Flash photography provides additional lighting in situations where the light is difficult. The automatic flash and camera exposure system can sometimes produce undesirable results. In this case, flash exposure compensa-tion (FEC) is needed. In this article we explore flash exposure compensation.
Understanding Flash Exposure Compensation Flash exposure compensate is a feature common in modern cameras and flash units. It allows photographers manually to adjust flash output, to achieve the best exposure. It’s used to tweak the amount of lighting produced by the Flash, regardless the automatic exposure setting of the Camera. The aim is to reduce the risk of over- and underexposure while using flash. FEC can range from -3 to +3, and each increment is equivalent to one stop. By increasing FEC, you increase the output of flash, which will bring more illumination to the scene. Diminishing the FEC value results in a reduction of flash, and thus less light.
Balancing flash and ambient light. One of many reasons why photographers employ flash exposure compensation, is to achieve a balance between the light produced by the flash and the ambient light. Sometimes when the flash is set to automatic mode the camera will not correctly measure the ambient light in addition to the flash. As a result, images may be under or overexposed. The flash compensation feature allows you to change the amount of flash light used in order for the image to be balanced between the subject’s exposure and the surrounding background.
The subject can appear too light and dark in low-light scenarios if the brightness of the flash is too high. If you reduce the FEC setting, it can lower the flash intensity. This allows ambient light more time to influence the final exposure.
The following tips will help you to understand how to compensate for flash.
Be familiar with your equipment.
Experimentation and practice are important. Take time to try out various values of flash exposure compensator in different lighting scenarios. To find the best balance between ambient light and flash, adjust FEC value to your liking.
Results: Take several test pictures and compare the differences in FEC. Focus on the finer details. Pay close attention to things like background brightness, subject lighting, and general illumination.
Shoot multiple images at different FECs if unsure. Then you can choose between a wide range of exposures during the post-processing.
It is important to understand the limitations. The flash exposure compensation will only change the brightness of your flash, not the camera settings. To further adjust the overall exposure, it may be necessary that you change exposure settings such as shutter or aperture.
It is important to compensate for flash in order to have better control of the lighting. This technique allows you to create exposures with ambient and flash that are balanced. As you experiment and gain experience, your confidence will grow in how to set the flash output for desired lighting effects. Always pay attention to your camera’s limitations and how it affects the lighting of your background. The ability to compensate for flash will improve with practice and knowledge. This skill allows you create stunning images regardless of the lighting.