How to use your built in flash without making it look "amateurish"

Built in flash

In past blog posts, I praise the use of natural light in photography. But what if there is just not enough light? 

Yes, a flash would be required. (And it’s not a bad word. Despite the fact that I usually avoid it at all costs…)

When you are first starting out, you should avoid using flash because it creates an extra element that you have to factor into your photography (you know, on top of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and just a few other things :). But after you have your feet wet in the world of photography, you can dip your toe into the world of flash photography.

One reason why you should not use a flash when you are first starting out, is that you need to understand how important light is when you are taking pictures. You need to understand how to change the direction of the light and know that usually, light coming directly from the camera doesn’t work very well. And where does light come from when you use the built in flash on your camera?  Directly from the camera!

For this blog post, I will only explore the built-in flash on your camera. I’ll discuss some tips that you can use to make the most of your flash whether it is on a DSLR or a point and shoot camera. 

So, down to business!  I don’t generally suggest that you use the built-in camera flash, but sometimes, you just can’t help it. If you are in a situation where there isn’t a lot of light, you need a flash! So here are two quick tips for using the built in flash:

  1. The first photo was taken at short range with the flash blaring in poor Zander's face. You see that the light quality is rather poor and that there is a black rim covering the lower portion of the picture. This is caused by the camera lens.Photo 1

     

  2. So, back away from your subject as much as you can. This will eliminate the harsh light on the face and the shadow that might appear from the flash itself. Photo 2

     

  3. In post editing, consider removing red eye (or green eye in the case of my dog). If you have a picture of a person, you may need to remove shiny spots on the face and other imperfections that the flash may highlight. (I also pulled my dog away from the wall so that he wasn’t right up against the white trim; it made him stand out a little bit.) Photo 3

     

And that’s it! Easy right? The quality of light may not be absolutely fantastic, but it’s better than dark shadows on the face and indistinct details!

If you’d like a project outline for using the built in flash on your camera, click the button below! (Note that you will be added to my email list. No spamming, I promise!)