Friday, April 29, 2011

The Tiny Built-In Pop-Up Flash That Makes the Difference

I just cannot understand how people can hate flash. I just do not know where people get the idea that flash will destroy the beauty of the photograph. I still do not quite get the opinion that flash is a "preference". There are many situations that natural light would be favourable and results would come out better without the intervention of flash, but in certain circumstances that the natural light is not good enough, that is when the availability of flash can save your day.

One of the most common situation faced is backlit. When you have a strong light source, flash can come to rescue. Force the flash to fill in to counter the harsh light source.

I was on the way to work in early morning that I encountered a dragonfly on a wall, bathed in glorious morning light, creating a glowing golden effect on its wings. The problem is, the light was in the wrong direction. Normally, people would just pass, but I thought, why not see whether the tiny little pop-up flash on the Olympus PEN E-PL1 can help. I let you see and tell the difference between the two photographs as listed below, one with flash, and one without.


Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm kit lens, at 42mm, no flash.

Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm kit lens, at 42mm, with flash.

Now I can expect "creative suggestions like 1) use of reflector 2) ask the dragonfly to pose in a different direction 3) use a different camera settings. The debate is endless, really. Some would give examples of "good macro examples" by capturing the insect, probably killed it, and preserved it with chemicals to be shot in a studio set up, and said "wow, that is creative macro".

Jokes aside, there is no denying, flash is important, when the situation calls for it. At all other times, go on merrily with available light.

Flash is NOT your enemy.

Learn to accept it as a part of photography, and let it help you discover an entirely different world of possibilities. Where most times it is an option, but in desperate needs, flash is your saviour. Those who know their game in lighting/strobing knows the possibilities with flash can be frighteningly endless.

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