When do I use flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by digitalrightnow, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. digitalrightnow

    digitalrightnow TPF Noob!

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    I've been taking pictures for almost a week, and I would like to know when should I take photos using flash? I am very interested in what some more experience photographers have to say.
     
  2. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

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    You use it when you need it :lol:

    The main uses for a flash are usually to fill in shadows in a subject or to separate a subject from a background. Or to illuminate a subject when the available lighting is too dark to achieve the shot you want.

    But unless you have a good external flash, I would recommend against using the pop-up flash whenever possible. The light those things cast can be quite harsh and unpleasing.
     
  3. digitalrightnow

    digitalrightnow TPF Noob!

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    When you say to fill in shadows what exactly do you mean?
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Take someone outside with you on a bright, sunlit day. Have him/her slowly turn around while you circle, watching the face. See how the shadows cast by the sun fall on the face - particularly the shadow from the nose. If the person is wearing glasses, the shadows from the glasses become really noticeable at some points in the rotation.

    Those shadows can be quite dark in a picture. It can result in a photograph which just isn't pleasant, because the shadows call attention to themselves.

    You can use a flash unit or a reflector to 'fill in' or lighten those shadows. The trick is to lighten them, but not eliminate them entirely. The shadows are important in creating a three-dimensional feel to the final print. If the lighting is too even [flat], this sense of 3D modelling of the features is lost.

    The 'ideal' flash unit is one which can be taken off the camera and held separately from the camera - high, low, or off to the side. Such a flash can be pointed in whatever direction you wish.

    If your camera has a pc flash socket or a hot shoe, you can plug in a flash unit.
     
  5. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    Balanced matrix fill flash rocks IMHO.

    LWW
     
  6. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    BTWit never HURTS to use fill flash. Todays modern TTL systems can do flash computations is a thousandth of a second which would have given you a headache if done 25 years ago.

    LWW
     

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