Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Photography Tips and Tricks: Use your flash outdoors!

Use your flash outside? Really? Why? Don't you need a flash when it's dark, so that it will light the subject up a bit?

Yes, of course you need a flash then. But, using a flash outside can also make a big difference. All of the photos in this post were taken outside using a flash on a sunny day.

The sun casts shadows, right? So, if you don't use your flash, you get those shadows all over your subject. (Ever taken a photo of your child in a hat outside? The shadow covers most of their face.) If you use your flash, those shadows will be eliminated.

Sometimes, especially when using a point-and-shoot camera, the flash is way too harsh and can cause burn spots on your photos. (Bright white spots on the subject.) To solve this problem, cut out a small piece of tissue paper or vellum paper (available in any scrapbook section) and hold it in front of the camera's flash when you take a picture. This will diffuse the light from the flash similarly to how the clouds diffuse sunlight. If you use an SLR with an external flash, you can take the piece of vellum paper and cover the flash. Be warned, though, this will eat your batteries up! (Speaking from experience here! I used the vellum paper over my flash to shoot my first wedding, and I had to change the batteries 12 times during that wedding. I immediately ordered a light sphere after that.)

It may take some practice to getting it right, but it can be done, and you will soon notice a huge difference.
Now, you try! Go outside and try taking some photos with your flash on. Then, post them for us to see. Leave a comment here and I'll be sure to stop by!

Photo of me was taken by my friend Jewels of Impressions Photography. (That's her in the last picture. Isn't she gorgeous?!)

6 Super Cool Replies:

Jewllori by Lori said...

I am going to try that, that`s one thing I never really thought to do!!

I tagged you on my blog.

Sheila said...

Could I buy that in Canada? Or it is only sold in the US? I would totally use that!!

Second Story Creations said...

Thanks for the outdoor flash tips. I am an avid amateur, always looking to do more with the equipment I have. I just browsed through your photography portfolio - and especially love your moments with children! You do great work - and look like one of the busiest moms in the blogosphere!

The Stevens Family said...

I've actually done that a few times unintentionally, just because my camera was left in that setting! It does make an amazing difference to use the flash outside. I'll post some in "This Week's Candid Memories" when I find them. (It's almost embarrassing--I have THOUSANDS of pictures of my kids! It's so fun to go back through them, but it is quite a project. I don't regret a single one. Hooray for digital photos!). Thanks as always for the great tips! You're amazing--and what a beautiful picture of you! :)

Dawn said...

Thanks for the tips. I'll have to try this. I just got a new camera for Christmas and I'm still trying to figure out the best way to take photos.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Our kids are really close in age!

Sab said...

That vellum trick is awesome! I HAVE to try that... the flash is SO harsh!