Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sometimes you need to tell your camera to use Flash.

During broad daylight, have you tried to take photos of  people against some nice landscape? Have your photos turned bad with beautiful background but people too dark? You are not alone. Sometimes same happens when a person is under a shadow but the scene is very well lit.
One time, I was hiking with a friend on Rocky Peak hike in Simi Valley with his new Panasonic FZ150 (?) camera. It was a hike plus photography tour on a nice June gloom morning in Southern California. We came across a nice vista that showed Simi Valley covered under low clouds/fog. We wanted to take a photo with my friend in it against this very pretty background. As we shot in Auto mode, as the frame had lot of light out there, so camera took a nice photo of the background but my friend wasn't exposed well. See the photo below:

How do you fix such photos?
As there was enough light in the frame, camera naturally didn't use Flash. Most cameras in AUTO mode would not have used Flash here. Many cameras do the same thing in landscape photography. They keep the Flash off. As my friend was within 10-15 feet from the camera, I just turned the flash to On position. I forced camera to use flash. If your camera, in AUTO or Landscape mode, does not let you select flash, change the camera mode to P (program) or Aperture priority. In these modes, you should be able to select Flash mode. Once we had Flash on, see below our new photo.

As I keep saying on the blog, sometimes you just need to take control of your camera to be able to take better photos.
There are two things to keep in mind. Flash light on most compact camera will not reach beyond 10-15 feet so make sure the objects or persons you like to be brightened up flash are within that distance.
If you are not able to force Flash in a photo, change the mode to Program first. Most cameras have Program mode.