Picture This!
Fill Flash

Whether it's adding light to shadows to create a good balance of tones, or brightening color on overcast days, fill flash provides an extra burst of light that can do the job. Close-up fill can be done with the built-in flash that comes with many cameras, or auxiliary flash that mounts on the camera's hot shoe. In either case, fill can be modified using the power output ratios that can be dialed in on the flash itself or via the flash exposure compensation dial on the built-ins. Readers responded to our call for fill flash with a range of images, from portrait to nature to wildlife photography.


Jim Mitchell used fill to photograph this bird on what he described as an "extremely overcast day." He worked with a Nikon D2X and Nikkor 80-400mm VR lens. His flash was a Nikon SB-800 with a Better Beamer Flash Extender set at -0.7 EV compensation.
© 2006, Jim Mitchell, All Rights Reserved


Photographer King Dalton made this dynamic image of a stingray in the Grand Cayman waters with a Canon EOS 5D in an Ikelite housing with two Ikelite SubStrobe 125s. His lens was a Tamron 17-35mm zoom set at 17mm; exposure was f/16 at 1/200 sec.
© 2006, King Dalton, All Rights Reserved

Chrome Dressed

To add detail and luster to the engine and pipes of this motorcycle in the shade, Frank Goroszko used a Nikon SB-600 flash on his Nikon D70 with a Tamron 18-200mm XR lens. Exposure was f/11 at 1/160 sec, with a -1 EV exposure compensation on the flash.
© 2006, Frank Goroszko, All Rights Reserved

Portrait Fill

Christopher Petruzzi made this outdoor portrait of Ashley Long with close-up fill using his Nikon D2X and Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens. His exposure was f/4.5 at 1/60 sec.
© 2006, Christopher Petruzzi, All Rights Reserved

Floral Fire

To add color and light to this close-up of a tulip, Dr. Jerome Siegel worked with a Nikon F6 on Velvia 100 film; flash was set at -1.7 EV. He worked with a 200mm macro lens with an 81B filter.
© 2006, Dr. Jerome Siegel, All Rights Reserved

Senior Portrait

Gordon Rock made a series of images of his niece, Mara Crouch, for her senior portraits using a Nikon D2X, a 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens, and a Nikon SB-800 flash. Photographer Rock wrote, "The SB-800 was set to -1EV...The long focal length helped blur the background and the flash separated her from the dark bushes behind her."
© 2006, Gordon Rock, All Rights Reserved

Second Curtain Sync

Mark Maxon was on assignment to illustrate speeding on a stretch of road in southeast South Dakota. He caught this semi using a Nikon D1X set at f/5.3 at 1/4 sec, and used his flash on second curtain sync to show the truck's speed, which is amply shown as being over the limit.
© 2006, Mark Maxon, All Rights Reserved