Those of you who know me, know that I hate the POP UP flash, if it was up to me, I would removed the thing from every camera there is. Why I hate POP up flash?
- If you are not Careful it gives such a bright harsh light, washing out the faces of the subject, making the photo unwatchable and the subject UGLY
- Ambient light is always romantic and natural, with pop up flash in the wrong hands it kills the natural light and again the photo looks ugly
So to avoid the above two, its simple, DONT use POP UP FLASH . But lets face it, there would be conditions where you are forced to use the POP up flash, and to me, only two Scenarios:
(1) The lighting conditions of the place you are in is soo low where your camera and lens cant cope with the low light condition, and as a results, your Shutter speed is registered low value, and when shoot hand held you end up with a SHAKY blurry photo. Hence here you will need your Pop up flash so that you can safely increase your shutter to a value good enough to avoid the shaking i.e. for example shutter of 1/50 and above.
(2) Your subject is situated in a SHADOW area and surrounded by high highlights, e.g., in the middle of afternoon. And your camera cannot distinguish between the highlights and shadows, and you end up getting a photo where your subjects is dark. This situation is called CONTRASTY situation or the other known term is High Dynamic Range situation (HDR). Thus, you will need your pop up flash here to introduce what we call a FILL light to light up your subject.
So if you must us a POP UP flash, at least you should know how to control THE POWER OUPUT OF THE flash, so that to avoid that harsh ugly light. And to do that is simple, use your Camera Exposure Compensations (EV+/-) to control the power out put of the flash.
For Nikon is this button
And For Canon is this button
For other Camera, check out your camera manual to know which button is the Exposure compensation.
The Below Three photos of my son, demonstrate the above two situations and how to go about using the Exposure compensation to minimize the Flash Output
(1) This First photo shows a situation where I need a flash, the room is dark and as well, notice on the left side of my sons face, there is some darkness and shadow that I need to fill some light in that Area
(2) So I pop up my flash and took a shot, and this what most of us end up getting. Very harsh ugly light (Ring a Bell anyone?)
(3) Here I used the Exposure Compensation (EV+/-) and reduce the value by -1 Stop. By doing this, the flash out put power have reduce by one stop and ended up getting a better flash, which is not so harsh and the same time, I managed to fill in the dark shadow on his left side
Thats it, now anytime you need to use a POP up Flash, at least use it with a style and minimize its Ugly strong output, by controlling it using your Camera provided Exposure compensation (EV+/-) Feature. You can either reduce it, to lessen the power of the flash, or increase it in situation you need more flash power.
Please comments and let me know what you thought about this TIP, and if you have any further question regarding this topic, please ask away below and I will get back you as soon as possible.