The Fill Flash

fill flash

Different images with light exposure issues. The last uses a perfect fill flash.

It happens every time you take a photograph with the subjects in front of a window. There is too much light coming through the window, everything in front is too dark and everything on the outside of the window is overexposed. Even if you use “auto mode” on your DSLR, this will happen.

This is where a fill flash is needed. There needs to be enough light in front of the subject of your photo. The fill flash is a supplement to the light already involved in the scene. It isn’t the primary light source; some newer point and shoot cameras actually have a “fill flash” option on them which will add just enough flash to counter the backlighting but not too much that you wash the subjects out. When you are pushing the little “lightning” button on the camera, it will cycle through options: “on”, “off”, “red eye”, and if you have the option, “fill flash”.

More advanced digital cameras will actually have options where you can experiment with the strength of the flash. The best way to figure out how much “flash” to use is to experiment: take a few pictures with different power levels until you find the one that works.


Let’s Come Together!


Photo taken by Beth Luther

We are proud members of the Photo Marketing Association and were very excited when they announced a new place for photographers, imagers, enthusiasts to come together to share ideas.

It’s called The Big Photo Show.  As PMA mentions in their most recent news release about the project, this is the place for “photo enthusiasts, professional photographers, photo retailers, imaging labs and manufacturers to meet, learn and grow together.”

For photo lovers like us, this news is great because we always believe that we can learn something new from others every time we pick up our cameras and snap a picture. There is no “right” way to get that “perfect photo” and even we can learn something from novice photographers!

The Big Photo Show will combine live events and online community “gatherings”. The first event is just 6 months away in Los Angeles. The online community can be found here, at this link! What’s really great about this online community is that you can make it what you want it to be. Get news, enter photos into a contest and learn from your peers or some of the best in the business!

We hope you will join us in that community!

What Camera Should I Buy?

I was reading a blog a little bit ago by a professional photographer about buying a camera and the blogger asked the right questions!  I wanted to share them with you and expound on it a little more.

How often will you use the camera?

What type of photography will you do?

What is your budget?

With camera phones taking over and most people thinking that’s all they need, these questions will play a larger role for photographers who know that their camera phones are great for quick, everyday shots but not for creating lasting memories for themselves or for others.

If you are planning on using a camera everyday to just capture quick moments, your camera phone will be just fine. But, it’s important to remember that even with all those “cool” apps that have filters and such, you won’t be able to take a shot you love, blow it up and maybe make it into something bigger. While camera phones are getting larger pixel sizes, taking a photo like this and making it into a wall sized framed piece wouldn’t work.

Sedona Arizona, Red Rock!

The “Red Rocks” of Sedona are the main attraction, and a photographer’s dream! (Photo Courtesy: Charlotte Deleste)

Now, if you are going to attempt to take pictures like that one every day, you will want to consider a DSLR. This leads to the next question: what kinds of photography are you looking to do?

That picture of Sedona was taken with a Nikon D5100 by an amateur photographer who only uses her camera on vacations or special occasions; holidays, birthdays, etc. This isn’t an everyday use camera unless you are a professional photographer. I don’t know of many amateurs that are walking around daily with their camera and lenses and such. There may be. Let me know if you do!

A smaller point and shoot might be perfect for you if you want better photos than your camera phone and you plan on taking everyday photos as you go through your day. And, you can then work on those photos later on; if you want to use your camera software on your computer to enhance or change the shot, etc.

Now, how much do you want to spend? If you are seriously considering photography as more than just a hobby and want to learn more about the hundreds of features a DSLR offers, then you will be looking at spending more than a few hundred dollars…you might be in the thousands. Don’t get scared off by that price, though. The photos you see in travel magazines or the photos taken of your family by a professional photographer are not taken on cheap gear.

I mentioned the features of the DSLR. The worst part about buying one of these expensive cameras is that you buy it, probably online or at a big box tech store and you try to read the directions and get confused. We are proud here at Lawrence Camera to offer classes where we will show you how to use all those features properly, making sure your investment is used properly for the rest of its life.