Photo Tips: Fill Flash


April 15, 2017

Hey guys-

Short tip today on using fill flash.

Most cameras come with some sort of tiny flash on them that when used in a dark room or at night gives you these absolutely horrible images and you are left baffled as to why the manufacturers ripped you off with such a silly feature.

Well, that really is not the purpose of those little flashes.  Even $500 speed lights do a very, very poor job of illuminating a dark room and the proper methods for doing so will be saved for another day.

Time of the essence?  May I introduce Youtube?

Anyway, back on point.

The above snapshot was taken about as backlit as possible.  If I did not use the tiny pop flash, Matil would have been a silhouette.  However, even though tiny flash pales in comparison to the sun, it does a wonderful job working with subjects that are 3-6 feet away.  It lightens her face, erases the dark contrasty shadows, and leaves us with an image that is much closer to how our eyes remember the scene.


So give it a shot and you may be surprised at what this tiny and oft-overlooked feature can provide you with!

And while you are playing around, you may notice that sometimes the fill flash over compensates and still leaves you with that colorless washed out ghost face.  Not cool.  You can fix that in-camera by adjusting not the exposure compensation, but the flash exposure compensation.  Generally, it looks like a little lightning bolt next to the +/- icon.

I leave mine set to -2/3 flash exposure compensation and then adjust as needed… which is pretty seldom.  I prefer to have the subtle hint of shadows on the face, whereas 0 exposure compensation tends to completely erase shadows and that seems a little fake to me.

To each his or her own!




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