A Week of Storytelling: Day 4 – Use Daylight Fill-in Flash

Photograph © Rick Sammon. All rights reserved.
Canon 5D Mark II. Canon 24-105mm lens.

It’s Day 4 of Storytelling Week here on my blog. Each day, I’ll share a photography tip illustrated with one of my favorite photographs that I took this past April at the Sister’s Meal Festival in the province of Guizhou in southwest China.

The idea of this weeklong project: When you go to an event, on the other side of the world or the other side of town, try to “tell the whole story” with your pictures.

Today’s tip: Use daylight fill-in flash.

When the subject’s face is shaded, either by a beautiful headdress or a banged-up football helmet, you’ll need to use a flash to illuminate the subject’s face. In some cases, you can get a good exposure if you turn on your flash and set your camera to one of the automatic modes: P, Av or Tv.

However, you will have more control if you set your camera to the manual mode and use an accessory flash, as I did here for this photograph of a Miao woman.

For precise flash control, you’ll need an accessory flash with variable flash output, which let’s you add more or less light (from your flash) than when set to the automatic mode.

Click here for an in-depth article I wrote on fill flash.

Want more travel photo info? My current app, 24/7 Photo Buffet, offers dozens of photo tips for photographers on the go – even HDR photographers.

Shoot me an email if you are interested in joining my 2011 China workshops. I will have some guest pros leading some workshops, too. Email me: Rick Sammon at mac.com

Explore the Light,