When Not to use a Fill Flash

A fill flash is a technique used in photography that will balance out light and create a photo that pops. Using this technique is common in outdoor photography. Even if the sun provides enough light, the use of flash will help to fill in areas that can remain shadowy, such as faces. There are situations when using this technique will not help your photos.


Unless you have an external flash, using the flash on the camera when the subject of the photo is more than a few feet away will do no good. Most internal flashes are designed to light an area of about 9 feet indoors, and even less when outdoors. 


A fill flash technique is great if there is more light behind the subject than in front. If, however, there is more lighting in front of the subject, using the flash can wash out the color and detail you are trying to capture in the photo. The same holds true if you are trying to capture flames or fire in a photo. A reflector is a better option for these situations.

Delicate Colors

There may be circumstances in which you are trying to capture the effects of low light. Nature photos at sunrise or sunset will become washed out if the flash is used. If you are wanting to capture delicate colors, whether in the sky, leaves, or even with a persons face or hair, a fill flash should not be used.

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