View of the Drew | Andrew Halpern Photography

Posts Tagged ‘on-board flash’



1/60s . f/4.0 . ISO 400 . 18 mm (Foil-reflected flash)

Here’s a cute shot of my dog Bandit.  I used my foil-reflected flash trick in order to get it.  I actually have this shot framed by the window.

Foil is your friend

Foil Flash Reflector

Foil Flash Reflector

So why did I do this to my camera you might ask? Well, I’m sure you’ve experienced poor results from your own-board flash. Direct flash usually creates ugly, harsh shadows and looks very unappealing. To remedy this, the easiest way is to bounce the flash light off another surface.

Normally, this involves buying an external flash for a few hundred dollars. That’s definitely the best way.

But the cheap way is to make a reflector for you on-board flash. I did this using Aluminum foil. If you try, make sure to grab enough foil that you xan fold it at least 3 times for thickness sake. Then simply mold it into the flash seat area so that it will stay in one place while shooting.  To get the best exposure, you might need to change the flash-exposure compensation, or increase your ISO.  Consult your camera manual on how to do this.

Oh and one last thing, be sure to close your eyes quickly when the flash goes off because it’ll be in your face.

Two Girls, One Cab

Two girls, One Cab (Location Unknown, NYC)

1/30s . f/5.6 . ISO 1600 . 18 mm

Here is a fun shot of two girls in a cab at night.  I was able to get this motion blur by setting my camera for “second curtain flash” using my camera’s on-board flash (look at your camera’s instructions to access this setting).

A good explanation of the mechanics of 2nd curtain flash is found at this article at Digital Photography School.  By using a slower shutter speed AND the 2nd curtain flash, you effectively get two shutter speeds.  The foreground (in this shot, the cab) will be frozen while the background will be blurred.  To get the motion effect, I also used a panning technique here.  A lot of photographers try to avoid the on-board flash like the plague because it usually looks poor, but it CAN be used artistically.

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