When I first purchased my Rebel T3i in the Spring, everything I read and nearly everyone I spoke to said to never use the built in flash on the camera.
I have to agree the built in flash produces flat, lifeless photos, so I avoided it like the plague. But it made me wonder…then why would anyone actually buy a flash??
After getting my camera, I jumped right in and started shooting in Manual most of the time, with the exception of close up shots when I wanted a blurred background and then I would shoot in Aperture priority.
Things were going along pretty well…BUT…I couldn’t quite figure out how to avoid blown out windows.
If you shoot room settings, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, let me explain the challenge. If it’s daytime and you want to highlight, for example, a sofa in a living room, you need to set your exposure for the lighting surrounding the sofa. This causes whatever window may happen to be in the picture to be too bright and all the details are lost of whatever view you happen to have. Obviously, if you set your exposure for the window, the sofa will be too dark.
I learned recently that a flash (not the built in one) will help prevent this. All along I’ve been thinking ‘why would a flash be a good thing when the built in flash isn’t?’ I don’t have the answer to that, but I will tell you…it just IS!
A picture is truly worth a thousand words so I thought I would share a couple of pictures I took with and without the flash. The settings were exactly the same. Shutter speed 1/13, Aperture 5 and ISO 200. The only thing that changed was the use of the flash.
None of these pictures were edited in any way, shape or form. Without the flash, the colors on the left look ‘muddy’, while with it they’re far clearer.
Buying a flash has been the best $59+ I ever spent.
Well, if you don’t count the brand new GEN-U-IIINE Dolce & Gabana bag I got at a tag sale.
I purchased my flash at Walmart. It was the only one they had and at $59, it’s one of the cheapest on the market that I’m aware of, AND you can get it for even less on Ebay.
If you have any tips you’ve learned along the way, especially for blown out areas such as windows, I’d love it if you would share them!