Taking Pictures Outdoors? Bring a Flash.

In my “Learning Light From Wrong” workshop, I explain that I’m as likely to use a flash outdoors as indoors. Usually, I’m trying to lift shadows in harsh sunlight, but I also use flash to add contrast and call attention to my subject.

Open shade produced nice soft lighting on my son sitting near the Payette River, but the colorful reflections in the water distract the viewer because they are brighter than the subject.

The camera’s pop-up flash brightens – and warms – the light on John’s face, making him the clear subject of the image and relegating the water’s reflections to a supporting role.