Using Fill Flash

I was browsing through some files from a recent wedding and spotted a perfect example of using fill flash for capturing better images.

We were in a shady area under some trees. The sun was out so the background was rather bright. I knew that if I tried to expose for the background, the girls were going to be underexposed, so I decided to use fill flash. Interestingly enough, and perfect for this blog post, on one of the shots, the flash didn’t fire because it was still recycling. Here’s how the shot looked like.

Fill flash tutorial


As expected, it didn’t come out so great. The background looks to be decently exposed but the subjects are too dark. The flash recycled for the next shot and you can see a dramatic difference fill flash made. The camera was in Manual mode, the flash in ETTL mode.

Fill Flash Tutorial

  • Gabreil - July 7, 2012 - 12:50 pm

    Hi Nick, I was wandering if you pointed the flash directly to the group and if you used any diffuser. Thanks.

  • Nick Nishizaka - July 7, 2012 - 3:06 pm

    Gabriel, yup, flash head pointed directly at the group. No diffuser. Just the bare flash.

  • Gabriel - July 7, 2012 - 3:44 pm

    That’s cool but I’m getting harsh shaddows on the face when I do that and you don’t…..?

  • KRUSH - July 13, 2012 - 11:35 am

    How did you gauge how much flash to use to avoid harsh shadows since you pointed the flash directly at your subjects?

  • Nick Nishizaka - July 22, 2012 - 11:07 pm

    KRUSH, I fired off a test shot and dialed in FEC as needed.

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