Here’s my darling mother last week. The sun was just about to disappear at this moment and so I took some quick snaps of mum with the last of the light. Note the reflections from the glasses disturbing the eye, lesson learned there! Our walk hadn’t been very successful, some places I thought would be cool turned out to not be cool – I literally ran up the hill in the last 5 minutes of light to try and get a memorial cairn photo, only to find the cairn was too fat in any good shots. Stop building big memorials, think of the photographers, people. Except when I die of course. Then I’m going to have a massive memorial that you need to photograph from space.
The sun started to go. When the light’s low, normally this will happen:
Although the background’s alright, my subject’s gone dark. I could have increased the ISO here (or fixed it in Lightroom) but I wanted to try fill flash to solve the problem. I’ve not tried it before so it would be good practice, and help in my quest to blind my mum. So I forced the camera to fire the flash and experimented with different settings as it got darker and darker outside. The background was too dark in my first shots but upping the ISO to 400 solved that and I got a fairly balanced shot (the other settings were the same as the daylight one):
Of course that’s far from perfect but it’s about as good as I’ll get from a standard flash. Pros use flashes on cords, tripods, softboxes to diffuse the light and so on. Again the glasses are a big problem, even worse with flash reflections. I didn’t want to make mum doubly blind so I didn’t make her take them off. A bit of post-processing in Lightroom brings the image out nicely with some contrast boost:
In fact I had to darken the picture overall for this, so originally I should have underexposed I guess. I’m looking forward to trying fill-flash a bit more on my travels! Any further advice on fill-flash and exposure balancing welcome, just leave a comment.