Don’t Hate Your Flash – Learn To Use It And Become A Better Photographer – A blog post based on conversations with photographers.
Most Of Us Got A Flash Right On Our Camera
Most cameras come with a “pop-up” flash that usually sits on top of the camera. Maybe you’ve noticed the pop-flash on the camera pops-up without you expecting it to. In addition to the pop-up flash there’s usually a “hot shoe” that will hold an external (separate) flash unit.
What Flash Does
Flash simply adds light to what we are photographing. It’s kinda like lightning. Just as lightning allows us to see what can’t be seen at night, flash allows us to see what can’t be seen in our picture.
Why Some Photographers Hate The Look Of Flash
According to some photographers in the Introduction To Photography class that I teach, they hate the look of flash because it looks “flashy”. In other words, it looks artificial and they don’t like the way this “artificial” light source looks. Without a doubt, flash is an artificial light source. At the same time it’s an artificial light source that we can control. Consequently, if we can control it it doesn’t need to look “flashy”.
Why You Shouldn’t Hate Your Flash
If ya got a pop-up flash on your camera give it a fair go. As a result, I bet you’ll learn to appreciate it. To that end, I teach photographers participating in the Introduction To Photography class how to use the pop-up flash on their cameras effectively to solve a common occurrence. Specifically the “standing in front of a window” issue. To clarify, ya know when ya photograph someone in front of a window and they come out a silhouette? Surely I do and flash is the fix.
Now That You Don’t Hate Your Flash, Learn To Use It As an Effective Compositional Element
Beyond the issue mentioned in the previous section, there’s more to flash than using it to add light to someone standing in front of a window. As an example, during the Intermediate Photography class we begin to examine flash as a way to add compositional depth to our photographs that is only possible by using flash. To illustrate what I mean by that, here’s a “not so” still life I created during a wedding of the centerpiece at the
table I was sitting at –> https://photographs.samdamico.com/image/I0000P0ij5LbywQE