Beginner Photographer Trouble & Query
Bouncing the flash light
Editor's Pick

Are You Using Camera Flash Wrong ?

by pravash ranjan behera
pravash ranjan behera
April 28, 2014
Editor's PickOriginalGreat Value

The key challenge faced by photographers is using the perfectly balanced lighting system when they take a photograph. But the amount of lighting present in most situations is not ideal. The flash is therefore considered an absolute necessity to get lively and detailed photos. When used carefully, it can make the picture look natural and get you an ideal contrast level. Here are some useful tips on utilizing the flash option to get high quality pictures.

Using Camera Flash

The major drawback in using a camera with built-in flash is that it causes subjects, especially humans and in some cases even animals, to have red eyes. To prevent this, you need to have the flash light that is soft and flattering, displaying dimensions of the subjects clearly. Taking flash off the camera and on to the right or left of the subject at a slightly higher level will create the right focus.

Softening Ideas

To reduce harshness of the flash, diffusers or modifiers are included. These are translucent objects that help reduce the light intensity. You can use plain translucent plastic glass over the pop-up flash and take your shots. In case of an interior with white ceilings, you can try to bounce flash light off the ceiling by using a piece of paper or business card linked to the flash using a rubber band. There are also commercially available diffusers that give you the required changes. The image below shows how a diffuser helps to get the details precisely.

Enhancing the Flash Effect

For better results, you need a more effective lighting solution than just the built-in flash present in your camera. A speed light is a good choice as:

• It adds the right amount of light you need. Instead of the pop-up flash that swivels or rotates, a bigger light source will create better looking pictures.

• The features you get with a big speed light are more, giving you a wider option or range to choose from.

• The softness is also increased with a large light source. To get a larger source in indoor situations, you need to bounce the flash.

Optimal Use of Natural Light

Though flash may be your only dominant source of light and a sensible choice too, you need to consider letting in the available light. This adds mood, color, and context to the image. Starting out initially with the available and ambient light level and then deciding on the use of flash is a better approach. In case of harsh and intense sunlight, the Speedlight helps to even the intensity, but this is not the only best option. You need to choose the right lighting depending on the settings present. See how light changes the picture quality below.

There are different types of flash units present that you can choose from, but the real challenge lies in how successful you are in getting the results. Understanding the parameters, lighting dynamics, and some creative instincts are essential, if you want to exploit the benefits of flash features. With right amount of practice, you can get excellent results with any of the flash types present in the market.

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