To Fill Flash or Not to Fill Flash...That is the Question

May 17, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Earlier this week, I captured a series of photographs of a female orangutan at the Brookfield Zoo. Although this animal is housed in an indoor exhibit, the light streaming in from the skylight of Tropic World was a little harsh and introduced more contrast into the picture than I wanted.

At first, I secured my camera/lens to a tripod and dialed in an appropriate exposure (1/40th @ f4, ISO 800). Here is the result:

Orangutan Then, I added some fill flash (TTL -1EV) using my Nikon SB-900 speedlight along with the Better Beamer. The flash allowed me to increase my shutter speed slightly (to 1/50th) and to reduce my ISO by one stop (to 400). Additionally, fill flash reduced the contrast within the frame by filling in the shadows. This allows for more detail--particularly in her hands and the fur along her shoulder:

Orangutan Of course, the amount of contrast desired in the photograph is a matter of personal taste. I happen to prefer the second image. One method of increasing the contrast is to reduce the amount of fill flash. Or, I can always increase the contrast while processing the photograph. Reducing contrast during post processing is a much more difficult task than increasing contrast. So, having the second image as a starting point provides me with much more flexibility during post processing.


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January (2) February (1) March (3) April May June July August September October November December