March 14, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut
The Dangers Of Using A Flash
The two photos in this post were taken a split second apart at identical camera settings: Nikon D5000, 76mm, 3200, f/1.8, 1/40th. The top photo looks scary because I happened to take the shot at the same time that another photographer in the audience fired off his flash. The bottom photo was taken with nothing more than the ambient light of the theater. I think the photos speak for themselves. If you mouse over the photo above, you can see the effect very clearly. A flash will destroy the ambient light and throw shadows all over the place. It’s hard to say why this other photographer chose to use his on camera flash instead of going the route that I did. As you can see with my photo below, the mood that was created by the artists of the theater is preserved and displayed forever in my photograph forever.
A flash, in the wrong environment is like a bolt of lightning, scaring everyone around and freezing a moment in time like a sledgehammer crashing down on a slab of steel. Do yourself a favor in low light conditions… With your camera in aperture priority mode, turn off the flash, turn up the ISO to the max, and open up your f-stop to the max. You will be amazed! Just look at the differences between these two photos! Don’t be scared to force your camera to take good pictures… Candlelight, night time & low light in general calls for a high ISO and a wide open f-stop, NOT A FLASH!