A Quick Guide: Tips For Taking Better Flash Photos

Martin Wilson

Aug 05, 2022


There is no need to feel intimidated by flash photography. We've compiled nine tips from our lighting 101 workshop to help you get the most out of your flash photography, from learning the basics of working with a Speedlight to exploring the creative potential of your flash. This article aims to give tips for taking better flash photos that you can build upon as you gain experience and expertise.

How do flashes work?

In flash photography, a simple but fast and powerful flash is used. Fast flashes of light (typically between 1/200 and 1/1000 of a second) are produced. The camera's shutter causes these flashes. It's meant to illuminate the subject throughout the entire photo-taking process.

Bounce the Light

One of the first and most important things beginning photographers should know about using a flash is that pointing it directly at the subject isn't a good idea. Everybody loves photographs with unflattering, overly-bright lighting or dark, ominous shadows. By reflecting the light from one surface onto another, you can greatly increase the amount of light in a given area. Try off-camera flash for a softer, more even light on your subject. This is achieved by pointing your flash at a reflective card mounted on the ceiling or a neutral wall.

When to Use a Flash

Most photographers only use their flash when it's completely dark outside or when shooting indoors. The reason is that there isn't enough overall illumination, including natural sunlight. For a variety of reasons, it's something we often recommend. Using a flash can completely eradicate any dark areas in your photographs. Shadows can be lessened by using more than one light source. Aiming the flash in the opposite direction of the light source that's casting the shadows is important. This will make it possible.

Flash Photography and Shutter Speed

When using a flash, you can only use a certain range of shutter speeds. The fastest shutter speeds are not available when using a flash. The flash must be synced to the open shutter to fire, which is inevitable. It's possible that the shutter won't be fully open at the maximum speed. Modern cameras have a maximum sync speed that limits the shutter speed to no more than that. For most cameras, it's around 1/250 of a second. A faster shutter speed is possible in cameras with built-in flash units. When using a shutter timer, the shutter speed must be set to a faster value than the timing speed to achieve a proper sync. The shutter speed will automatically slow down by the camera's settings. For a wider aperture, you'll need a faster shutter speed. This will result in less power consumption from your flash and a quick recharge for your flashlight before it can be used again. Shooting with a flash outside during the day will necessitate a faster shutter speed.

Learn the difference between TTL and. Manual Flash

TTL The flash takes a reading of the available light and makes an educated guess based on that. The flash sets off the pre-flash, a precise light meter, and then sets off the flash at a time it thinks will properly expose the image. It operates automatically and makes judgement calls on your behalf is unquestionably an advantage. Still, a laundry list of drawbacks makes us prefer manual flash control. Flash. In a manual mode, the photographer decides how much power to use. We need absolute mastery and pinpoint accuracy when firing the shots. To streamline our post-production workflow, we'd like all photos to have the same exposure.

Make use of an external flash

Your camera's built-in flash isn't very powerful. Lighting is typically limited to about 10 feet from the camera. Using an external flash with a camera with a hot shoe is recommended if you need to take photos from far away, such as in a school auditorium. The range of many point-and-shoot cameras can be extended using an external flash, sometimes by as much as 50 feet. You can also do things that are impossible to do with the in-built flash, like bounce the light.

Use a Gel Outdoors

He advises putting a gel on your flash if you're going to shoot outside. "It seems a little out of place to have white flashlight outside. Here's a thought experiment: when you were a kid, you sketched a scene and drew the sun. In your drawing, what colour did you use for the sun? Yellow. Generally speaking, we think of sunlight as a yellowish hue. As I head outside with my camera, I'll apply a quarter cut and a layer of CTO (colour temperature orange) gel to the flash. It aids in achieving optimal aesthetics."


If you want to take your photography to the next level, incorporating flash techniques is necessary. This means that there are a variety of ways in which one can control and adjust their level of exposure. More so, there are a lot of complexities involved. Furthermore, it enables you to expand your photographic horizons and develop your existing skills.

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