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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.





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