Photography Lighting: how to take control of everything from natural light to flash

Photography Lighting: take control of everything from natural light to off-camera flash

Use a burst of flash

An alternative way to lighten the shadows in strong sunlight is to use a burst of flash, rather than a reflector.

For subjects close to the camera the built-in flash is perfect for this technique, but it isn’t powerful enough for subjects that are more than two to three metres away from the camera. In this situation you’ll need to use a more powerful flashgun.

How to use fill-in flash

The easy way to banish ugly shadows from your shots

How to use fill-in flash: step 1

1 Set your flash to automatic TTL
Your flash’s automatic TTL setting is good for creating fill light, especially if the distance between the flash and the subject is likely to change. If you are using an external flash, make sure that this is set to TTL.

 

How to use fill-in flash: step 2

2 Check the exposure
Take a test shot to make sure that the flash is powerful enough to light your subject, and check the results on the rear LCD. If the subject you’re lighting is still too dark you’ll need to move closer.

 

How to use fill-in flash: step 3

3 Reduce the flash power
If the subject is too bright compared to the background you can use the flash exposure compensation feature for more subtle results. Press the button marked (flash) +/-, and use the dial to set it to -1.

PAGE 1: Understanding the character of light
PAGE 2: How to control your photography lighting
PAGE 3: Taking control of the light
PAGE 4: Use a reflector to fill in the shadows
PAGE 5: Using fill-in flash
PAGE 6: Making the most of natural light
PAGE 7: Predicting the natural light
PAGE 8: Shoot in the direction of light
PAGE 9 Exposing in low light
PAGE 10: Shooting in twilight vs complete darkness
PAGE 11: How to shoot handheld in low light
PAGE 12: Why you might want to use flash
PAGE 13: Soften the light from your flash
PAGE 14: How to use flash triggers

READ MORE

How camera flash works: free photography cheat sheet
Flash photography made easy: master everything from pop-up flash to multiple flashguns
Flash photography tips: external flash techniques anyone can understand