How flash effects photos

A lot of people think that photography is a simple as finding a subject and taking a picture of it, I use to be one of them. But once you start to really get into photography you realize how broad, diverse and complicated it really is to be a great photography and take great pictures. One aspect that is more complicated then it seems, but is just as important as any photography technique, is flash photography. A flash is a device used in photography producing a flash of artificial light (typically 1/1000 to 1/200 of a second) at a color temperature of about 5500 K to help illuminate a scene. A major purpose of a flash is to illuminate a dark scene.  Other uses are capturing quickly moving objects or changing the quality of light. Flash refers either to the flash of light itself or to the electronic flash unit discharging the light. Below is a before of a picture taken without flash, and an after of the same picture taken with a flash.


Without flash                                                        With flash

See how the flash lights up the mans face under his hat, which was hidden by shadows before, and adds detail and texture to everything on him. Flash is very useful for adding detail and texture to photos, which add to the overall composition of the photo.

Adding detail and light aren’t the only things that flash can do though, one of the most interesting things flash can do is freeze a subject that is in motion in its place. Below are some examples.


Pictures like this would be near impossible to take without a fast simply because of how fast the subjects are moving, the flash freezes them in place.

Now lets say you wanted to get multiple shots of the same subject in one photo, but didn’t want to deal with layering it in photo shop. This can also be accomplished by freezing the motion of the subject multiple times by using multiple flashes.


Flash eliminates the need to shoot multiple pictures and layer in photoshop.

I chose this topic because flash is one of the many important techniques to learn if you want to be a great photographer. There so many different things that flash can do to improve a picture, if used correctly, giving you the ability to brighten up certain areas or to photography things that otherwise would have been impossible by freezing the subject in the picture. Everyone should learn the different techniques and methods that flash offers us in photography.

Andrew McMahon


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