What Camera's Flash Can Do For Your Photos
The advantages of using a flash (or light) are undeniable and plentiful. Unfortunately, it's also undeniable that using a flash can be a bit challenging at times. The trick is knowing how and when to use flash to use it to your advantage.
The good news is that sophisticated digital cameras and powerful editing software like Lightroom have made things much better when it comes to exposure. However, learning to use light effectively can transform your photography.
Here are a few examples of what flash can do for you:
The right balance of light and dark in a picture can add drama through contrast. The trick as a photographer is to manipulate light to create drama. So, when you’re setting exposure, consider the entire frame rather than just the subject, background or any one element in the scene. For example, using light efficiently to illuminate the subject while underexposing the background can create the perfect contrast for dramatic effect. Play around with the flash from various angles. Think about what you want to be the focus of the image and direct your light there. This leads us to our next point.
Shine a light! The human eye moves immediately to light in an image. Whether you take advantage of natural light from a window or use a flash in a large modifier, you can provide some direction and movement to your image while also enhancing it. Unlike natural light, however, using a flash offers you greater control over the results. You can adjust the power of a flash, but not the light from a window.
Inherent beauty is usually multi-dimensional. Today’s cameras are better than ever at conveying dimension and clarity, but they can only do so much. That’s when you can use your flash to highlight the various aspects of a scene. Consider a stunning landscape photograph you have admired. Light undoubtedly played a significant role in highlighting the layers of the image giving the landscape a multi-dimensional effect.
While you can use focus to contrast layers, you also can do it with light - and sometimes it’s better done with light. For example, casting a warm glow on an otherwise cold scene will add dimension.
Change Existing Light:
Sometimes there’s plenty of natural light, but we don’t like how it plays against our subject, or it draws attention where we don’t want. It’s an easy enough issue to fix. You can change it! Just block the natural light then use your flash to add light where and how you want. Remember, it’s much easier to control a flash than natural light!
It’s All About Quality:
The benefits and uses for flash are countless, and these are just a few. The more you work with light in your photography, the more proficient you will become. Remember, that it's usually about the quality of the light as much, if not more, than the quantity. There’s no need to sacrifice quality, drama, depth, and dimension in your photography. Lastly, Lightroom and numerous Lightroom presets will help you make any necessary post-production edits.