I’ve pondered over the name of this particular lesson and contemplated between using the title “Light” or “Flash”.  Why, you ask?  Well, this lesson covers adding light to your image primarily with the use of a flash or strobe.  I suppose I could write several lessons on the how-to’s of adding light, but for now, we’ll specifically talk about the use of flash.

Most of you have a pop up flash on your camera that will offer you just what you’re needing in your day to day of taking pictures.  It also probably does more than just ‘pop up’ when you’re camera tells it to.  Believe it or not, you also have control of your pop up flash but more on that later.  😉

Think about this for a moment?  When do you normally use your flash?

The answer?  When you’re indoors and the light is low right?

Well I hope by now, you’ve learned a bit more about using your aperture to give you more light in those low light situations, so I’m going to tell you that for the most part using your flash indoors is usually the worst time to use your flash.

Huh?  Yes, that’s what I said.

I also said ‘normally’.  I didn’t say every time.

Think about that for a minute.  What do those indoor flash pictures usually look like?  If you can’t remember, go take a look at a few you recently took.  What do they look like?  Find any deer in the headlight shots or black tunnels behind your subject?  Find any bright, blown out balding heads that sit in the row just in front of you while the actual subject of your image remains in the dark?

If you found any of those hidden away on your computer’s hard drive or photo box somewhere, then I hope you get a better idea of why indoor use of flash is totally misused or rather used incorrectly.


Get ready for what I’m about to tell you.

Flash is usually better used outdoors rather than indoors.

Keep reading.

Now that I have your attention again, think about what your outdoor shots tend to look like.  Raccoon eyes sound familiar?  OR your subject is dark while the background is bright and sunny?  You know you all have photos that look like that, right?  I know I did before learning how to correct it.

So with that in mind, how do you think is the best way to brighten up your subject or to brighten those ‘coon eyes?

If you said flash then you’ve got it!!  Use your pop up flash to provide FILL LIGHT!


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve embarrassed my family by stopping strangers on the street and telling them to pop up that flash so they’ll brighten up those faces they’re taking a picture of.

Another quickie, but that’s it for now!  I hope it gets you thinking.  We’ll discuss more about Fill Light or Fill Flash next week.

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