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How to use the flash

How to use the camera flash

Iniziamo questa disamina for sale how to use the camera flash. Whether you want to use an external flash or the built-in flash on your camera, in the next few lines you will find some useful ideas on the possible uses of this very useful accessory.

How to use the external flash


Use the external flash, rather than the one built into the camera (which I'll tell you about later), it has several advantages. The external flash, in fact, can be oriented in various directions, has settings that you can customize to your liking and can produce a more powerful and intense light than the one built into the camera.


All these features make the external flash an extremely versatile and useful tool not only to properly illuminate the scene, but also to create very suggestive plays of light and shadows which, for obvious reasons, cannot be replicated with the flashes built into the machines. photographic.

Before explaining some possible uses of the external flash, I want to tell you that this can be installed on the camera (usually on Reflex there is the slide insertion mechanism) or it can be used remotely, without being installed on the machine body.

One of the best ways to use the external flash is by orienting its head in a direction other than that in which the subject to be captured is located, so as to bounce the light on a surface (e.g. a side wall or ceiling), rather than directly on the subject. In this way, the subject is reached by the flash of light with less "violence", which makes the shadows "softer" and less sharp, avoiding a highlighting of the defects of the subject portrayed in the photo.



To succeed in this intent, it is enough aim the flash head in the desired direction and, as soon as you are ready to do so, take the picture. Keep in mind that the farther away the surface is hit directly by the flash, the more diffused the light that in turn hits the subjects and, therefore, the softer the shadows in the shot you get.

External flashes can usually also be used without being physically attached to the camera. These models typically integrate a modality, called Slave, which allows you to activate them through another beam of light (which could be the one emanating from the flash built into the camera), which makes them particularly versatile, since they can be positioned at the point of the scene that allows you to obtain exactly the desired effect .

How to use the built-in flash

Many professional photographers advise againstusing the built-in flash in the camera, or flash pop-up, and for various reasons: this type of flash represents a very small light source, thus not allowing to adequately illuminate the scene. It is also not very powerful, its direction is in line with the lens (and by illuminating the subject from the front, it "flattens" it) and being powered by the camera battery, its intensive use risks running out of charge rather quickly.

However, let me tell you how to turn on and off the flash on your camera and how to try to use it in the best way. Usually, when the camera is set to automatic mode (A), the flash is on by default and cannot be turned off. By setting the manual mode (M), on the other hand, you can choose to activate or deactivate the built-in flash from time to time by pressing the button with the icon lightning located on the machine body.



Regarding the effective deactivation of the flash, on many cameras there is a setting (ex. Flash off on Canon SLR cameras), to be used when you do not want to use the flash or when you are in an environment where its use is prohibited.

If you decide to resort to using the built-in flash, despite its potential drawbacks, you can try to deflect the light emitted by the latter by placing a hand mirror in correspondence with the same: by directing the mirror towards the ceiling or towards a nearby wall, you will avoid "shooting" the light directly on the subject.

Another trick you can take is to place a white sheet of paper, so as to make the light beam a little more diffused: which will slightly attenuate the presence of too sharp shadows on the portrait subject.

How to use the flash outdoors

Use the flash outdoors, so in environments that are probably already naturally lit, it can be very useful. The flash, in fact, is not only used to illuminate dark or poorly lit places, as some might mistakenly think, but it can also be used in bright contexts to lighten shadows and / or reduce the contrast of full sun.

This type of use of flash is called fill flash o flash of lightening and, to better understand its usefulness, I'll give you a practical example: let's say you find yourself taking pictures on a particularly sunny day. In these lighting conditions, the shadows on the faces of the subjects to be captured may be too pronounced, making it impossible to distinguish the facial features. To correct this, you can manually adjust the exposure and try to remove some shadows but, by proceeding in this way, you run the risk of overexposing the background, obtaining a shot with the subject correctly exposed, but the background definitely too light. , if not completely white.



By adopting the fill flash technique, however, it is possible to illuminate the shady areas of the subject, obtaining a good balance between the brightness of the background and also of the subject itself. For best results, of course, you have to remember that the shutter speed cannot be set to values ​​that are faster than the flash sync speed: The aperture must be reduced in order to compensate for the increased brightness caused by the use of the flash.

How to use the flash in the evening

If you wish use the flash in the evening, there are some aspects that you absolutely must take into consideration. First of all, I want to tell you that, usually, the flash can cover a distance ranging from 3 to 10 meters. This means that taking flash photos to illuminate a distant subject can be counterproductive.

By activating the flash, in fact, the scene is illuminated by the light emanating from the latter and this can "deceive" the camera, making it believe that we are in strong lighting conditions. As a result, the shutter speed will be automatically reduced by the camera, which will generate an underexposed, not to mention dark, shot.

How can such a thing be avoided? In a nutshell, not using the flash and exposing the photo manually: to do this, you can take some very simple measures, such as increase the shutter speedopen the diaphragm and increase the ISO value (but don't exaggerate, otherwise the photo obtained will be very "noisy.) If you decide to increase the shutter speed, I suggest you use a tripod, so as to avoid running the risk of running into photos that have blur or micro-blur.

