When to use your camera's flash

Built-in flash can be a powerful tool in bright light. Some camera models have controls that allow the photographer to use the flash to fill in, highlight, or balance exposure.

Today many cameras have a built-in flash, often an automatic feature. Typically it fires when light levels are low.

Reasons to “fire up” your flash:

  • To shoot subjects silhouetted against a sunset or sunrise, flash can lighten up the foreground
  • When the sun is behind the subject, the flash helps balance the exposure between the bright background and the dark, shadowy foreground
  • To fill in or lightens facial shadows such as deeply set eyes--a common problems when shooting with the sun overhead
  • Reduce the blue cast and warm up skin tones on a cloudy or overcast day
  • Highlight a foreground subject on a cloudy day
  • Emphasize the texture of things like fur, wood, or feathers
  • To show detail when there isn't much contrast, for example a black object on a black background