Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stop Flashing

Try removing the "flash" setting on your camera. This makes for a more appealing photograph. The background is more easily picked up and is more flattering overall. Removing your flash is usually done by accessing a menu or at a touch of a button. We will look at some examples with and without the flash.

1. You will risk blurry pictures unless you use tripod or...Lean against a wall and set your arms on your body. Hold your breath and then take a picture. Use your body as a tripod. Or use the nearest wall or chair. You may think the room is well lit but you will find that your pictures will be blurry if you do not set it on a steady location. (Don't forget that your finger pressing on the shutter button could cause the camera to move as well. Be aware.)

2. Your subjects should sit still as well. This will be a little difficult with children or pets...but if you want that action or to show movement in your photo, then your photograph will show it and your camera will pick that up. (You still need to keep your camera still!) Using the flash can freeze any movement. Removing it can reveal it.

3. Use your flash if you want to diminish the background. Or when things are just too dark. Turning on lamps and opening up windows really help!

If you find that you keep getting the blurry pictures, try practicing at home before any big event. Try with different light situations and check out what looks best. Try finding ways to use your body or other objects as "tripods".

Leaving the flash off can create unique lighting situations. You can even capture light flashes or fireworks. The candles on a cake can create a mood while lighting up the face in a neat glow. You can avoid red eye and keep faces from being washed out. Capture detail or movement by leaving the flash off.

When is it cool to use the flash? We'll look at that soon. Meanwhile, have fun!


*.:JeNn JeNn:.* said...

Interesting.. I myself prefer the "flash off" pictures. They are much more interesting... Who would have thought! haha
Once again... GREAT blog!

pablo said...

i've been reading your whole series and want to say thanks. you have good info on here.

this one is the thing i have been working on lately. i'm trying to get good shots of the kid of course, but am struggling with the whole flash thing. he moves a lot so i get some blurry shots (the new entry on his blog has good examples) but were way more interesting than the ones with the flash.

i find that with the flash, you are focusing on whatever the light hits but ignoring the backgrounds. without the flash, you get more of the environment.

trazomfreak said...

I prefer the flash off too but there are times when you need the flash. I mean...there is no way that you can keep your flash off if you're at a concert or something. (There are ways but...then it gets too complicated.)I challenge you to try it! :)

trazomfreak said...

Flash can make your picture appear to "focus" on your subject, but then you have to sacrifice and end up with a blah shot.

There are ways to get your background to not be distracting AND not use the flash. I was actually going to talk about that next. Especially with kids and pets...who like to fidget. (But the same rules apply...just differently.)

Well, it's good that we are working with digital cameras! lol!

Arien said...

Thank you for making light (pun intended) of the differences. As someone who took formal photography lessons, I lamented the demise of the manual camera and the advent of photoshop.

You've given me hope

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