Using Flash Photography Along with Ambient Light

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With careful using flash, you can create your photos look natural as though no artificial lighting was used. Certain flash photography techniques can increase the photo by further reducing contrast while looking very natural.

flash photography and ambient light

Photo captured by Deneb Catalan (Click Image to See More From Deneb Catalan)

It as been an aspiration of all photographers to look for the balance in lighting every time they photograph an interest and most of that time period the quality of available light isn’t always perfect. I will share my experience with making usage of flash wisely I am capable to enhance my photo rather than by just using the accessible ambient light.

Before we obtain started i want to clarify a couple of things with regards to my flash photography techniques that I is going to be sharing with you.


  • Let me define the phrase flash in this post - it's what some individuals call “Speedlight” which is the add on flash mounted on the camera hot - shoe type rather than either the studio strobe sort of flash or perhaps the pop-up flash build in the camera..

  • The flash photography techniques I’m writing in this post are mostly applicable for “on the field” or “on the move” photography instead of studio photography.

  • I’m a user of Nikon D-SLR and Speedlight, some instance of my photography work shown listed below are not a standard recipe as each camera system could have a slide different reading hence require some slide adjustment.



Ambient Light plus Flash Photography

I use flash most of that time period but using flash doesn't imply you will spoil the ambient light thus making the photo looking unnatural. Why just use available light alone if your photograph ends up being horrible. I will demonstrate by understanding some essential techniques, mixing ambient light with flash you possibly can make a better image.

By while using the flash I will probably be able to highlight the shadow areas and avoid shadows under the subject’s eyebrows thus making it an improved photo pc would have been without flash. But this does not always mean that the image will show up flat. Make sure you get a reading right.

flash photography tips

Photo captured by Aleksey Yurchenko (Click Image to See More From Aleksey Yurchenko)


Let’s try two examples:

1. Say you take a wedding couple in the shaded park within shade with a sunlit background:-


  • Shoot in manual mode as you need to be in control of your exposure metering for accuracy and consistency.

  • Meter to the ambient light, get your exposure right, let down your flash and take a test shot. With the correct exposure you are going to get the perfect natural surroundings but the wedding couple will likely be little under exposed or with a few shadows around their faces.

  • Now turn on your flash and adjust your flash to TTL-BL mode which balance flash automatically with ambient light (as I’m using Nikon). Adjust your flash compensation. Start from 0 EV compensation and slowly increase until plus 1.7 EV. How much will do? There is no one correct reply to that since it depends the amount flash you should utilize as a fill in flash. In this example you surely need a stronger fill-flash to match the sunlit background.


2. Say you adopt the bride out door


  • Again always shoot on manual mode.

  • Meter correctly for the available light.

  • Adjust your flash to TTL-BL mode. As for out door, I usually start from -1.3 EV because Nikon Speedlights on TTL-BL mode balance flash automatically with ambient light and I will forever shoot with flash firing straight on. The real idea is to use the flash as being a fill-light only and lift the shadows.


ambient light photography

“wedding” captured by Konstantin Koreshkov (Click Image to See More From Konstantin Koreshkov)

The above two examples clearly informs you by just adding flash with the correct exposure set by reading the ambient light together while using right amount of flash value to become fired you will have a great and balance normal looking image. Who says through the use of flash it will look unnatural and spoil the ambient light?

About the Author
This article was written by Affendy Ahmad.


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