Why are you using flash during the day?

Yeah, why am I using flash during the day?

So this happens:

Henry Hellmuth installs low tunnels above a row of lettuce on one of Sustain Mizzou’s plots at the University of Missouri Bradford Research and Extension Center. This “mini-greenhouse” allows crops to grow a few more weeks despite the dropping temperatures. Hellmuth is a member of Sustain Mizzou.

By using flash, I filled his face and body with additional light. Without that, the side of his body facing me would have been darkened by a deep shadow due to the position of the sun.

I thought using flash for daytime was silly too, until I tried this. Here’s how I put my flash (this is a lighting diagram). At this angle I could avoid any awkward shadows.

This is my sorry attempt at a lighting diagram.


I wish I would have had more time to spend with Henry and his other low-tunnel installer, Sean. But, as is the life of a beginning photographer, the batteries I needed for my remote died, leaving me stranded because I didn’t have any spares.

My photoshoot at Bradford was not my first attempt to fill and balance. During lab I spotted a fabulous opportunity happening in Peace Park.

Okay, so I didn’t use flash here. But I liked the photo.

This was a group of “waist-drum” dancers, all of whom were international. They generously allowed me to take photos of them while they practiced their routine for the Homecoming parade.

The overcast, early evening sky was really providing the perfect lighting, so other than one girl who had a hat on, there weren’t many shadows for me to fill. Carrie, my TA, suggested trying subtractive lighting instead– underexposing the background to make the subject pop out a little more and isolate them.

This was my result:

I’m not sure if I like the method or not, at least in a journalistic sense. I don’t think it truly represents what real life looks like.

Carrie did show me some fabulous wedding photos that successfully used the technique, though.

The technique I didn’t practice was balance. I must have had a brain malfunction because I thought that was used outside too!

With all my midterms descending on me, and Thanksgiving break drawing enticingly near, I have to keep my head in the game.



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