Today’s blog is titled “Fill flash for Macro

Blog 5 of “Nature Photography- Tips and Techniques” series.

Please do check out the previous blog in the series Titled “Don’t Ignore the Diffuser” 

Please do note that these are my personal observations and not necessarily the only way in the world to make better Images. I am sure there must be a million other ways of doing the same thing.

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Today’s Blog is titled “Fill flash for Macro”

Camera settings for both shots:

Camera: Canon 7D Mark II

Lens: Canon 100 mm f/2.8  (Non IS)

Aperture: f/7.1

Shutter Speed: 1/250 Sec for the first one, 1/200 for the second (Handheld)

ISO: 100 (first), 200 (second)

Aperture Priority

“Fill flash for Macro” here refers to how a flash can be used to fill in shadows, and bring out details, which we otherwise loose when shooting in bright sunny days or even cloudy days.

Nature Photography Tips and Techniques - Fill flash for Macro

First Image taken only using available light

In today’s blog post, I want to highlight how using a fill flash for shooting macro images, in harsh lighting conditions, can make a huge difference to the resulting image.

One afternoon last week, as I was sitting outside my house, gazing at the mighty Chaukhamba , a golden shimmering speck caught my attention. I ran towards it and found it to be a dragonfly, the kind of which I had never seen before. Running towards my room, I got my Canon 100 mm and waited for the dragon fly to perch again (Dragon flies have a habit of hovering and coming to the same perch multiple times), and then fired a number of shots. The time was 1:40 PM and sun was very high in the sky.

One close observation one can see that a lot of details on the Thorax, compound eye and legs are lost. When processing the Image i had to open the shadows all the way to 100, to recover the details.

So in the next shot I popped up my in camera flash and took the below shot.

Nature Photography Tips and Techniques - Fill flash for Macro

The Second shot taken with a flash, mostly to fill in the details. 

As it was a brightly lit day, I compensated by dialing down my flash exposure to -3 and took this shot. The subject now looks very well detailed. You can see the fine details in the compound eye, the thorax and the legs of the subject. Also all the shadows on the subject have been eliminated (I must admit though, the first pose is way cooler then the second one ?)

In this case, the flash was not used to illuminate the subject, but to fill in the details which otherwise were lost due to harsh sunlight.

So to summarize

  • The First Image fired without a flash has lost a lot of fine details
  • By firing a flash just to fill in the shadows, the image now has much more details and looks sharper.


So here it is, my today’s blog on “Fill flash for Macro”

Please do check out my other blogs and expeditions here and here

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Hope this Helps!!!!


Nature Photography Tips and Techniques- Golden Light | Creative Praveen Reply September 3, 2016

[…] Please do check out the previous blog in the series Titled “Fill Flash for Macro”  […]

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