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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Combine Window Light and Flash Fill

I love the look of window light because it's generally warm (especially early and late in the day) and somewhat diffuse. The problem is that compared to the dim interior of my house there is a major contrast problem. The best way to solve this is either to turn on a few room lights or to pop on the built-in flash. I prefer using flash in this situation only because it's more convenient--I just press a button on my camera and the flash pops up.

The great thing about using flash with window light is that it tends to open up the dark areas adequately (the parts of your subject facing the room) but, because the window light is so strong, doesn't overpower the natural light. My cat likes to sleep on a little bookcase in a sunny window in my office and, because she's a cat, she tends to lay there when the sun is at its brightest (and warmest). Photographed without flash her face would be lost in shadows and I'd lose those pretty colors in her face. With the flash there's a nice sparkle in her eyes and fur and yet the scene looks quite natural.

Turn on the flash when you're working near a window and you'll see that your contrast is less intense and your pictures are much easier to print.

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