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How to Use Camera Flash?

For many novice photographers, the purpose of the flash is to increase the brightness in an environment where the light is not bright enough.However, the role of flash is far from filling the light. It can also provide a controlled light source, allowing you to create the effect and atmosphere of the photo through the light.Before we get to the basics of how to use a flash, this article will give you the basics: Flash mode (M, A, TTL).

Flash mode

M(Manual Mode):

Full manual control of the flash's light output. If the subject does not move, this constant light output provides a very stable light source in disguise, making it suitable for indoor shooting.

A(Auto Mode):

The flash calculates the amount of light to be output based on the measurement of the ambient light and shade by the light sensor on the body of the flash, plus the body data (focal length, aperture, ISO).Therefore, the effect of adding a filter to the lens cannot be added to the process of calculating the output light amount of the flash. The photoreceptor of the flash must be pointed at the main body, so it is only suitable for direct use, not for adding accessories.

TTL(Through The Lens Mode):

Therefore, the calculation of the output light of the flash is based on the measurement of the camera body, so the effect of the change of light amount after adding the filter to the lens can also be calculated. The advantage of TTL is that it is flexible in a changing environment, but in a fixed environment, slight deviations can lead to inconsistent output, so it is not suitable for the studio and the like.
Flash mode

Flash applicable scene

Backlight shooting: 

In backlight photography, in order to enrich the picture level and obtain a good color restoration, you need flash as a supplement.Generally speaking. It is not necessary for the flash lamp to exert strong power illumination when it is used for supplementary light, but it is necessary to control the flash brightness to avoid excessive supplementary light. Generally, it can be set to about two gears. If you're shooting with the wide Angle end of your camera's zoom lens or the same Angle as a standard lens, setting the flash to "fade" prevents overlighting.

Backlight shooting

Outdoor shooting:

We also use flash to fill in the light for outdoor photography during the day, such as in a cloudy environment, or in other scenes like shade trees.Outdoor light is even, we use flash to add light to the character, will make the character's skin color more smooth and bright.In this case, because the light is uniform, we can directly measure the light and shoot, but the flash generally needs to reduce the output of two or so to weaken the strong light trace.

Outdoor shooting

Outdoor portrait shooting:

In outdoor portrait photography, when we use flash as the main light of photography, the flash can suppress the ambient light, the blue sky can be bluer, the environment level is more distinct, the picture effect presented, often with strong personality characteristics, rich details.With the flash as the main light, we can summarize the shooting idea in one sentence: use the aperture to control the brightness of the flash on the face, and use the shutter to control the brightness of the environment.

Outdoor portrait shooting

Night portrait:

Generally speaking, it is not suitable to use flash when shooting night scenes. The use of small aperture and long exposure can show a beautiful night scene. However, flash is usually used for portrait shooting at night. If the flash is directly turned on for portrait shooting, the restoration of the figure is normal, but the night scene behind is very dark and cannot be restored, then the slow flash function is needed at this time. In a normal night scene, the background is usually very dark, which may take 1/10 of a second or longer to allow the background light and color to appear. For foreground models, because we use flash, it actually takes 1/100 of a second or so to complete the exposure.

Night portrait


The use of flash allows us to get rid of the bondage of natural light, create our own ideal light, shoot more diverse photography works with layers and shadows, and reproduce rich three-dimensional texture, making the works more visual impact. Did you get it?

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