Tip Tuesday: Turn Off Your Flash - DSLR edition

Hello!  I hope you all found my last Tip Tuesday post helpful.  Today I want to show you a few ways to take photos with a DSLR camera without using the flash.  I use a Canon so this will be instruction for a Canon.

I prefer to not use flash whenever possible. As you may know my favorite mode is AV - aperature-priority. In AV mode the lower you set your f-stop number the wider your lens will open and more light will come into the camera, making your picture brighter.

Another way to brighten your photo is with the exposure composition button. Still in AV mode, hold down the AV +/- exposure button and move the dial toward the + side. This tells the camera to make the photo brighter. Move this over a little bit at a time to be sure you're photos don't come out too bright.

ISO - the ISO you use will depend on if you're outside or in, and how fast your subject is moving. When outside a good ISO setting is 400. If you're outside and your subject is moving really fast, like in sports or action shots, lower the ISO below 400.  When inside try to go as high as your camera will allow without creating too much grain.  800 or 1600 should be good for indoors photos, some camera's go up even higher. 

Natural lighting is necessary for taking a photo without flash. Go outside or get near a window and open the curtain. You might think it's best to put your subject facing the light. But try having them stand sideways next to the window and getting a reflector on the other side. The reflector will help the window light hit the other side of the subject.  The light will be softer and your subject won't have to squint.

If after you've taken your photo, you find you still need a little tweaking, there are free photo editing websites out there. One great, free website to edit your photos is PicMonkey.

So, those are some basic ways to take a picture without flash. If you adjust each slightly you'll find the right setting for each. Light is always changing so it can be a challenge.  

Of course there are exceptions to every rule and sometimes flash is necessary and unavoidable.  If you have to use flash just be sure to be far enough away from your subject so you avoid those harsh highlights and close enough that the flash will hit the subject evenly.

Happy shooting!

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