Friday, April 25, 2008

Photography: Fill Flash

One of the most important things when it comes to photography has to be lightning, and this can be both manipulated and used in several ways (see the Strobist for more detail on how to play with lightning)

I m going to start out with the basics so to speak and we will move up on this ladder.

Yes you can photograph people or objects when its really bright outside and its mid day and the sun is at its highest point! But i strongly recommend you don't do this because:

1-You will probably get a lot of over exposed areas in your image, and fixing overexposure in the post processing its near impossible, its easier to fix darker images

2-If your shooting a portrait you will probably end up with some nasty shadows on the subject like this shot below for example:

(photo from:

Now that photograph has quite a nice background to it, some over exposure at the back of the photo, and well its not really a good portrait if you ask me, its a nice picture buts its just to busy, and the shadow on his face looks very unpleasing.

So what you want to do in situations like these is that you use what is called a "Fill Flash" what this does is that it will send light from your camera or if your using of camera lightning it will shoot in that direction working against the shadows that the sun is creating for example. The flash will "fill" in the shadows and thus you will get an image like this for example:

My guess is that this image was shot with the built in camera flash and thus it turned out the way that it turned out, still a little to dark for my taste. The built in camera flash will only work at a certain distance after that it becomes quite useless, so its worth investing in some sort of external lightning for you camera!

I have committed this mistake as well several time when shooting portraiture outdoors and its really bright! And i had my flash with me, it just did not cross my mind! But now i m all set again!

I just want to inform you that i m starting a new project called "100 Strangers". This project is about portraiture, but taking portraiture of strangers people that you have never meet! I think this is going to be an interesting project that will make me grow both as a person as well as a photographer! As soon as i m done with the project i will of course share the results!

Have a great Friday! See you guys later

No comments: