Photography 101…Using Flash

A pause in the Valentine crafting to talk about another hobby that I love!  This 101 focuses on using your flash, something that I tend to avoid actually.  I don’t usually like the way photos taken with a flash turn out, however, just like most things, there is a time and place for it.  Your pop-up flash on your camera is generally not much use.  A detachable flash or speed light can provide a better option for photos needing a flash.  A few tips we learned for taking better flash photos…

a speed light
  • Move away from walls (then there’s fewer shadows)
  • If you have a detachable flash, separate it from the camera (can reduce red eye)
  • Be aware of your surroundings…watch out for mirrors, glass windows, or framed wall art
  • Be sure flash is not over compensating (can happen when it’s set to auto)

A fill flash can be helpful (your pop-up flash on your camera) when…

  • The background is brighter than the subject when outside.
  • You want to add “catch lights” which gives sparkle to the eyes.

You can also control flash exposure with this button.

 This can be helpful in getting your photo the color you want.  Some examples of this can be found here.  We also learned about using a front and rear curtain sync flash.  Not photos I would usually take but fun to know nevertheless.

One last helpful tip is when using your flash, be sure to set your white balance to flash.

Lastly, these were my assignment pics for the previous class.  We had to bring in a self-portrait with a story!  Do you know how it is to take a self-portrait?  And one that you like?  Very hard!  But this is what I came up with.  The first one you’ve seen here before, but I did a little cropping to put it on the thirds line.  My story?  Modeling leg warmers!

my leg warmers
ISO 200, aperture f/7.1, shutter 1/500

And this I like to call Like Mother, Like Daughter.  Emma Grace really wants to learn to knit but it’s hard for her to coordinate the needles so I sat with her, and we did it together.  I really, really like this picture.  And I have to admit, it made me feel good when the instructor said I had an artistic eye.  I want that!

teaching to knit
ISO 400, aperture f/4.5, shutter 1/13

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