Chapter 6. Using Flash and Studio Lighting
Automatic electronic flash is so convenient and easy to use that you are usually unaware it even fires. With your camera on automatic, it's always ready when your autoexposure system decides it's needed. But this on-camera flash lighting has certain characteristics that can make a difference in the way your pictures look. For example, the pictures will have a "flat" lighting typical of flash-on-camera shooting. Alternative approaches, such as using an external flash to bounce light off walls or ceilings, or even just turning the flash off may produce more interesting results. In any event, you will be able to use flash to better advantage as you become more familiar with its characteristics.
But flash isn't your only source of controlled lighting. You can also use the camera in a home studio setting, perhaps taking formal portraits, or photographing smaller items for your records, insurance, sharing, or even selling on eBay.
In this chapter we explore all of these forms of lighting, from the built-in flash, to an external flash, to studio lighting. In the process you'll learn what makes lighting more effective and when, where, and how to use and control it.