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  • Grace Williamson

Using Fill-In Flash for Portraits

Have you ever taken a photograph of someone, and either the background is completely blown out or their faces are too dark? This is where fill flash comes in useful!

Fill flash can be done with just the pop-up flash on most cameras, or with a speedlight attached to the hotshoe, or even with off camera flash.

To use this technique, you expose the photo for the background, then dial in the flash to compensate on the subject.

This example is a little extreme. I exposed for the colours of the sunset, than used a speedlight attached to the camera. It's quite flat lighting, but it did the job

On very sunny days, it is handy to position the subjects in the shade, expose for the sun, then use fill flash to brighten the shadows on their faces.

The fill-flash does not need to be too harsh - all it needs to do is lift the shadows a touch so the subject matches the exposure.

It might take a little practise to perfect - I'm still learning! - but once learned it will come in very useful.

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