My preference in photography is to use available light as much as I possibly can. The natural light of the outdoors and even most of the time indoors just gives the images that natural look that I love. Having a camera that allows me to adjust to that available light makes this so easy to do. That said, there are times and places when I need to use the flash. Currently I have the flash that is on the camera, but I’m saving up for an attachable one to give me more diversity plus the ability to bounce the flash off the ceiling.
Flash photography is challenging. That extra burst of light can wash out an image or make it just too harsh. Shadows can appear and are just distracting in my view. In my examples below, the one on the left is an okay photo, but to me is a bit too bright and too shadowy. Yes, I could maybe adjust that with post processing, but I want the flash to be less intense.
It’s amazing what you can learn when you read directions.
Flash exposure compensation allows me to dial down the intensity of the flash. I love this feature! In those moments when I need to utilize that extra light I can at least have some control over that brightness. And the results are amazing. The remaining images of my subject were also taken using the flash, but it was adjust to –2. This gives that wonderful soft light and helps bring out the colors and details of the cat’s fur and eyes. I don’t always have the light adjusted down to –2, but that is what worked in this setting.
Approaching this “problem” was similar to how I handle other technical issues. I looked to the resources I had, in this case the manual that came with the camera and one I recently purchased that goes into more detail. Even with the written directions there is still a lot of trial and error, and learning what I like my images to look like.
Photographing an active kitten presents so much to learn in how the camera focuses, how to follow him around and be quick, and how to do this without letting him play with the camera strap! The online resources, the blogs by other photographers I read, and that good old owner’s manual have helped me find answers to many issues with digital SLR photography.