Using Flash: From Shutter Speeds to Red Eye
The most common lighting mistake is using a flash out of range. Typical flash range is up to fifteen feet for film cameras and six to ten feet for digital cameras. Subjects that are outside this flash range will be either too dark or too light. Using a higher-speed film may extend your flash by a few feet.
Tips for Using Your Camera Flash Like a Pro
The following tips will help you understand how to correctly use your camera’s flash in a given situation.
Eliminate Hot Spots. Any highly reflective surface behind your subject, such as glass or mirrors, will reflect the flash back to the camera’s lens where it is recorded onto the film. This will result in hot spots on your images. If you can’t avoid reflective surfaces, angle the flash relative to the surface, causing the glare to reflect away from the camera.
Reduce Red Eye. Separate the flash and lens. If your flash is not removable, use your camera’s red eye reduction feature. If your camera doesn’t have red eye reduction, ask your subjects to look slightly away from the camera, and turn on all the room lights to shrink their pupils. If your subjects still get red eyes, you can eliminate the effect using computer software, such as Adobe Photoshop.
Use Fill Flash. When taking people pictures on sunny days, use fill flash to fill in those dark shadows under the eyes and nose or under the rim of a hat. Fill flash can also help in a difficult lighting situation in which the flash consumed by or reflective off of the scene’s background, such as a dark complexion on a beach, or a child playing in the snow.
Diffuse the Light.A diffuser bounces, spreads or softens the light for a pleasing effect. You can purchase a professional diffuser or make one by wrapping the flash in tissue paper.
Check your Batteries.Batteries that are approaching exhaustion will not give full flash power, even if the camera is still working.Ideas for Improving Night Photographs
Night pictures can be especially challenging situations for camera flashes. Here are some tips for using the flash at night.
Use Night Flash.Night flash uses a slow shutter speed to capture the background scene with flash that illuminates the area near the subject. It’s especially good for taking a picture of a person with the sunset or city lights in the background.
Use Slow Shutter Speed. When you’re outside in dim light using a slow shutter speed to capture of a subject out of your flash range, turn off your flash and capture the scene in the existing light. Use a tripod and be sure to use high-speed film if you have a film camera.
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