back to the previous page...


Here are a few side-by-side examples of the differences between using flash and not using flash:

 
with flash (left), and without (right)

As you can see, the one taken with flash looks flatter. Nearly all the subtle shadows that show shape and form are filled in by the flash, and the result is very unnatural looking. Except for when we're using the flash on our camera, we don't experience the world this way (illuminated from "straight on").

One of the most useful (and obvious) ways to show the three dimensional qualities of a subject (our bunny) is to turn it until its shape is more clearly shown. This helps, but even this effect can be ruined by using flash:


without flash (left), and with flash (right)

So, again - don't use flash. It's only there for emergencies (aliens, Bigfoot, etc.).



Two: Use (soft) Natural Light.

That is, use the sun. It's the best and it's free. Personally, I like the look of "softer" sunlight rather than direct sunlight. An example of "soft" sunlight may be the light you get on an overcast day. On a day like this, the sunlight passes through the clouds, and in effect, the clouds act as the lightsource rather than the sun itself. A larger light source (a bunch of illuminated clouds) makes much softer shadows than a small lightsource (a bright dot in the sky), and the result can be very pleasing, especially with basses and bunnies:

 
The bunny outside in the direct sun (left), and then inside near my window (right). My window does not receive direct sunlight because it's blocked by the big building next to my apartment.

See the shadows cast by the bunny's right arm and strings in the photo on the left? On the right the shadows are much softer. So what would happen if you shot outside AND used flash? Unless you have a super powerful flash, not much. That's called "fill-flash", and your picture will basically look like the one on the left, only the shadows won't be quite so dark. You're probably still better off finding a nice large window with soft light coming through.


 
Two incredible Smith BT6G basses...

The picture above on the left isn't awful, but compared to the one on the right, the bass looks "hot". Notice how the shadows cast by the body, strings, and knobs are very hard - this is hard afternoon light. The shadows in the picture on the right are softer and less distracting.

Go on to the next page...

[an error occurred while processing this directive]