No, it's not a new kind of fish snack, but instead something to watch for when taking your next night-time shot.
A reader of my tips, Bob Johnson, sent me an email last week asking if I could help.
Have enjoyed your lessons and have learned a lot.
I have a problem with flash which you may be able to help me with. Some of my indoor night shots of groups of people are not turning out well. Generally the right hand side of the picture is well lit by the flash while the left hand is not. I generally use AUTO.
Not all shots are like these though. My camera has face recognition and I am wondering if this might have something to do with it.
I am at a loss to understand why and wonder if you know the answer
Well, Bob, this is a common problem when using the flash with smaller cameras - and fortunately it is very easy to solve.
The reason that only some of the photo gets the flash light is you have obscured some of the flash with your finger! It's very easy to do - I have done it myself countless times! Particularly with smaller Point and Shoot cameras. When I hold the camera ready for the shot, my finger accidentally covers some of the flash, and because it is hard to shine a light through our body parts, the flash is obscured.
How do you know if this is the culprit on your shots? Look for the following:
- Some subjects in your photo are dark, while others are brightly illuminated and all your subjects are the same distance from the camera;
- It doesn't always happen when you use the flash. Sometimes your photos are fine;
- It is always one side or the other that is darker. Either the left or the right. Rarely both.
The solution is to pause just before you press the camera shutter, and see where your fingers are. If they are covering the flash (or the lens itself!), move them away before you take the shot. Or check your photo after you take it. If there is a dark area, take the photo again after removing the offending finger!
Thanks for the question, Bob.
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