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People often think that the flash on their camera is only used when it's dark out, but a dark scene is actually one of the times when you probably shouldn't use your flash. The pop-up flash on your camera is really designed to provide extra fill light when you are shooting in bright daylight. If you've got a bad back-lighting situation or someone with a hat on, you can use fill flash to fill in the darker shadowy areas of the scene to produce a more even exposure. I am going to take a quick picture of our scene here, just so we can see what it looks like without flash. It's not bad.
It's a little dark in here in the shadowy areas. Fill flash might be able to brighten that up a little bit. So I am going to pop my flash up. The Flash release button is right over here on the left side of the camera. Press it and the flash pops up. When I meter now, in addition to all of the usual exposure stuff, I also get this box here, which shows me my flash mode. When it's just an empty box like that, that means I'm in Fill flash mode, so I am ready to go. Half-press to focus and meter, press the rest of the way, the flash fires and oh yeah, look, I can see a lot of stuff here on the bellow. So let me give you a nice before-and-after here.
That's with the flash; that's without. So it's actually brightened it up quite a bit. Your D800 does have some other flash modes and some other flash features and we're going to be looking at those in the rest of this chapter. For the most part, fill flash is really the main thing you're going to use your camera's built-in flash for. Because of its proximity to the lens and because of its location on top of the camera, it's not a great flash. It's going to have a propensity to produce red-eye. And also, having a bright light right in front of your subject is really not the best lighting situation.
But for fill situations, when you're in bright daylight, someone is wearing a hat or standing under the eave of a house or something like that, fill flash can really make the difference between a so-so photo and a much better photo.
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