Flash Fill Question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tjones8611, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. tjones8611

    tjones8611 TPF Noob!

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    Im having troubles with using my flash (430ex) in ambient light. When starting out with it last year, everything I read revolved around using the flash as a fill. So, for most of my portraits, I would meter the ambient light, then drop the flash exposure comp down.

    While that works to rid the photo of shadows (to some degree), Im thinking maybe thatÂ’s not the approach I should be taking from some recent C&C and further research. To have these photos "pop", should I increase the flash output? In a studio setting were I have more control, I do better, but outside Im struggling.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Assuming that you are using the flash in E-TTL (auto) mode, you don't necessarily have to drop the FEC because it will meter to give you 'proper exposure' on your subject. 'Fill Light' doesn't mean that it has to be less bright than the main/ambient light.

    Actually, the reflectivity of the subject can largely affect how much flash exposure you will get. For example, someone wearing a bright white shirt will reflect more light, so the auto metering will give you less light output from the flash (and/or less ambient exposure via the camera's meter). So in that case, you may need to add exposure/light by compensation with EC or FEC.

    What I like to do, is put the camera into manual mode, giving me complete control over the ambient exposure. Then adjust the FEC to taste.
     

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