Fill Flash in the Garden

This morning I visited the WRAL gardens again… the blooms are incredible!  The sun was behind the clouds for the most part and I had a wonderful overcast sky.  I often use my Speedlite flash in the garden to add a little fill light when there is no sun to use a reflector.

NO FLASH                                                                                                                                     FLASH

There are several key advantages to using fill flash on your flower shots on overcast days.

1. you get a pop of light on your subject

2. it helps stop any slight movement for sharper focus

3. you meter for your subject which is now brighter from the flash and causes less light on the background. This gives better separation of subject and background.

NO FLASH                                                                                                                                       FLASH

Some tips:

1. I use a Gary Fong Lightsphere as a diffuser for the flash, but you can cover the flash with a handkerchief to diffuse, or use one of the many softbox accessories made for external flash units.  Otherwise your light may be quite harsh, especially at close distance.

2. Have your flash on a cord instead of mounting on the hot shoe.  This way you can go vertical and center the flash. You can also direct the flash in creative ways from other angles.

3. Most importantly perhaps, put your flash on Manual (don’t be scared… be brave)… and set it at 1/16, 1/32 or 1/64 power.  You want a slight pop, not to blow out the whole image!

You can really have fun with this and discover new techniques by experimenting.

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