Painting with light

Painting with light

Why I don't like flashes

photoPosted by simonaldra Mon, November 30, 2009 20:49:34

Lorem ipsum and all that, I thought it might be an idea to inogerate my blog by preaching the virtues of using the light God (or whoever you believe in) gave you.

I used to debate this issue with a friend of mine, he was a master of strobes, and his results always looked supreme. He had, and probably still have the idea that you can never get the same level of control over your light without using strobes. And you know what? He was right. Absolutely right.

But then again, that's generally just relevant for portraits. Flash on camera looks horrific. Sure, there are situations where you just need to use a flash, darkness, lots of movement, and so one and so forth. But in most situations, we're not talking about those kinds of conditions, we're not talking about portraits. Using a flash when it's avoidable when you're photographing documentary is.. in lack of a better word salty.

Why natural light?

1. It's natural. It's what's there, it's closer to reality, in these sorts of situations.
2. You get a better mood in your photos.
3. You're not taking the role as a bloody lighthouse.

I won't say it's wrong to do it any other way, that'd be fascism, and I don't like fascism. People do what they do, and I won't get mixed into that. But if you want to get close and personal, you have to agree that flash is really out of the question, wouldn't you?

The photo that tops this post is a good example of it. I was using a normal camera with a standard prime. It's not picture of the year, but one thing's for sure; it wouldn't look half as good if I'd used flash. And if you think about it, you agree with me on that, don't you? :-)

Good shooting, break a leg and all that.

Fill in only if you are not real

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Posted by Hilde Herigstad Sat, April 17, 2010 01:01:27

Hei Simon!

Veldig enig i det du skriver om blits, den ødelegger mye av det naturlige i bildet! Du fortalte meg om det da vi møttes oppe i studioet til Kari Elfstedt, på oppdrag for samme avis, men for forskjellige avdelinger.. :)

Har nå fått meg et nybegynnerkamera, Canon EOS 1000D, ganske simpelt, men greit nok for meg og min bruk. Veldig morsomt å fotografere, og prøve seg fram, og etterhvert også skjønne litt mer av prinsippene.. :)

Håper du har det bra!

Klem fra Hilde Herigstad

Posted by simonaldra Mon, November 30, 2009 21:21:47

Yes, of course, I totally agree on that. In a studio, and when you're working with a portrait, flash is perfectly acceptable, and can provide stunning results. :-)

There are situations where you just have to use flash, I agree on that. But there are times when you have to use flash, and you can't. I've been in those situations, and the only thing to do is to steady yourself, up the ISO and shoot wide open with a long shutter speed. Eventually, the shot I'm talking about got taken at ISO3200, f/2.8 and 1/5s.. That's slow, but as I was leaning to a door, it worked out nicely.

It's all about using what measures you have available. Can't say I've used flash on camera for ages, I just don't seem to need it. I use it off camera for portraits, but that's something else, something completely different. :-)

But as you say, it depends on the atmosphere. It really does.


Posted by :Francis: Mon, November 30, 2009 21:13:45

I agree.

For example, you would not (at least not easily) get the same atmosphere in lets say, a dark pub if you used flash.

However I respect, and enjoy pictures taken in studios using artificial light. I also like when flashes/artificial light sources are taken out of the studio and used creatively.

Also, if there isn't any or enough light to take a picture with natural light you have two choices; you can either take a picture using artificial light, or not take one at all. As a photo-journalist I'm pretty sure that even you have to give in and use flash from time to time, just to get the job done? ;)

Really, it all depends on the mood and atmosphere you are trying to portray IMO.