USING YOUR FLASH: 
 
It's more valuable to you OUTDOORS than INDOORS:

Any questions?

High noon, bright midday sun, Maui, Hawaii: it's self-evident that these two girls (Tori and Lacey) are illuminated much better—and the color of their bathing suits is much richer—with the flash employed (the photo on the left was shot with the flash set on "automatic"—which means the flash didn't work at all; the photo on the right was taken with the flash selection set to "forced flash"). But you should also observe (photo on the right) that the background displays richer color as well. That's because with the flash illuminating the girls in the foreground, less bleachout occurs in the background as the camera's electronic light-metering system operates the way it's supposed to. A win-win scenario. For the record: this novice photographer used both his camera's built-in flash AND an external mounted flash for that photo on the right; as you can see, that extra flash "horsepower" pays you big dividends when you're photographing out in the bright daylight.

Using flash outdoors in the daytime is something professional photographers have been doing for decades, but for some reason most novice photographers have been slow to grasp and appreciate how much it will improve their own outdoor photos.

Forced Flash—NOT "Automatic Flash"

Just remember: using your flash outdoors requires you to set your camera for forced flash/fill flash... anything but "automatic flash."

Forced/outdoor flash is one of the most valuable features on your modern camera; "automatic flash," on the other hand, does not work when you need your flash the most... outdoors in the sunshine or in bright daytime shade. Any setting on your camera that is labeled "automatic"—especially "automatic flash"—was put there to sell cameras (consumers lunge for anything labeled "automatic")—not to help you to take good photos.

In any case, the photo on the left should convince you that setting your camera on "automatic everything" is rarely (read: never) your best option.

 Back to previous page (Internet Explorer)

Go back a page (Netscape users)

 Go to next page (Internet Explorer)