If, on the other hand, you want use the flash at night to illuminate a subject that is close by, I advise you to resort tousing an external flashinstead of using the one built into the camera. As I have already explained to you a few lines above, in fact, the external flash allows you to orient your head in a direction other than that in which the subject to be immortalized is located, which allows you to bounce the light on a surface (e.g. a side wall), rather than directly on the subject, making the shot more interesting and avoiding common defects, such as that of thered eye effect.

If you don't have an external flash available and / or you still want use the built-in one on your camera to illuminate nearby subjects, at least try to avoid "shooting" the light directly into the eyes of the subjects you want to capture, perhaps inviting them not to look directly into the lens, so as to avoid the red-eye effect (which however it could be corrected in post-production, as I explained to you in another guide).

How to use the flash manually

As I explained to you in the introduction of the article, the flash accumulates, during recharging, a certain amount of energy in a capacitor and, in the moment of shooting, it releases it instantly to start the flash that must illuminate the scene. The "secret" to make the most of the flash, therefore, is to dose the quantity of light released by the latter.

If you have an external flash available, it would therefore be advisable use it in manual mode, instead of the automatic one, to better adjust its intensity. Clearly, it is advisable to do this in all those situations in which you have the opportunity to calmly study the photos to be taken: if you need to seize the moment, it is better to use the flash in automatic mode (or TTL), so you can be sure you get a correct shot by simply setting the shooting parameters of the camera. In automatic mode, in fact, the flash calculates all the parameters to be set automatically based on the information it can gather from the lens.

To use the flash in manual mode, you have to recall the mode in question via the flash: generally, to do this, just select the letter M and enter the flash output setting menu. Since the operations to be performed may vary from device to device, I recommend that you read the user manual to know in detail how to proceed.

When taking the picture in manual mode with the flash, the first thing you need to consider is the power of the flash of light, which must necessarily vary according to the result to be obtained. Usually, setting the flash in manual mode, you have values ​​ranging from 1 / 1 the 1 / 128: the value 1/1 indicates the maximum power value; the value 1/128, on the other hand, indicates the lowest power value.

Another value that can be changed on many external flashes is thewidth of the parabola, that is the amplitude of the light beam emanating from the flash which usually varies between 24mm and 128mm: the 24mm value indicates a very wide light beam, while the 128mm value indicates a very wide light beam.

Regarding the values ​​to be set on the camera, I remind you some concepts that you would do well to always keep in mind. While keeping the flash output, ISO sensitivity and shutter speed unchanged, if you choose to close the iris the photo will be underexposed, while with the aperture wide open it will be overexposed. This means that the flash output is directly proportional to the aperture and, therefore, increases as the aperture of the diaphragm increases.

By leaving the flash power, the ISO value and the aperture unchanged, however, the subject will always be correctly illuminated, while the presence of ambient light will change, as it is controlled by the shutter speed.

In light of what has just been said, when you manually adjust the shooting parameters, always remember that by varying the aperture, you will act on the amount of light that hits the subject to be captured; by varying the shutter speed, however, you will act on the ambient light.

How to use the flash in portraits

As for theuse of flash in portraits, I advise you to follow the tips and tricks I have already given you in the previous chapters, in order to avoid getting underexposed or overexposed photos and to minimize the possibility of running into common mistakes, such as the one related to the red eye effect .

To these suggestions, I add that in using the flash in group photos, you must take care to do place all subjects on the same plane. For what reason? If the subjects are arranged on different planes, those that are closer to the lens will be illuminated and exposed correctly: those that are a little further away, on the other hand, will be underexposed and, therefore, the shot will be practically unusable.

How to use the phone flash

You mainly take pictures with the phone and therefore you would like to know how to activate the flash integrated on the latter? Below you will find explained how to do both su Android that of iPhone.

How to use flash on Android

If you have a device available Android, you should be able to manage the settings related to using the flash directly from the app Camera. To proceed, therefore, start the latter on your smartphone, tap on the icon lightning at the top (on some devices you must first tap on the symbol of thegear, to expand the menu that contains the icon in question).

At this point, you just have to pay attention to the symbol that appears on the icon lightning: if there is no symbol, it means that the flash is active; if the symbol is present (A), it means that the automatic flash is active and the operating system will decide whether to activate the flash or not, while the symbol of prohibition indicates that the flash is off.

Now, after activating the flash, you just have to press on shutter button placed in the lower center to take the picture and illuminate it by emitting the flash of light generated by the flash.

How to use flash on iPhone

You have a iPhone and would you like to know how to activate the flash on the latter? Again, you can do it very easily. First start the app Camera, tap on the symbol of lightning at the top left and, in the menu that opens, select one of the available options: Automatic, if you want to set the automatic flash and let the operating system decide when to activate it; Yes, if you want to always keep it active or No, if you want to deactivate it.

Then press on shutter button placed at the bottom center of the screen, in order to take the picture and illuminate it thanks to the built-in flash on your "iPhone by", and that's it.

How to use the flash

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