BIRDS AS ART Bulletin #67, December 22, 2001
Tips on Using Fill Flash
After a year of canceling
automatic flash reduction on my Canon EOS 1v bodies (via CF
14-1), I have gone back to using the default setting, CF 14-0.
This allows the camera to reduce the flash automatically
depending on the EV level. To use fill flash effectively, it is
necessary to first determine and set the ambient exposure
correctly. With my EOS 1v I almost always work in Program Mode
and simply dial in -1/3 on the ambient for dark backgrounds,
shoot the meter for overall middle-tones, and add 1/3 or 2/3
stops of light if the background is lighter than the subject
(especially if the light is soft). As for the flash, I dial in
-2/3 or -1 for middle toned subjects and -1 1/3 for white or
very light subjects. For middle-toned subjects with black face
masks or hoods, I use a bit more flash by setting the flash at
-2/3 or -1/3 (to bring up the details in the black). For
totally black subjects, try 0 or even +1/3 to get a "fill flash"
effect. Black subjects really soak up the light from the
flash. Study both the ambient and flash exposure settings that
accompany the images in this Bulletin.