Five simple Tips for Better Flash photography

IN THEORY, using your camera’s flash is simple: You use it when you can’t go by natural light alone. And since most cameras have an automatic flash mode, taking low-light photos should be a breeze. But it isn’t. Here are some things you can do to take great flash photos.

1. Know when to use a flash: Some people tend to leave their camera’s flash on constantly, which can result in its firing unnecessarily. Others turn it off and never use it. I leave my flash off most of the time, but I switch it on when the occasion warrants.
Most cameras warn the user with an icon in the viewfinder when the light is too low for a good photo without the flash. Read your user guide to see how to interpret such messages. You can also check the shutter speed your camera is trying to use; anything under 1/60 second is probably too slow. Either in - crease the ISO (which raises the sensitivity of the sensor), or turn on the flash.

2. Know your flash modes: Your flash probably has settings beyond on and off ; see for a primer. Learn when to switch over to fill flash (for avoiding harsh shadows when taking pictures of people outdoors in direct sunlight) and when to use red-eye reduction (for indoor, low-light shots).

3. Use an external flash: A built-in flash has a limited range—in most cases it illuminates subjects up to about 10 feet away from your camera. If you need to shoot across longer distances, consider adding an external flash to your camera if it has a hot-shoe attachment. That will extend your range to 30, 40, or even 50 feet.

4. Bounce the light: Direct flash illumination is harsh and cold; if you use an external flash, bouncing the light can sofen and humanize photos. You can bounce the light off the ceiling or use a bounce card, which diff uses and redirects the light. Try, for example, the DIY bounce card at Make ( Print the PDF, cut it out, and attach it to your flash with a rubber band.

5. Illuminate a large scene: Want to take a picture of a large room? You’ll need an external flash. Don’t mount it on the camera, however— just turn it on and hold it in your hand. Set the camera on a tripod and configure it for a long exposure, such as 30 seconds. Then walk around, manually firing the flash at different parts of the room. Don’t allow the flash itself to appear in the scene, and never fire it at the camera— keep it pointed at the scene you want to illuminate.

Source of Information : PC World July 2010


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