I’m giving you a break today.  Today I’m only posting some examples to culminate everything we’ve been talking about adding light or flash or strobe or whatever.  I hope you’ve been playing around with your own camera and putting into action what you’ve learned this far.

As I was all alone in the house and had no subject to photograph so this pitcher of dried flowers was the lucky candidate.  But, do keep this info in mind with any subject you’re trying to photograph.

The first thing I did was intentionally turned out the lights in the room.  I know you’re wondering why and how crazy, but listen to the why.  Adding the overhead light blew out my subject just too much.  It also added that yucky yellow color that your typical light bulbs are guilty of doing.  I wanted to have the picture look almost as I was seeing it with my own eyes.

The second thing I did was move my subject closer to the window.  Why?  To add a better light source…there’s more than one way to skin a cat, ya know (sorry, Zack).  Look how these images turned out.

For all three images the settings are the same:  ISO 1000, Shutter Speed 1/60, f/stop 1.8

Image #1:  No flash at all, just the window light.  This is really just how I was seeing it.  Think about how nice this would look if I were using a real person.  😉

Image #2:  Pop up flash.  I definitely lost contrast and the image flattened out too much…also look at those shadows on the wall back there.   Now, if this is all you had available to you, remember what we’ve talked about?  Dial your flash down to decrease the brightness.

Image #3:  On camera flash/strobe-turned upward to bounce off the ceiling and dialed down to -1. This is also not bad at all.  I still have abit of contrast where you can see the light and dark areas of the image and notice how the shadows on the back wall improved.

Now, let’s move outside.

It’s actually late in the evening when I took these shots with no sun out, but it’s still shows the point I’m working on here.

Image #1:  ISO 400, Shutter Speed 1/500, f/stop 1.8 and no flash.  Notice how she’s dark and muddy and her eyes are way too dark.

Image #2:  ISO 400, Shutter Speed 1/250, f/stop 2.0 with on camera flash dialed up +1/2. Her eyes open up and her face is brighter.

This works the same way when the sun is bright overhead and casts those ugly shadows on the face and eyes.  The ideal situation is to move your subject to an open shade location, but if you can’t, turn on your flash and dial it up or down accordingly.  If you just need a bit of fill to brighten up their face just a little, you may need to dial it down some.  But if you’ve got that bright sun overhead, then your flash is going to have to be brighter than the sun, so dial it up!

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