Photography is an art. That being a given, it involves a certain degree of technique and skill, and without doubt, a reliance on equipment of some kind or the other. Among the repertoire of technique and equipment, one of the most significant ones is the use of a flash. Pretty much built into every camera – be it a full blown camera or a mobile phone – the flash is often the most misused and wrongly understood component in photography.The use of artificial light in different environments brings in significant results. There are many challenges in getting it right, of course – for the resultant photograph might throw up a product that is less appreciable because of a lack of sufficient skill in manoeuvring the equipment through sharpened technique.So when should you be using a flash? Here’s a simple check-list of things you should keep in mind to help you while using a flash.
- Make sure that you have a basic lighting plan in order to capture the event comfortably. Most high-end cameras are smart enough to capture images even in badly lit spaces – but even they have their limitations. With terribly low lighting comes heavy blurring.
- When lighting is horribly low, use a flash to give you the burst of light that’s needed to capture the image appropriately. The point is to create a bit of a primary source of light that can brighten up the otherwise dim space, and create a dramatic end result.
- If you are working with bright and light coloured ceilings that are not too high up in the room, mount the flash appropriately so that the light bounces off the bright walls and ceilings. This will help you capture the image with a neat burst of light helping brighten up the space.
- For rooms with different coloured walls and ceilings, and walls with complex work on them – such as wallpapers or painted designs, avoid bouncing off the light. This is because the bounced light winds up taking on the colour of the wall that bounces it – so a red wall might wind up making your picture take on a bit of a reddish tinge.
- Use bounce cards to help your efforts in playing with the flash. Not sure where you can get one? Easy: make one. All you need is a sheet of white paper, some tape, and lots of patience: flatten the piece of paper on top of your flash outlet and tape it into place. Bounce card ready!
- If you are shooting outdoors, flash is necessary in your photography when you’re looking to capture images that need a bit of a separation to create depth, or if you’re shooting in a backdrop that is very sunny, or even if you want to avoid the colour of the surrounding affecting your subject’s own tones.