Let’s face it...your flash is an important piece of equipment. It is needed for many types of photos and in certain photographic situations, but many times it is the evil culprit, responsible for so many photo disasters. If you learn to take control of your cameras flash you will be able to alter the outcome and mood of your photos. Look at the two photos I have included. I took both of them at the same time and in the same place. If I let my camera have control it automatically sets the flash off and I have a harsher looking photo. By turning the flash off I have a beautiful softer looking photo that conveys more emotion. To compensate for the lack of interior light, find a bright spot in your house. I took these right by a window. Walk around your house and take notice of the quality of natural light in each room. You will be surprised at how different each room is depending on which direction the windows face and what time of day it is.
Consult your cameras manual to learn how to turn off your automatic flash. If using a film camera it might be a good idea to increase the speed of your film and steady yourself against a wall or use a tri-pod.
If you thought it impossible to control your flash with a point-and-shoot camera, think again! Load your camera with 800 speed film and use the zoom at it’s widest angle to allow more light in. Steady yourself so you have as little shake as possible.
If you are using a 35 mm camera you will have a better chance to get good photos without a flash with a faster lens. Use 400 speed film and avoid movement or use a tri-pod.
Challenge: turn off your flash and take some photos!!! Make sure you take at least one with flash so you can see the incredible difference!