Landscapes and the built in flash

Sunset over the Clark Fork River in Plains, Montana (August 31, 2012)

The image here was taken using Program mode on my Canon DSLR, ISO set to 400, using the built-in flash and the DSLR being handheld.  Why add flash to a landscape photo of a sunset?  Look at the left hand side of this image and you will see where the added fill light from the flash helped illuminate the rocky shore slightly and pulls your eye towards the sunset and blue color of the mountains.  Had the flash not been used the left hand portion of this image would have been much darker and your eye would not move through that side of the photograph.  Instead you’d look more toward the center of the photograph and miss the rocky shoreline leading toward the mountains.

The selective use of the flash with some landscapes can help add enough light to add interest in a subtle and deliberate manner.  A camera mounted flash or mobile flash unit would add more light to the landscape and would be useful in some instances; illuminating a model, or adding light to still objects.  The key to effective use of the flash with a landscape photo is not overdoing the amount or duration of the light.  A low key fill light is often better to reduce the risk of harsh bright light overtaking the natural landscape, which can result in a more difficult photograph that may not be as pleasing to the eye.  How often do you use your built-in or camera mounted flash on landscapes?  Do you think that you will try using flash in your next landscape photograph?  How was this blog entry helpful to you?



About Douglas Wilks Photography

I am an advanced photographer who lives in western Montana. I create a variety of strong images using a DSLR, computer, and digital software. I am available for hire for full time, part time, or projects. Most of my images are of landscapes, still life, and events. I am always looking to improve my skills, network of friends and professionals, and portfolio. I look forward to creating new friends, contacts, and others who are interested in photography.
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