Troubleshoot Problems with Flash on Digital Cameras

A photographer is likely to face problems with flash on a digital camera at some point in his career. The flash on a camera is an incredible tool for the photographer. It has the ability to quickly add a light source to a shot, thus bringing up the images exposure. It allows the user to take wonderful shots in low light situations that would not be possible without it. But, that does not mean that there aren't problems with using the flash.

Here are some basic trouble shooting tips to get the most out of your camera's flash.

Red Eye

Perhaps the most frequent flash problem is red eyes. Everyone has experienced them at some point in their photos. Red eye happens because the camera is capturing the light from the flash bouncing back out of the subjects eyes. There are two ways to trouble shoot this problem.

One is a function called Red Eye Reduction. Our eyes compensate for low light by dilating our pupils. This makes them larger than usual in a situation that requires the flash, which means the area for potential red eye is larger than normal. Red eye reduction works by emitting a pre flash before the main one. This quick burst of light makes the pupils contract and reduces the red eye area. 

Another way to overcome red eye is to not shoot you subjects dead on. If you shoot them at an angle, then there is less chance of the flash light bouncing back at your lens, and that means less chance of red eye occurring. 

Blow Out

A camera flash works by quickly emitting a small but intense light. This can sometimes cause the subject to appear blown out. If you're suffering from this problem, then you can solve it by adding a little distance between the subject and yourself. This should result in less light hitting them, and the blow out problem will be solved.

The Light Is Too Harsh

Sometimes, you might find your camera flash producing more shadows then you'd like. Depending on your camera, there are a couple of things that you can do. You can either purchase a piece of plastic that clips over the flash to diffuse it. Or, you might be able to get away with covering it with a plastic shopping bag to soften the light. You can also tilt the flash to make it bounce off a ceiling, although this will reduce the output significantly. If neither option is possible, then try to pose the subject in a manner that reduces the shadows.

Turn the Flash Off

The flash is designed to support the exposure of our images, but sometimes it creates too many problems and the only option is to turn it off. If you can't use the flash, then try to compensate by increasing the ISO, shutter speed, or open the aperture as wide as possible.

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