Using Fill Flash to Lessen Shadows in Photos

Part of the Digital Photography Lighting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Using fill flash adds a touch of light to any scene that you want to photograph and helps to get rid of unwanted shadows, like those that fall across the eyes of a person wearing a hat on a sunny day. Fill flash comes in handy when you’re photographing any scene that includes a lot of light but little of that light falls on your subject. Use fill flash whenever your scene includes too much light in the background or the direction of the light causes shadows to fall across your subject.

Use your digital camera’s built-in flash or an external flash to add just a little light to fill in the scene by following these steps:

  1. Turn on the built-in flash or put a flash on the hot shoe of your camera.

  2. Reduce the power of the flash so you don’t overpower the existing light.

  3. Take a test shot.

  4. If you need to, adjust the power of the flash until the light from the flash just fills in the shadows and doesn’t overpower the existing light.

Adding a diffuser dome to your external flash softens the light and makes the fill flash look more natural.

For instructions on how to reduce the power on your built-in or external flash, see the camera and flash manuals.

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