Line ‘Em Up!

Well last week I suggested you pull out your camera manual and review the sections on the flash you are using. Dang…there’s a lot more than you wanted to know about your flash in your manual.

Well I guess the question is, “How Good Do You Want Your Photographs To Be?” Because flash is the bomb when it comes to adding that little extra something that will make your images pop.

So no worries. Take it slow and just focus on one thing to practice before moving on to the next new thing.

Like the rest of photography, there are rules, so here’s one for flash. Line ‘em up! When you are making images with more than one subject, have everyone keep close together and pose them the same distance from the image sensor so they all receive the same amount of flash. This one isn’t working because not everyone is the same distance from the flash.

The folks in the back are underexposed…we can’t really make them out, and those closest to the camera are overexposed.

So line ’em up….Think…same distance from the image sensor and try to achieve that whenever possible.

mis 003

Of course it doesn’t matter if you are shooting animals, or people, the same rule applies. Keep them close together.


When taking photos of animals inside an arena, set your flash for one stop more exposure than the settings indicate. (Sure…we can look up how to do that right now in our manual!).

Why? Because dark arenas eat the light, so one or even two stops more exposure is my rule of thumb for achieving good lighting inside arenas. Again, don’t attempt this with animals at different distances from the flash. Luckly, with animal shows there are lots of chances to take group “lined up” shots like the one above.

If you are taking flash photos with a point-and-shoot this rule is even more important because the small built-in flash is not powerful enough to add a lot of light to your images. Check your manual for the flash range at each ISO setting and stay within the range. Sound familiar…check out last week’s blog, or the much larger section of info in my book on staying within the range.

It’s easy to block the flash with a point and shoot, so practice good holding techniques until blocking your flash with your finger will be “oh so last year.”

Good shooting!

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