Reallllly noob question re: Fill Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dmitri, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I kind of know its purpose, but I don't understand it.

    Is it just a less bright flash? Does it do something special that makes it different than a normal flash?

    Sorry for such basic questions, but I never bothered with it before in the photos I've taken, and now I feel like a little kid at a Norwegian camp...
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    fill flash is essentailly flash used to fill in shadows in a shot nothing more complex than that.
    An extreme example would be a backlit subject - the background to the subject will be well lit, but the subject is all in shadow. If you expose background or subject the other will be under/over exposed.
    So you use flash to fill in the foreground lighting and give the subject light thus evening the exposure out so that you can get both subject and background well exposed.

    Getting more complex you could have light coming from one side of a subject (Say the left) and shadowing the right side - flash on the right would again fill in that missing light.

    Another example would be during bright days when highlights are likley to get blown out - you can overexpose the shot (expose for the highlights) and use flash to boost the ambient lighting - thus giving enough light to the rest of the areas to brighten them up.

    Theory is nice and simple - practice is a little more tricky though
     
  3. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I get when to use it, but I don't get what it is. Is it the same as (for example) putting a few tissues over the flash to diffuse it? Is it bounced off something internally? What makes it different from a normal flash?

    That's what I don't understand - what it actually is.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It is normal flash - just that its light filler. Its more a usage technique than a type of flash itself. And flash should always be diffused or bounced light - otherwise you risk having harsh shadows formed by it *unless that is what you want in the shot*
     
  5. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    aha ok, that's what was confusing me. It's just a normal flash, but people say fill-flash. Thanks Overread!
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Fill flash is usually at less than full power.
     
  7. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Its not a "type" of flash, its simply anything you do to "fill in the shadows using flash". This can be accomplished using a ring flash, beauty dish, reflector, umbrella, softbox - etc. etc. Just like you can create a document any number of ways (a pen, pencil, crayons, computer, dictated into a recorder), so too can you "fill" a scenes areas that have hard shadows.
     
  8. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    aaah so that would be where my "Flash Exposure" setting comes into play!
     

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