Picture This!
A Touch Of Fill

Most every camera sold has a built-in flash but many times we don’t make use of this handy item, keeping the flash on Auto (which with Auto ISO these days might just boost the speed rather than activate the flash) or turning it off for fear that it might ruin the natural light component of our images. The Picture This! assignment this month was using a touch of fill flash to add something extra to images, be it filling in shadows or adding greater emphasis to foreground subjects. Perhaps these submissions will inspire you to give fill a chance.

Jennifer Ruby-Durst used fill flash to ensure that we’d see the eyes and details in the fur of this black lab as he played in the snow. Exposure with a Canon EOS 50D with a Canon 70-200mm lens at ISO 500 was 1⁄250 sec at f/4 with a +2⁄3 EV flash exposure compensation.
© 2010, Jennifer Ruby-Durst, All Rights Reserved

David Bezaire used a Nikon SB-600 Speedlight to illuminate his wife’s face as she painted Mount Moran across Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. He worked with a Nikon D300 and an 18-200mm lens and an exposure of f/22 at 1⁄20 sec. Camera was supported on a Velbon 640A tripod and a Really Right Stuff BH-40 head.
© 2010, David Bezaire, All Rights Reserved

Steve White saw this backlit egret and used fill to bring up the intricate detail in its feathers. Exposure with a Nikon D3 and a Nikon SB-800 flash at ISO 800 was f/9 and 1⁄1600 sec with the flash compensation set at -2 EV.
© 2010, Steve White, All Rights Reserved

Flowers And Sky
Albert Williams used a low shooting angle, an underexposed background, and a touch of fill to illuminate these flowers. Exposure with a Nikon D300 was f/22 at 1⁄250 sec. He used an off-camera flash (Nikon SB-800) at -2 EV flash exposure compensation.
© 2010, Albert Williams, All Rights Reserved

Butterfly On White Flower
Frank Goroszko used fill to bring forward this butterfly against a darkened background. He photographed with a Nikon D200 and a Tamron 18-200mm lens with an exposure of f/8 at 1⁄180 sec.
© 2010, Frank Goroszko, All Rights Reserved

Marin County Flowers
Carl Otto wrote: “I could not get the flowers (properly) exposed without washing out the sky and the bridge. I then thought of the camera’s built-in flash, which I used with -2 EV compensation.” A perfect use of fill, made with a Canon EOS 50D and an EF 24-70mm lens; exposure was f/22 at 1⁄60 sec.
© 2010, Carl Otto, All Rights Reserved

Bike Race
Photographer Jock Goodman often uses his Nikon D70 for sports because of its 1⁄500 sec sync speed. Here, he used it during the bike race portion of a triathlon. Exposure with the D70 at ISO 500 was f/19 at 1⁄500 sec.
© 2010, Jock Goodman, All Rights Reserved

Animas Forks, CO
When photographer Bob Seago tried to balance proper exposure on the interior wall and exterior he found the solution was to read the exterior and “fill” the interior with -2 EV flash exposure compensation. Exposure with a Pentax K10D and a Tamron 18-250mm lens was f/8 at 1⁄180 sec.
© 2010, Bob Seago, All Rights Reserved

Roadside Flower
To bring every detail and droplet out on this close-up shot, John M. Barra used the fill flash on his Canon EOS 40D and Canon EF 24-105mm lens with an exposure of f/4 at 1⁄250 sec.
© 2010, John M. Barra, All Rights Reserved

Glacier National Park
Jim Ellis used a touch of flash to illuminate this tree against a dark sky. He worked with a Canon EOS 40D and an EF-S 10-22mm USM lens; exposure at ISO 600 was f/8 at 1⁄60 sec.
© 2010, Jim Ellis, All Rights Reserved

Willow Springs Lake
To add a touch of light to these foreground rocks, Ed Bonkowski placed a diffuser on his Nikon SB-900 flash on his Nikon D700 and exposed at f/18 at 1⁄125 sec at ISO 320.
© 2010, Ed Bonkowski, All Rights Reserved