-up Flash (nikonusa.com)
- i-TTL Balanced Fill Flash (nikonusa.com)