Tips for improving your use of flash

Simple tips about flash help all aspects of your photography.

The use of flash is all about increasing the light intensity in the area where you are working. There are many ways that flash can be used. Here is a great round up of flash tips to get you started.

In Six tips for photographing silhouettes we talked about how to create a silhouette. One of the reasons for flash is to prevent a silhouette. Often when you have a bright background you want to light the foreground to prevent your subject being too dark. You can use your on-board flash, an external flash or studio lights to fill that foreground light and bring your subject up to a brightness level that makes them look natural and well lit.

One thing to remember is that your flash is adjustable. This is a fact that many people forget. Look in your camera or flash manual to see how to make the adjustment. Then make sure that you do not have too much power. Nearly always photographers have the flash too high. Very bright flash makes faces look washed out and tired. It will also cause nasty and distracting highlights. You can turn your flash off, down or sometimes up. It is certainly worth experimenting with it to see how much you can adjust it and what effects the adjustment has on your subject.

On-board flash and off-camera flash are two different things altogether. You can easily do some things with the off-camera flash that you can with you pop-up (on-board) unit. However, there are some things you should know about on-camera flash – it is pretty limiting.

The differences between types of flash, and many other useful tips, including more on the tips above, can be found in the video below. It explores quite a few aspects of flash and is a great background for you to get started.

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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