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Learn By Doing Photography

Using Fill Flash On A Sunny Day – Learn by Doing

Assignment #34 – Fill Flash

In the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky pull out the camera and take a couple pictures. Take one picture with no flash and one picture with fill flash

It’s time to jump into flash! Of course let’s pick a hot sunny day to really feel the impact of fill flash. When the sun is directly above you, you will end up with lots of shadows especially when you add a hat to the equation. Even if they don’t have a hat on you end up with shadows under their eyes. I don’t use flash very often, but I want to understand and know how to use it when I need to. I believe there is an art to using your flash, a way to make your shadows lighten or to create a shadow within your picture intentionally. So let’s start simple and see what our camera can do.

On this test picture I took the left picture using:
ISO 100
Focal Length: 55mm
No Flash

The picture on the right:
ISO 100
Focal Length: 55mm
With Flash –

The great thing about a DSLR camera is you can decide how much umph you want your flash to have by using the exposure compensation. For instance the Canon 60D can go from -3 up to +3. However you need to watch how close you’re to your subject when using your flash. If they are closer than 3 feet you are going to blind them and overexpose them. So make sure you have a bit of distance between you and your subject and then just try it out and see what happens.

This week practice different settings! Raise your ISO and decrease your flash compensation or try taking 6 in a row all with different flash compensation settings just to see what happens.

It wasn’t to long ago I had to ask What is fill flash? You will see this term often in photography. I was surprised to hear it basically means whenever you use your flash.

Wikipedia says “Fill Flash is a photographic technique used to brighten deep shadow areas, typically outdoors on sunny days, though the technique is useful any time the background is significantly brighter than the subject of the photograph, particularly in backlit subjects.”

I need to say thank-you to Cade for being such a trooper by sitting directly in the hot sun so I could do a few test shots! Totally awesome kiddo, thanks!

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Learn by Doing - Composition in Photography
How to take a picture of a sunset or sunrise - Learn by Doing
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2 Responses to “Using Fill Flash On A Sunny Day – Learn by Doing”

  1. I have a Nikon D40. I am new to using this camera. I try to take pictures for my website and they are huge. I try to crop them and they are still huge. I forget the size they have to be to be put on my website according to my admin page. I think it says something like no more than 150kbytes but when I crop the picture is never says how many kbtytes it is..it will tell me for example 1500 X 698 and I think that is in pixels. It will take me up to 5 times cropping before I get it right. Then I have to go back and delete the wrong ones without accidently deleting the right one..a totally pain in the you know what. It seems every time I get a new camera and computer system, all the new software ( picture editing system that comes with the computer is different)everything changes and I am back to relearning how to put my pictures back on the web so I can use them on my website. Sometimes it frustrates me so much I give up for many days and nothing gets put on the website. Now for another problem, I have started to make jewelry and I never knew how difficult it would be to take a picture of jewelry and have it come out clear…it seems impossible..the shine from the rhinestones just blurs..I am so frustrated I have necklaces laying around all over the house waiting to have a decent picture taken of them so they can be sold…any information you can share with me would be a God send..my daughter has a professional photography business but will not give me one hour of her time. She talks to me like I am one of her kindergarten students. HELP PLEASE! Thanks, Becky Bless You For Being Here

    Posted by Becky Wierzbicki | November 17, 2012, 1:13 pm
  2. I don’t know what software you’re using to edit your photographs, but some have a choice to save for the web. Usually under File / Save for web & Devices.
    This will optimize your picture for the web. Here you can save it as a .jpg, you can also change the image size by pixels. I would say around 500 pixels wide would be good. But everyone’s website is different so try one size if it doesn’t work make it a little bigger or smaller to work within your layout. Once you know the size it will consistently be the same.

    Another thing to check would be your resolution. Again not sure the software, but your software might have some tabs on top that say something like Image / Image size.
    Your resolution shouldn’t be more than 72 pixels/inch or it might say resolution 72. If it says 300 than drop that down to 72dpi After that you can edit your pixels to be around 500 width and see where you end up. 300 is for print quality.

    If you have lightroom when you export a photo there is an option for Image Size, here you can edit your resolution and width and height of the picture.

    Hope that helps!

    Posted by admin | November 17, 2012, 2:30 pm

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