Ah, flash – the little spark of light intended to brighten up a situation, but can often leave your subjects with the dreaded red-eye or can make your pictures look alot harsher than intended. But with darker evenings on the way this autumn, you might find you’ll be using your flash more often. Well, here’s a few things you should know:
- Pop-up flash has a limited range. The light that comes out of it can only travel so far, affecting how well you can light up your subject or environment.
- It’s non-directional. This means you can’t control where your light points towards, unlike external flashes which have swivel heads, enabling you to control where and how you’d like to light.
- It has a mind of it’s own when used in Auto Mode. Your pop-up will automatically “shoot-up” if you’re in a low-light situation – but that doesn’t mean it’s needed. It’s always best to use your pop-up in manual mode so you can control how and when you’d like to use it.
All that said, the pop-up flash can be used in a number of cool ways. Firstly, it can compliment ambient light (ie, the light that’s already around from other light sources). Check out the video below courtesy of Jared Polin from FroKnowsPhoto who shows what happens when you use your pop-up flash in manual mode indoors:
Alternatively, you can try a technique called Slow Sync Flash. This is when you use your flash while your camera is set to a slow shutter speed to get creative motion blur. The key is to experiment with your settings and ISO to get the effect you want – but also check out the Slow Sync Flash group on Flickr for some creative ideas.
Finally, you can adjust how powerful your flash is by changing the flash exposure compensation settings on your camera. For more details, have a flick through the manual for your model.