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Digital Photography

Don't Overuse Flash

SUMMARY: Situations where you should turn off your digital camera's flash.

Many photographers use flash nearly all the time when taking photos. While flash is great for taking night photos of close subjects, or daytime photos where you want to get rid of shadows, there are instances where using the flash is not a good idea.

1) If you are taking scenery or skyscraper photos at night, flash will probably not help. Flash requires a close subject from which light will be reflected, so if you take a flash shot at a distant subject, the light will not get to your subject and be reflected as the photograph is taken. Instead of flash, try experimenting with longer exposure times and use a tripod when applicable.

2) Animals may not like flash; some tend to get startled or run away. Take a couple of quick animal photos as soon as you see one, then be patient and wait for the animal to get into a well-lit area.

3) Likewise, many children might feel uncomfortable getting their eyes blasted with light (and many adults, too!) Instead of using flash, try arranging your subjects in well-lit areas, and take outdoor photos when shadows are minimal.

4) Take a picture of a reflective surface with flash, and you're likely to see yourself and/or the flash bulb in the photo. Try to take these pictures at different angles so you and the flash are not seen, or better yet, turn flash off.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.