To fill or not to fill

In Uncategorized by Patrick

Without light, photography does not exist. Photography’s meaning in its very simplest origin means drawing with light. Whether you use a monolight, strobe, speedlight or natural light, you must have light to capture an image. When photographing wildlife, what do you do? Do you use natural light or add your own flash fill? Both valid options that depends on you the photographer. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. I have written several blog posts on this here:

I use both natural and flash fill in my photography. Below are two examples of what I am talking about and how I prefer to use flash fill. In these shots the sun is just rising and is to camera right hitting the breast of the mourning dove.

Mourning Dove – No Flash Fill

A nice picture by itself with the gorgeous morning light hitting the the dove as it warms up from the cool night. For me personally, the doves back is a bit dark. There is color and detail being muted by the shadows. This is where I submit that flash fill can be beneficial when applied correctly.

Mourning Dove – Flash fill

Very subtle, but with the flash fill the darker areas are filled in. Settings, the flash was set at -3.0 just to kiss the dove and bring some of the subtle details to life. Almost imperceptible but I like it better. You have to make the decision as the photographer on when to fill or not to fill, that is the question and with practice you can determine the better option.

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