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Learn By Doing Photography

Tips for using your on camera flash

Assignment #26 Use your on camera flash

Take 2 pictures so you can compare the difference. The first one turn you camera to P pop up  your flash and take a picture. The second picture change to either aperture priority or shutter priority and change either your flash exposure or exposure compensation to create a more pleasing photo.

First you will want to look in your manual to see what your shutter sync speed is for p/tv/av

  • Things to notice what is the distance between your subject and the background. If your subject is to close to your background the flash will also effect your background.
  • Your shutter speed controls the background/brightness of the picture. So when you adjust your exposure compensation you’re in fact adjusting the background brightness.
  • Your flash effects your subject and your aperture setting will effect how bright your flash can be. If you have your aperture set to f/22 you might not notice a difference when you change your aperture to f/20 because the hole is so small only so much light can go inside. In general our teacher says she tries to keep it under f/8 and never higher than f/11 to make sure the flash will even show up in the picture.


Change the aperture change the flash amount
change the shutter speed change the background brightness


Why does my camera flash a couple times when taking the picture?

In low light situations your auto focus has a hard time focusing. The extra flashes are to help your camera focus. If it’s bothering you one can always switch to manual focus.

This first picture was taken in P with the pop up flash, I didn’t change any settings.

This next picture I adjusted the exposure compensation by -2 and the flash compensation by -2 as well

What I found interesting about this picture is the room was pretty dark room which brought my shutter speed to 1/6 sec, but you can’t see any camera shake because the flash froze the picture. With two kids who are always running around this is awesome. For those low light situations I can use just  a touch of flash and a low shutter speed to get the picture. Oh the possibilities are endless with this camera!

All this information came from a flash class I recently took on how to use your on camera flash. Before this class I never touched my flash always looked to open my aperture or raise my ISO so I didn’t have to. I didn’t like the way the pictures turned out with my on camera flash. I do have an external flash that I do use sometimes, but I am still figuring out how to use that one. This class only focused on your on camera flash which is what this weeks challenge will be. But this class focused on how to use your on camera flash in an unobtrusive way. The trick is you want to be able to use your flash, but not be able to tell you used it. Sometimes you just need that extra light.

Remember you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on DigitalCamFan FaceBook wall. If you have questions about “Learn By Doing” Please refer to the guideline page. If you have no questions post away!

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