A reminder of how to flash

..that is, of how to use flash outside when it is bright. I thought I would explain yesterday’s shots further in this context by simply showing a logical sequence.

One – a snapshot. Here is a shot of my hand on a bright day (i.e. today, a few hours ago at the Royal Botanical Gardens), when the hand itself is not in the sun. Say I used Program mode and just shot. We all know (and hate) this kind of shot:

A hand, not well lit

A hand, not well lit

Two: snapshot with flash. Okay… so now let’s turn on the flash. Still just program mode, but now I pop up the flash:

A hand, lit by flash light

A hand, lit by flash light

Better, and we could stop there – perfectly OK.

But I prefer to go the extra step.

Three: snapshot with flash and negative exposure compensation. Remember Willems’s Dictum: “Bright pixels are sharp pixels”. I want my hand to be brighter, not the same or darker. And I want colour in the background. So now I use Exposure Compensation (the “+/-” control on my camera) and turn it down, say to minus 1 or even minus 2 for extra drama. Here’s -2:

A hand, well lit by flash

A hand, well lit by flash, with -2 stops Exp. Comp.

Wow, now we have drama. Maybe too much drama for some of you, in which case do not use -2 stops; try -1 instead.

Simple, innit?

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