Uneven Light with Flash

 

I have been using an external flash to shoot outdoor wedding functions. I often find that there is too much light on the nose and cheeks, but the rest of the face is slightly dark. How do I solve this problem?
Preet Upendra Singh, Rajasthan

This article was originally published in February 2015.

The first image shows the effect of direct flash.

The first image shows the effect of direct flash.

The second image, with diffused flash, is evenly lit.

The second image, with diffused flash, is evenly lit.

This is a common problem when you use automatic flash in a compact camera or a DSLR with a flash mounted on the hot shoe. In such cases, the flash light is direct and harsh, which tends to give you unflattering portraits. When shooting weddings in the daytime, always dial in –1 or –2 stops of flash exposure compensation. This will ensure that the flash only acts as a fill-in and removes any disturbing shadows from the face.

Try softening the flash’s output with a diffuser, butter paper or even tissue paper to minimise bright spots. Also, avoid shooting from a very close distance. Direct flash fired from a close distance will cause the details on the face to get blown out.

Tags: external flash, flash exposure compensation, Question of the Day, uneven light