Yes, you read that right: add flash to darken your photo.
Take this image, shot as a demo for me by photographer Laura Wichman the other day:
Well exposed, well lit, all good.
But you have heard me say many times: “bright pixels are sharp pixels”. So how about if we make this more dramatic?
The use of flash allows us to decrease the ambient exposure (first try faster shutter speed; when you get to your sync speed, e.g. 1/200th second, then carry on and use a lower ISO setting, and finally go to a a higher “f-number”). The background now gets darker:
But because a powerful flash (Bowens, with Travel Pak battery pack, equipped with a softbox) lights me, my exposure does not need to be affected. I can remain as bright, by turning up the flash (needed only if ISO or aperture are changed).
So now we have made the background darker and hence made me the “bright pixels). Using flash to darken most of your picture, in other words.
News Flash: Photo Life Magazine June/July issue is out: in it, you will see my article “Flash: 10 Problems, 20 Solutions”. Go get your copy today, particularly if you shoot flash at events.