On-camera flash is pretty harsh…
In fact it’s often the source of ruined pictures from otherwise great dinner parties and family events. Dealing with with these little beasts takes a little work. You can make them do you bidding, you just need to know how.
A small powerful light source
The power of the little flash on your camera is misleading. For such a small light it puts out a lot of power. The learner is often caught off-guard. A great scene can be ruined by very unpleasant light, colour leached from faces, shiny reflections on faces and really hard-edged shadows. The whole thing is pretty ugly.
Here is some news. There are ways to control these little beasts and make them do your bidding.
Two of the most useful techniques for dealing with the problems are explained more fully in: Find out more about diffusing your on-camera flash. The other way is to help your flash work better in the room. Use the room itself as a way to bounce light around. Point your flash at a wall or ceiling so the light is reflected everywhere. It will make harsh flash into soft light – make it a more wrap-around light. This is always more flattering and shows the gentle curves of the face much better. It also means the light works its way around the back of the subject reducing harsh shadows cast onto the wall.
Practical use of the on-camera flash
For those quiet evenings where you are chatting with your friends and family here are some easy techniques. You can use your on-camera flash to good effect without the harsh shadows. You can escape the electric shock faces and startled expressions too. Have a look at the video and follow the sage advice of Mike Browne at a dinner party…
Using on-camera Flash Indoors – With Mike Browne
Using the proper tools is best
Let’s face it. On-camera flash is always going to be a bit difficult. As good as it looks in the video controlled results are always going to be difficult from such a little light source. Here is what Mike himself has to say about on-camera flash…
I’d suggest a speedlight is better because you can fit a diffuser and better still, turn the flash head in any direction and bounce the flash off a wall or ceiling.
Mike Browne .
Have a look at some off-camera ideas. These are probably the most flexible options for moving your photography forward, especially for small intimate surroundings. Check out these options…
Off camera flash units
Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit – a great branded flash for general use
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight – a great quality mid-range Nikon flash unit
This high quality own-brand flash unit performs like branded units but is much more affordable. The unit provides a range of functions as well as being compact, light and robust. Great value for your money. YN560 III 2.4Ghz Wireless Flash Speedlite Support RF-602/603 YN560-III For Canon Nikon Pentax Olympus
All these units will fire as normal when mounted on the camera. They will require an off-camera flash cord or wireless radio triggers for off-camera flash units to connect to the camera when shooting off-camera.
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