On Camera Flash: Problems and Solutions

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Using the on Camera flash has it challenges! Often,  we’re not happy with the results.  This is the voice of experience talking!  I’ve had my share of ugly flash photos.

Perhaps the most common problem we have with an on camera flash is shadows in the background.

They really take away from a photograph.  What can you do?

  • The easiest thing to do is to move your subject further away from the wall. Rule of thumb is to move your model the distance your model is tall.  For example if your subject is six feet tall, move them six feet away from the wall behind them.
  • If you had another flash, you could set it up to flash behind the subject.
  • You could try placing a light on the wall where the shadow fell.

One of the other issues is the flash is too bright, making your subject look really anemic.

To solve this problem, there are a couple of things you can do.  First is to cover the flash with a Kleenex which will soften down the light.  You could also purchase a diffuser (Amazon.ca, SODIAL, $3.06) for your on camera flash.  They work quite well.

Also, in the camera menu under built in flash, if you go to “Manual”, in the Nikon cameras (other cameras will have a similar menu) there is a drop down menu that says ½ power all the way down to 1/128 power, giving you the option to reduce the flash output.  Check out built in flash in your camera manual for how to reduce the power output.

Another issue is red eye, which is definitely not becoming!

The easiest way to solve this dilemma is to set the “red eye reduction” on in your camera menu. Check out the manual that came with your camera, it will tell you where you can set it. Another thing you could try is putting a Kleenex over the lens or using the filter shown above.

Last but not least the other annoying thing about on camera flashes is eyeglass reflection.

There is actually a quick solution to this problem, just get your model to turn their head in a different position.  In the example above, the model just lowered her head slightly.  If shooting straight on ( which I hope you’re not), ask the person with the glasses to turn slightly sideways.  Voila, glasses reflections gone.

In our people course, we work with these issues and more.  So many little tricks and tips make a huge difference in your photos.

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