Thursday, August 6, 2009

To Flash or Not To Flash, that is the question....

Many of you are very talented with your cameras,
knowing when to use a flash and when it is not necessary.
To me it is not a black and white issue.
I decided to take my camera outside on this very overcast afternoon and see what I could find. The verdict is not clear...each picture is its own answer.


Cosmos with flash and then without flash.


Portulaca and Artemisia with flash and then without.


Crape Myrtle with and then without.

For some of these photos I like the flash, but on others it washes out the color. This tells me to try various settings when out in the garden, trying my hand at photography. (Yes I know a few of them are a little blurry....lighting was the question at hand.....we can work on the blur factor another time! )

20 comments:

  1. I too take pics with and without a flash. Zoom in , macro etc. Then I choose the best from the bunch. Thank goodness for digital cameras.

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  2. Hi Janet, I prefer to turn the flash off if it comes on in early morning or late afternoon, or even in a dark corner. It washes out the shot. Yours are lovely, BTW. :-)
    Frances

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  3. It is fun to change variables to see what kind of photo you can produce. Congratulation on these.
    Donna

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  4. Damn it. I thought you had pictures of naked people.

    Susie Q

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  5. Good examples. I don't like using the flash, but sometimes it just adds a little something. H.

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  6. Flashes should be saved for Christmas morning and birthday parties.

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  7. Oh, dear, Susie Q's comment just elicited a snorted laugh!
    I'm not an expert, but it seems many garden photographers shun the flash. No doubt there are a few exceptions, though. It's fun to be learning photography alongside so many other garden bloggers, isn't it?

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  8. Great post Janet and I about coughed my iced tea through my nose when I read Susie Q's comments. Flash is very much trial and error. Two tips: 1-turn down the intensity of the flash with what's usually called flash exposure compensation in the menus to -1 or -2 stops. This helps to keep the flash from washing out too much. Tip #2 usually requires an SLR or pretty high end point and shoot camera and a separate flash unit, but use off camera flash. I really liked your with and without examples.

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  9. Funny comment for sure:) I always turn off the flash right away when I go outside. I hate the flash in all circumstances except when it is pitch dark.

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  10. Interesting post- my camera tends to turn the flash on and off automatically, and I never thought about playing with it. I've noticed it can wash things out, too, though, when taking pictures of my kids.

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  11. Hi everyone!! Well except for one nut who shall remain nameless (Susie Q!!!!) most agree that the flash should be off. I do appreciate the digital camera ability to take multiple pictures and easily discard those I don't like.
    The flash does wash out many of the colors, I was surprised to see the color change on the Cosmos...looks like a different flower.
    David, my camera is very limited on settings. (flash or no flash-- though there are some mountains, candles, people, and other settings that I am still trying out)
    SusieQ- I love you!! what a nut.

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  12. I usually leave my flash off taking photos outside. I find the flash washes out the color, and the photo often isn't as sharp with the flash. Even indoors I try to avoid the flash. This is a good idea to experiment with the different settings, though. My camera isn't that complicated, but I still tend to leave it in auto mode all the time.

    I still haven't had time to check out those hardy crape myrtles; your photos are enticing me to get with it!

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  13. I usually avoid the flash but sometimes it's unavoidable. It helps to use a fill flash when you're shooting in harsh sunlight, to help avoid harsh shadows. If I have to use it, I'll either tape a piece of paper over the flash to tone it down, or shield it with my hand, which usually takes a few tries to get it right. I've seen an external flash you hold out away from the camera, that seems to work a little better too.

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  14. Isn't it amazing the difference light can make in a picture. My photography is all trial and error.--Randy

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  15. I rarely use flash Janet...except for night shots when I need a last minute photo of a plant! But I recently got to observe a professional shooting a concert and he had his flash attachment with a diffuser connected to his DSLR. I think that if we learn how to use them they might help fill in the shadows! The IF is for me! I think the crape myrtle looks good with flash and the portulaca without! gail

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  16. I eat these kind of experiments up Janet! Great idea. I'm a "no flash" kind of girl too but I do realize it's necessary at times. 99% of the time tho, I prefer to shoot without.

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  17. Thanks to all who responded. Seems the flash is generally not welcome when shooting outside. I like the idea about shielding the flash a bit - if necessary.
    I like experimenting to get the best color and the the sharpest contrast. Like I said earlier, digital photography makes taking multiple shots a piece of cake!
    (Rose, stay tuned for Tuesday's Trees- Carpe Myrtles)

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  18. The flash is not something I've worked with on my camera, although I have seen a lot of beautiful pictures taken with a flash. Unfortunately I don't know what kind of camera or flash those photographers used, or if they did any post processing, but the pictures did turn out beautifully. I think I might experiment if I had a flash that mounted on top of the camera, rather than one that was built in.

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  19. I struggle with this, too. I have a cheapo digital camera (two year old Casio Exilim) and not much skill. I have learned never to use "flash," but sometimes "soft flash" is preferable to no flash. Good luck!

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  20. Hi sweetbay and Ginger- so much of the lighting and using a flash relatees directly to the $$ of the camera--with some there is no choice, with others you have all the control in the world. Manyof us live in the middle.

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