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Old Apr 20, 2010, 1:56 PM   #1
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Default Fill flash in bright sun

Photos taken at midday on bright sunny days tend to have harsh contrasty shadows - fill flash can reduce these (it also may help when a breeze is stirring the flowers). I was taking some photos of our backyard Spring flowers, and took both flash exposures and bracketed series of a few of them. Here are three examples of a sun only exposure and a fill flash exposure of each. I selected the bracketed exposure most closely resembling the flash exposure for purposes of comparison - in some cases another of the bracketed exposures could be preferable to either, depending on ones tastes. These are OOC, without any PP or cropping - only downsizing. K-7 with Tamron 18-250 and built-in flash, hand held in relatively quieter periods between breaths of a light breeze. Which do you prefer?

1 no flash - backlighted
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2 flash - backlighted
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3 no flash - direct sunlight
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4 flash - direct sunlight
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 1:58 PM   #2
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5 no flash - direct sunlight
Name:  IMGP0268s.jpg
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6 flash - direct sunlight
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Size:  82.1 KB
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 3:43 PM   #3
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An interesting idea - I never think of using fill flash in full sunlight. I'll need to review these again when I get home on a better monitor, but I can see a number of advantages with these. I'll have to give it a try (but not today where it looks like its going to start raining at any time so there's no sun to try it out with). Thanks for posting the examples - it's given me something to think about.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 4:15 PM   #4
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Interesting. For the rose I definitely prefer no fill flash however for the other two I think I prefer with fill flash but then I would bring some of the colour back that has been washed out in PP - I think you may then end up with a better photo than either of the first two (with / without fill flash).
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 5:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post
Interesting. For the rose I definitely prefer no fill flash however for the other two I think I prefer with fill flash but then I would bring some of the colour back that has been washed out in PP - I think you may then end up with a better photo than either of the first two (with / without fill flash).
Thanks for looking and commenting.

I do intend to processes these eventually and post some of them along with some others, but finished images were not the point of this particular posting.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 11:03 PM   #6
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I don't see that much difference to the actual roses, but the flash does make the background a bit darker, which is an advantage with that one. I like what it did with the second one, but not entirely sure about the first one. You see the flowers better because of the flash, but I rather like the back-lighting that's more obvious with the no-flash shot. It is definitely an interesting comparison, I'll have to use flash more as I can see a real use for it in some situations.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 6:06 PM   #7
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These are beautiful. I've always heard lots about fill flash in daylight for superb lighting but can never get the settings right.

Nice work!
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 11:44 PM   #8
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Hi penolta,

I tend to like the flash aided shots, but on the first pair, it seems to flatten the flowers to my eye, but I think that the benefit to the stem might outweigh this overall. What I do like is that it brightens the stems and the bottom petals of the rose, and the colors are a significant component of flower photography IMO. The effect is subtle, but effective.

Scott
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 7:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for the comments.

Post processing might improve things somewhat, according to people's tastes, but Scott got the essence of what I was trying to accomplish with the unprocessed shots.
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 11:20 PM   #10
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did you try the "old tissue over the flash" trick, (not sure it would work with new computer controlled cameras)
for me the flash seems to have taken over as the main light source rather than filling in the shadows, can the flash output be lowered ?
the second set of flower shots seemed to have worked the best
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