Some Holiday Lighting Tips For the Photographer

If you plan to make some pictures during the holidays, chances are, you’ll be using your flash.

As a photography instructor, one of the things I hear most often is that people avoid using flash because they  don’t like “the look of flash”.

If  the choice is between not getting the  picture or getting the picture with the “look of  flash”, I’d choose the  latter.

In order  to get more polished results with flash don’t avoid it; if  you learn the basics of flash photography you’ll begin to learn to tame the harsh look of flash.

The easiest way to start to learn about basic flash photography is to start by using the pop-up flash on your camera.

Although VERY limited when it comes to  modifying the characteristics of the light emitted, your pop-up flash is the gateway to inexpensively learn about basic flash operation and will prepare you for making a more  informed decision/purchase if  you decide to upgrade to a more powerful and versatile flash unit.

What we cover  here easily  translates  in terms  of practical application to a separate flash unit. Here’s some tips on how to get started. You’ll need your camera/flash  manual, some time, reading glasses if you wear’em and,  most importantly,  a desire to learn about this stuff.

  1. Go into your camera manual, look in the index under “Flash”.
  2. Look for “Flash exposure compensation” or ” controlling flash brightness” or “controlling flash intensity”.
    1. Flash exposure  compensation controls the amount of light emitted  by your flash (light intensity). By using flash exposure compensation you can make  you flash brighter or darker (more or less  intense).
  3. Look for “Flash Modes”.
    1. Flash modes control how the  flash operates.
    2. Flash modes available vary from camera to camera.
    3. Some common flash modes are:
      1. Red eye reduction.
      2. Slow synchronization (sync) or night mode
      3. Rear curtain synchronization (sync)
  4. Look for flash “range”.
    1. Flash range lets  you know the maximum distance in which your flash will be effective.
    2. Flange range is determined by  your ISO, Aperture/F-stop and focal length of lens used.
  5. Look for “flash ready light”.
    1. Your flash ready light will let you know when your flash is  fully charged and ready to fire. If  you fire your flash before it’s  fully recharged the intensity of light emitted by your flash will not be at full intensity.
  6. Use fresh batteries and carry EXTRA.

Learn to use you flash effectively ->

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