When To Use Flash

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Soul Rebel, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

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    I did a quick search and google gave me a lot of stuff about the flash that I dont want. So hopefully its not a problem to ask this here.

    When do I use flash? Since I am going to be using my SLR I will have to attach the flash instead of having the camera decide when to use flash when I use the digital camera.

    Today I was walking through the words and for the most part it was very clear. There was a lot of light showing through but the trees did cut down on the light. Would this have been a good situation to use the flash?
     
  2. Mack

    Mack TPF Noob!

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    i'm not a photography expert by any means but i normaly tend not to use flash when doing portait or photo shots as it gives the face a unnatural tone, but for some reason with my D50 it takes an extra second without flash so i have to use a tripod, as for the woods? i thought it would be cool having a shot with the shadows all over the trees etc, i wouldnt use it in nature as it seems unnatural.. just what i do.
     
  3. Oldfireguy

    Oldfireguy TPF Noob!

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    Since you are not using film I would hook up the flash and see what you like.
    See what the photos look like and find your style.

    That's one reason I like digital. You can play around and if it does not work, dump it and try again.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    For landscape shots, using flash would be unusual. It would look very unnatural.

    I use flash indoors where it's just too dark to get a usable shutter speed. I always try to bounce the flash or diffuse it in some way.

    Another time to use flash is when shooting people outside during the day, especially when in bright sunlight. This is fill-flash, and is just to fill in the shadows caused by the strong lighting. Usually with fill flash, you want to turn down the flash output...so that it's balanced with the ambient light.
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Use the flash outside in full sun
    Don't use it inside.
     
  6. PachelbelsCanon350D

    PachelbelsCanon350D TPF Noob!

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    I only use my flash bounced off a ceiling or wall because frankly I hate the way it looks when it blasts forward and you get flatness with no shadows. When I shoot an impromptu portrait of a pet or person, it works awesome because it requires no extra equipment lugging; I just swivel the head and bounce it off a nearby wall or ceiling. As yet I have never run into a situation where I wish I had the flash outdoors, but I know it can make a nice fill on a subject when you're both in shade and it's sunny out (without the flash, your subject could turn out silhouetted).
     
  7. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I just wasnt sure if there was a certain point when shooting outdoors that you should start using the flash.

    I wasnt in direct sunlight but I feel that it was still bright. At the end it was getting dimmer but I could see perfectly fine. The reason I asked was because despite me being able to see perfectly fine, I wasnt sure if the camera was going to pick up that light as well as I was. I am still pretty new at this stuff. I havent taken rolls and rolls of film to find out for myself and being a college student I dont have the time or money to do so.
     
  8. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    About the only time I would use flash outdoors would be for a portrait in full sun where I wanted to fill in [lighten] the shadow area on the subject's face. This requires a bit of thought [and calculation] as to the exposure so that the final result looks 'natural.'
     
  9. Skully

    Skully TPF Noob!

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    I would recommend using a flash all the time. For outside work the flash will balance the backround light with the light on the subject, the persons eyes will have a catchlight in them and most important you can control shadows and dof. However to achieve stunning results you may have to adjust the exposure compensation on the camera and also on the flash "if the flash supports it" so you can set a ratio between the natural light and the flash. Indoor or studio is the same "blending the light together" to make the photo look natural as possiable. Starting to use a flash for all your photos is and can be difficult but once you start to master it you will be amazed at the quality.
     

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