Experimenting with Pop Up Flash

Although I’m sure there are worse means or techniques to endorse, it is generally advised that one stays away from stock, on camera flash; and there are plenty of reasons why. For instance, many pop-ups have a tendency to be more cool in tone that natural or artificial light would ordinarily be, making the color distribution difficult to believe. In addition, the range of stock flashes as compared to aftermarket speed-lights is noticeably depreciated (I’m sure you’ve seen a photo on Facebook or whatever other social media site you prefer where someone’s family is sitting at a long table and the flash leaves harsh highlights on everyone’s faces and clothes but the light drops off significantly making the area behind everyone seem noticeably darker). There is also the added drawback of a general lack of control, where external flash units, and even speed-lights, allow you to control duration or intensity to some degree with on camera flash you’re generally stuck with one setting.

So in reaction to, or perhaps in spite of, all that; and the fact that we have been exploring more professional use of flash a good amount in class, I figured I’d mess around with the stock flash and see where it is effective. The attached images are mainly little studies that I did around my apartment that are, for the most part, in pretty close quarters as to be in the most effective range of the flash. I doubt you’d see anything like any of these hanging in a gallery any time soon but it was interesting to see that I was able to match the intensity of a more professional set up, albeit in a very specific setting.

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