When You Should and Should NOT use a Flash

When You Should and Should NOT use a Flash

When you shouldn’t use a flash

As flash photography has become much more popular and affordable, we are starting to see many photographers using flash indoors, in particular for portraits. However, flash can cause problems and can even damage your camera and lens. If you want to take a flash photograph of a person indoors, there are three things to bear in mind:

1. The flash unit should be mounted on a stand to raise it away from the subject

2. The flash should be pointing directly at the subject

3. The flash duration should be controlled by the shutter speed. When taking flash photographs you need to avoid the following situations:

• Flash is not pointed directly at the subject

This causes a harsh bright light that can make someone look red or white. Flash photography will also cause “flare” which appears around the edge of the photo where the flash has been used. You may also see “red eye”.

• You have flash lighting the background too

Try to use your camera’s manual settings so you can control the amount of flash you use and when it will fire. It may also help to use a flash diffuser to soften the flash light.

• You have too much flash light

If you have a lot of flash light then it will cast shadows that are too dark or even black. This is because your flash has fired longer than the shutter speed allows for. Try to use a smaller aperture and slow down your shutter speed. Or, if using a tripod, try to take a second shot so you have more time to change the settings.

• Your flash is pointing at a wall

The light from the flash will bounce off the wall and cause glare in your photo. To avoid this, try to get as close as possible to your subject so the flash light is not hitting the wall. Or move around your subject, so the flash is not directly facing them.

• You have used your flash too often

The battery life of a camera’s flash unit can be reduced if the unit is used frequently. If you use the flash too often the battery may only last for one or two shots. If you are using a flash unit that has an auto-flash mode, it will automatically use the flash whenever it sees something that is bright. However, if you use the flash all the time, it will reduce the battery life quickly.

When to use a flash

When You Should and Should NOT use a Flash

A flash will light up a scene and add to your subject’s exposure. In this case, it will help to avoid a dark, shadowed background. It is also helpful to give more light to your subject so that you can get better-quality pictures. However, if you are using a flash, you should be aware that it is an additional source of light, which can result in a less flattering picture. You can use a flash in the following ways:

1. To capture a moment when it is too quick to photograph with the naked eye.

2. If there is no natural light available.

3. To brighten up a picture when there is too much contrast.

4. When you have an important event to record, such as a wedding.

5. When photographing landscapes, if there is no sunlight.

6. If you want to take a picture of a moving subject, such as a baby.

7. If you want to make an object more clearly visible.

8. When photographing people.

9. When taking photos at night.

10. If you want to take a portrait of yourself or other people.

11. To photograph objects that are not well lit naturally, such as a child’s face.

Flash bulbs provide the light for most photography, but they can cause glare on the subject’s face. Some people find it very difficult to look directly into the camera because of this, which can make their subject appear nervous or self-conscious.

Try to shoot your subjects at a distance where they are not looking at the flash. If you are shooting them close up, ask them not to look directly at the camera when you are using flash. Also, it is worth trying to set up your photo equipment so that you can turn the flash off, and then switch it back on again after you have taken the picture. In low light conditions, the flash can cause red eyes. This can be prevented by using an aperture setting of f16 or lower and adjusting your shutter speed accordingly. It can also help to place your subject in front of a white wall if you are going to use a flash. White walls bounce light away from the subject, so it won’t shine back onto them.

If you do have to use flash to capture a good photograph, do not point it directly at the subject, as it can cause red eyes. Instead, use a ring flash or a diffuser to soften the light. If possible, try to position the flash so that it is illuminating the background, rather than the subject, to avoid the glare problem.

Try a different angle.

If the light is too harsh for you, then try another angle of your subject. Sometimes the way you pose your subject can make all the difference. If your subject is sitting in an awkward position, try turning them round and moving them away from the light source. In some circumstances, having your subject stand in front of a bright light, such as a window, will create interesting shadows and highlights on their face. Also, you could use a low key color to accentuate the subject’s features. You could place them in a soft, neutral color, like a light green or blue, which will not be overly distracting.

Focus on the eyes.

You can also experiment with a different focus point. For example, if your subject has a very intense gaze, you could focus on their eyes rather than their nose, or you could focus on their mouth instead. The best results will come if you are able to capture the subject looking at something other than you.

Consider using fill flash.

If you are working in a very bright location, it may be possible to add some fill flash to your camera. Fill flash will add light to your subject’s face and give them a nice glow. To use this feature, set your camera to auto mode and use your flash as a fill light. This will enable you to see how much more light your flash needs to compensate for the lack of light in the room. You can then use this information to adjust the shutter speed of your camera.

 Why is flash important?

Flash is a way of lighting your subject. Without it the light is not even close to the same as daylight. When you use a flash the light is reflected off your subject and you get a better-lit picture.

You may want to take flash pictures in dim light or on cloudy days, when the light is very low. If the room is bright enough, you might find a flash is not needed.

Flash adds to the cost of your camera. You will have to pay for a flash unit and a power pack.

How do I adjust the flash settings?

There are a number of settings on your camera that are related to the flash. For example, you can adjust the power of the flash or choose how it affects the colors in the picture.

These settings are all adjustable on the back of your camera, either using the flash settings button, or by selecting the relevant menu on the screen.

Is the flash on my camera powerful enough?

To get the best results from your flash, you need to use it correctly. Your flash settings should be fine for most indoor situations. For example, if you are taking a picture of yourself indoors, you don’t need a lot of flash power.

However, when you are outdoors, you need to be careful to avoid overexposing your picture and losing details in the shadows.


There are pros and cons to using flash. If you really want to have a “professional” look, I suggest you invest in a quality external flash and some reflectors.

The best advice I can give you is to practice, practice, practice. The more you shoot with flash, the better you’ll get at it.