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.


5 Common Photography Mistakes You May Be Making

A lot of folks want to try photography and get discouraged easily. They think they have “the eye” for it and forget the first photography rule – practice makes perfect.

OK, we realize that’s the rule for just about everything.

Here are just 5 common mistakes new photographers make – if this is you, put down the camera, read this then go and practice!

The lens for portraits

You want to zoom into your subject of the portrait!

1                     Using a Wide-Angle Lens for Portraits: The default setting for your point and shoot lens is “wide”. The lens for a DSLR is usually widest when it is pushed all the way in to fit in your bag. You do not want to take portraits using this default setting. Zoom in to flatten perspective. If your camera has a digital zoom, turn it off in order to sustain image quality.

What's the Subject of the Photo?

What is your subject? Highlight it!

2                     The Subject of the Photo: We touched on this in our Thanksgiving blog. You need to choose a clear subject for the photo. If it’s not obvious, it won’t leave the impression you were hoping. The best way to focus on the subject you want everyone to notice is to get closer to it. You know what you want everyone to see…so show them!

Action shot

The fast shutter speed is what you are looking for.

3                     Taking Action Shots:  All the action is blurry! This is easy to fix – take your camera off auto mode. Your menu may have a sports mode or burst mode or multiple shots. Try using all of those to get the best shot of movement in your photo without the blurriness. The fast shutter speed is what you are looking for.

Annoying Red Eye

Even the pros get it in their shots, so don’t worry.

4                     Red-Eye: Even the pros get it in their shots, so don’t worry.  Easiest way to eliminate it is to turn off your flash. If you don’t have lights set-up and are in need of the flash, make sure the subject of the photo is facing the camera, but not looking right at the lens.

photo not available

Not available because the photographer gave up.

5                     Giving Up Too Early: This is probably the biggest mistake we can all make in all that we do, not just photography. It isn’t easy to be a photographer. It’s not just pointing and clicking when you want to express more than just a simple memorable moment. Take the time to capture your ideas…and try it all the time! Even the greatest photographers are still learning new things about their art!

Now…grab your camera and start snapping!