Flash comes in a variety of styles and shapes, from simple one light set ups to complex multiple light scenes. Sometimes simple is all you need. I have been shooting a lot of assignments lately, from college campuses to indoor skating to Alaska tourism. And I have to say one technique has saved the day time after time, one speedlight used in a fill flash mode.
Fill flash refers to using your flash so that the flash blends both the ambient light with the amount of flash on the subject. Fill flash isn’t about making the flash a dominant part of the shot, more like just sneaking it in to where people may not even know it is used. Fill flash is often used to control contrast by reducing shadows, filling in those dark areas under hat brims and tree branches.
The shot above is just one example of many from recent shooting. We had a couple modeling on a dock with beautiful reflections and sunny day. But the sun cast strong shadows on the subjects, so we popped just an ounce of flash to eliminate shadows and make the color pop. Remember the difference between a nice image and a better one is often a simple detail like adding a little fill flash.
Tech: Nikon D3, 14-24m, F14 at 1/250, ISO 200, SB900 shot in fill flash mode at -1.