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How to use flash

Whenever we don't have a strong light-source (like sunlight) we need to use long exposure times and/or high ISO settings to compensate. High ISO settings cause a lot of unwanted noise, and long exposures causes motion blur. That's why we use flash to add more light, especially when taking photographs indoors. However, using a built-in camera flash close to the lens to flash someone in the face never creates good results.

Direct & indirect flash

Using a "proper" flash instead of a built-in one drastically increases how good your images will look. Here's an example:

There are other ways of using flash as well, but this is the main two methods. An attached (or detached) flash is always recommended over a built-in one; the further away from the lens, the better.

Flash & exposure time

If you're taking a picture of someone outside at night and use flash, the subject becomes illuminated, but the weak lights in the background are pitch black - ruining the great atmosphere. To fix this you can use a long exposure time, but if you take picture of people and not using a tripod it will become to blurry.

The trick can be to combine both; use a long exposure AND flash:

Red eyes

When using direct flash red eyes can be a problem. It is caused by light from the flash bouncing of the red inside of the eye and back into the camera. To prevent or reduce this you have the following options: