Get an external flash unit with a diffuser instead of the built-in flash feature. These built-in flashes often make a picture look very harsh. An external flash unit gives a more natural aspect to your photographs and allows you to edit them without the noise you get when you use another kind of flash.
The most important thing to remember about lighting when taking photographs is this: the less light you have to create from artificial resources, the better. By all means, use a flash if you need to, but always strive to use natural light if at all possible. Even when shooting indoors, open the windows, and let mother nature’s light stream in.
Red eye can turn a great photo into a ruined one. Avoid your flash to prevent this, though if you must use the flash, do not have the subject look directly at the camera. Some cameras also have a red eye feature.
Invest in a side mount flash. A flash mounted off to the side is going to provide a much more natural looking source of light for your photos than one directly above your lens.
If you’re trying to take a picture of an object at a distance, don’t bother with your camera’s flash. You’ll be lucky if it travels across 10 feet. However, 5 feet is more realistic. If the subject is further away, that the flash becomes a waste of battery power instead of being useful.
If you are going to take pictures at nighttime, be sure to have a plan. You must know what settings on your camera are most appropriate for night pictures. Also, beware that even with the flash on, certain pictures may not come out if it is dark outside. Be sure to check the picture and make sure that you have taken a good one.
Invest in a softbox or flash diffuser. Traditional, built-in camera flashes often result in very harsh photos, where the light colors are too bright, and the shadows too dark. If you cannot afford to purchase a softbox, which provides softer lighting, attach a diffuser to your flash. This disperses the light and softens the photo.
Even though a flash seems counter-intuitive for outdoor photography on bright, sunny days, you might want to re-think this. Bright sun can often create deep facial shadows. The flash can illuminate the dark shadows, filling them in with light so your overall lighting is more even in the picture. A fill flash will lighten all of the dark shadows caused by the sun, especially shadows around your subjects’ facial features.
While photography can be a very personal hobby for some, it does share the main goal of taking a good shot of the subject matter. As you have seen in these tips, there are various approaches, but they are all created around the idea of bettering one’s ability to take good photos.