Foundations of Photography: Flash
Illustration by

Using fill flash in auto and program modes


From:

Foundations of Photography: Flash

with Ben Long

Video: Using fill flash in auto and program modes

In auto mode your camera will automatically decide if you need to use the flash or not. If it thinks you do it will activate the flash power it up and calculate how much flash to add to your scene. On a lot of cameras though if you don't want flash and you're shooting in auto mode then you're simply out of luck. On those cameras the only way to not have flash In that situation is to switch out of auto mode, other cameras offer a special flash off setting when they're in auto mode. On most cameras program mode works just like auto mode, but you have to activate the flash yourself.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 35s
  2. 33m 1s
    1. Exposure revisited
      2m 22s
    2. How flash works
      2m 12s
    3. Balancing ambient light and flash
      3m 54s
    4. Shutter speed, aperture, and flash
      4m 11s
    5. Fill and key light with flash
      4m 13s
    6. Understanding flash range
      2m 47s
    7. Understanding flash modes
      5m 16s
    8. Flash sync options
      3m 2s
    9. Some notes about your camera's built-in flash
      5m 4s
  3. 32m 50s
    1. When to use fill flash
      1m 39s
    2. Using fill flash in auto and program modes
      2m 44s
    3. Fill flash in priority or manual modes
      2m 38s
    4. Using flash exposure compensation
      9m 14s
    5. Using fill flash to eliminate unwanted shadows
      5m 46s
    6. Using fill flash to darken a background
      5m 1s
    7. Using flash to supplement ambient light
      3m 48s
    8. Filling in for a bright sunset
      2m 0s
  4. 33m 53s
    1. Shooting a portrait with flash as the key light
      4m 27s
    2. Why use an external flash?
      3m 34s
    3. Flash power and recharging times
      4m 21s
    4. Flash zoom
      1m 45s
    5. Taking the flash off camera
      5m 35s
    6. Using a softbox
      5m 3s
    7. Balancing flash and window light
      4m 22s
    8. Paying attention to the light in the room
      3m 39s
    9. Flash and white balance
      1m 7s
  5. 54m 20s
    1. Bouncing flash to improve lighting
      13m 8s
    2. Alternative options for bouncing flash
      5m 12s
    3. Using slow sync with flash
      8m 50s
    4. Rear-curtain sync
      11m 54s
    5. Using radio controls to fire a flash
      4m 32s
    6. Working with manual flash
      10m 44s
  6. 25m 16s
    1. Building up to multiple flash units
      13m 3s
    2. Adding the second flash for fill
      5m 19s
    3. The third flash as a backlight
      6m 54s
  7. 7m 50s
    1. Which brand of flash should you buy?
      1m 27s
    2. Guide number considerations
      3m 13s
    3. Shopping recommendations
      3m 10s
  8. 42s
    1. Next steps
      42s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Foundations of Photography: Flash
3h 9m Appropriate for all Dec 13, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Harsh, unflattering lighting can ruin a photo—and with flash, it's easy to get harsh, unflattering lighting. But flash is a necessary part of a photographer's toolset—after all, the world doesn't always provide you with the best natural light.

Fortunately, it isn't difficult to get great results from flash, and in this course, photographer, author, and teacher Ben Long details the concepts and techniques behind effective lighting with flash. Ben starts with fundamentals that build on exposure principles taught in other installments of Foundations of Photography—simple techniques that improve the results from a camera's built-in flash. He then focuses on fill flash techniques and on using flash as a key light. The course also explores topics ranging from bouncing and syncing flash to shooting with one or more off-camera flash units.

Topics include:
  • How flash works
  • Balancing ambient light and flash
  • Understanding flash ranges and modes
  • When to use fill flash
  • Using an external flash
  • Bouncing flash to improve light
  • Building up multiple flash images
  • Purchasing a flash
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Using fill flash in auto and program modes

In auto mode your camera will automatically decide if you need to use the flash or not. If it thinks you do it will activate the flash power it up and calculate how much flash to add to your scene. On a lot of cameras though if you don't want flash and you're shooting in auto mode then you're simply out of luck. On those cameras the only way to not have flash In that situation is to switch out of auto mode, other cameras offer a special flash off setting when they're in auto mode. On most cameras program mode works just like auto mode, but you have to activate the flash yourself.

In other words, program mode gives you the option of whether or not you want to use the flash. If you do want it You have to activate it on your own. When you have TTL mode activated on your flash, and your camera is in Auto or Program mode, the camera and flash make decisions in a very particular way. If the camera meters and finds that your scene has a lot of light in it, a bright outdoor scene for example. Then the camera will assume that you want film flash. And so we'll calculate ambient and flash exposures that will give you a nice fill. In most situations it should do a pretty good job of this.

Though, as with any automatic system there will be times where you'll find something that can confuse it. When shooting flash in program and auto modes, your camera will not be allowed to use a shutter speed below a certain amount. For example with flash attached in programmer auto mode Your camera may limit itself to shutter speeds of 1/60th of a second or faster. Now, the idea here is that, if you're shooting a portrait. Your flash will illuminate your subject nicely. And keeping the shutter speed to at least 1/60th of a second will guarantee that you won't have a problem with camera shake.

Now, as you saw in the last chapter, ambient light is controlled by your shutter speed. So if the camera is limiting your shutter speed choices, you may not be able to get a long enough shutter speed. To get good ambien light. In other words, if you are shooting in a dark environment. A shutter speed of a 160th of a second will likely mean that you have no ambien exposure at all. So your subject will appear on a dark, limbo background. Your flash will be serving as a key light only. Now different cameras have different minimums. Some might go as slow as a 30th of a second and some cameras might provide a custom function that lets you change that minimum shutter speed.

Still those may not let you go slow enough to get your ambient light back if you are in a very dark background. So, in auto and program mode, you should automatically get good fill flash results most of the time. If you don't It's because you're shooting in a situation that's confusing the flash's metering system. If you're finding that your background is completely underexposed, then you most likely encountered the shutter speed limitation that is imposed by auto or program mode. At that point your only choice, if you want more ambient background, is to change modes and take more control.

There are currently no FAQs about Foundations of Photography: Flash.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Flash.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.