when to use flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nyamy, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. nyamy

    nyamy TPF Noob!

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    I've heard 'them' say (they not being pro's or anything) not to use flash if you can help it. and the truth is, once I disabled my flash on my p&s I started getting better shots (flash always seemed to wash out faces).

    so the first thing I did when I got my canon xsi was disable the flash. now I'm rethinking...
    if canon put a flash on the camera, there must be a time and place for it.

    so when and how do you use your flash?
     
  2. swmocity

    swmocity TPF Noob!

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    night time...sunny days with shadows...fill in flash im still a beginner also..correct me if im wrong
     
  3. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    The only time I use on-camera flash (and sparingly, at that) is at reduced power for fill flash. I do most of my flash now with the off-camera 430EX. I just built a ringflash, but that's a different story.

    I think the reason they put it on the camera is for those consumers who buy a camera and don't want to sink the money in for a flash.

    If you want to learn about flash, check out the workshops on http://www.strobist.blogspot.com and they will give you more than you ever cared to know :)
     
  4. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    Personally I try not to use flash as much as possible, I use natural lighting. (A controlled studio portraits is an exception for me) Im a photojournalist which doing this works great for me. Flash can be very destracting at times. However sometimes there is a need for flash, if the location you are shooting is too dark you will need a flash. It also helps freeze action. You can add gels and throw different colors into the photo for a desired effect. And much more. Every situation is unique its your call.
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I agree, but on-camera flash is rarely satisfying.
     
  6. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    Who use's on camera flash? My D3 doesn't have one ;) I would never use on camera flash.
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    ...my point exactly!
     
  8. nyamy

    nyamy TPF Noob!

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    I was refering to on camera flash
    but that answers the question

    I guess I will learn more about flash and start saving up for an off-camera flash
     
  9. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    If you don't need all the bells-and-whistles and the fancy TTL metering (something which photographers did without for years), there are alot of less expensive options to the flashes sold by Canon. Read the stuff on strobist and learn ...
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    An on-camera flash is handy if you get in a situation where you have no other choice, but 99 times out of 100 it's absolutely not even worth taking the shot as it will come out SO AWFUL. Even if you tone it down, it's just harsh dead-on light.

    Here's an example of one of the VERY few times I took a picture with the on-board flash... I just HAD to get this picture of my wife. It looks like crap... harsh shadows, reflections, etc... but I couldn't miss that moment and had no time to flip ISO or anything.

    [​IMG]

    The external flashes are great because if you need them you can bounce them off a ceiling, or a reflector card... and if you have time and planning (or an assistant) you can run them externally... (options vary with diff. cameras and flash units).

    Here's one of my more favorite shots that I got using an external flash bounced off a ceiling. It's not perfect as I was very new to the whole thing, but its WAY better than it would have been had I popped up the on-board flash and snapped a pic 4' away from my daughter.

    [​IMG]

    So in short, yeah... try to avoid flash if you can, but there are cases when it can be made to work reasonably well, and there are cases where you simply have no choice.
     
  11. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use on camera as fill light but, not very often. The one on the D300 can be put down to a very nice level. I also have my SB600 but, there are times where you dont have time to pull it out to use it like this example. This little guy wasnt going to wait around too long and, the backround was heavily washed out without the flash. I was set to 1/85th power.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. nyamy

    nyamy TPF Noob!

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    nice shot, joves
    I've never seen a butterfly that color.
     

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