Usually when a friend of someone I know has a friend with a photography question, I usually hear about it. The nice thing for me, is that instead of having the knowledge just sit in my head, I can put it to good use. What? A book you say? Not yet, but that would be sweet right? Here is the first of many posts for (spirited drum roll) other photographers. What is one of the biggest elements our biz uses to capture natural expression and dramatic tones? Nixing the flash!
- Natural light has the ability to wrap around subjects, creating a third dimension that can be felt in photographs. Since there are SO many different situations that this can happen in, your photos will rarely look the same. With flash (especially direct flash), the output and location of it, especially on smaller cameras, tend to carry similiar results, ending up with the same photo over and over, just with different things in it.
- If it’s natural expression and interaction that you’re after among a group of people, having the flash on can be like shooting up flares at a funeral. It will alert everyone that you’re there, and signal to them to adopt to this new reality. Going through just like a boring guest with simple camera snaps may be much more effective.
- Another good reason to question the flash is shadows – they’re important! Flash tends to fill up the shadows, sometimes completely, which nullifies the feeling of depth. With shadows seen as another component of framing and design, just as much as someone’s face or a flower, can be very effective in creating form that intrigues.
- Our last reason to Nix the flash on this post? The sun! If there’s daylight, either total overcast skies or bright blue ones, the quality of light can be amazing! As long as your color or tones match up to what you want, you’ll be pleasantly surprised keeping the scene naturally lit. Also try shooting into the sun – it’s flares and halos will give you some interesting results!
There are a ton of reasons to nix the flash whenever possible, so what can you think of? Leave a note on what reasons YOU can think of to nix the flash!