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5 Tips For Using your Flash Creatively

1. Fill Flash into a Scene

Photo By  Dustin Diaz

When shooting against the light, you can use flash to fill in some light into the subject. for example, fill flash works well when you are shooting a person against the setting sun. The camera will expose for the sky, but the flash will ensure that the subject is also lit and not silhouetted. The same can be done by using the Night Portrait or Backlit Portrait mode.

Photo By Sabrina C

2. Avoid Direct Flash

Direct flash means the one that is built in to your camera or flashes mounted on the hot shoe. Shots taken using direct flash more often than not end up with red eye, and also have a flattened feel to them. So best alternative is to use off camera flash and if you really need to use your on camera flash try some method to either diffuse it or bounce it.

Photo By David McNeil

3. Use Flash But Also Capture Some Ambient Light

One common problem faced by amateurs while using flash is that the background appears dark and all pictures look the same. In order to capture an environmental portrait kind of shot you should also try to capture some ambient light. The trick is to expose for the ambient light by using slow shutter speeds and firing your flash to light up your subject. If you are shooting with a point and shoot camera, use the flash in the slow sync mode, or use the night portrait mode in your camera. These modes fire flash during a long exposure thereby capturing the ambient light and giving a sense of the place the image was shot at.

Photo By Brent Pearson

4. Get Creative With Flash

You could introduce colour casts to your shots by using gels on your flash. Gels come in many colours and sizes, simply choose the one that will suit your specific requirement. Gels could be used to either warm up or cool down the feel of the shot, shades of yellow and red warms up the scene while shades of blue cools it down. Gels could also be used to match the colour temperature of light coming from your flash with that of ambient light in the scene.

Photo By Cyril Gravelier

5. Control the Spread of Light from your Flash

Controlling the light coming out from you flash units is important to get the right kind of lighting. You could use attachments to your flash heads like, diffusers, snoots, grids etc or you could use cutters/gobos/barn doors to modify and shape the light coming out from your flash.

In the next article we will discuss about Photography - Lighting - Flash - Understanding TTL Flash – Mastering Flash Photography - How To Get Better Lighting From Your On Camera Flash

Photo By Paul Cox

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