How to Boost Your Flash for Mobile Photography

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April 11, 2018

Using flash for mobile photography has been looked down upon by many mobile photographers but here are some new tips that will challenge that belief. With the flash often you get bright, washed out images of people with red eyes. You may have taken a picture of that special event to later find the results were not that pleasing. The flash on auto mode will choose a fast shutter speed and will light up the subject brightly. Taking pictures using the flash for mobile photography will leave the subject bright and the background too dark. Most the time, it is recommended to keep the flash option turned off but there a few times with the flash will be boost your image. Here are some guidelines for when to use/not use your camera flash.

no flash for mobile

Flash Off

flash on with chocolate

Flash On

Sparingly Use The Flash for Mobile Photography

The general rule of thumb for using the mobile flash photography is to keep it off until you know it will enhance your shot. With your phone, you can keep it off and then tap on it to turn it on for a specific shot. Then auto flash won’t mess up a great image. Use flash for low lit photography if there is not enough light to get a good shot. Sometimes you can increase the ISO but if it is too high then the image will be grainy.

                              Avoid Flash Color Clash

Flash may appear as white light, but it has a color. The flash color is created with a daylight balance. This color may look warmer than the color of daylight on an overcast day, which may appear blue. It may look cooler if you are taking a picture in a room with tungsten room light, which is a yellowish hue. If you are taking a picture in a room that has warm tungsten light (light bulb light) and take a picture with the flash it may have conflicting colors creating a greater washed out image. If you are in a room that has tungsten light, it is ideal to turn off the flash and increase the ISO to increase the light in the image.

Avoid the Flash at Big Events

When taking a picture at a concert or sporting, it will not improve the image to use the flash. But it may impact the eyes of the people next to you.  For your mobile phone, the average range for the built-in flash is about 15-20 feet. Your camera’s flash will not reach to the stage or the field so it will make no difference. So at big events refrain from using the flash for mobile photography.

No Flash Mobile Photography

 Avoid the Flash When Shooting Through Glass or Mirrors

When taking pictures through glass or mirrors, it is best turn off the flash. The mirror will reflect the flash back into the object. This will create selfie’s with light emitting out of the eye and will destroy the image. Also if you are at the zoo and take a picture of the gorilla through the glass, the flash will blind the gorilla and also reflect back creating an ray of light in the image.

Use the Flash in Daylight as a Fill in Flash

One of the best times to use the flash for mobile photography is when it is bright and sunny outside. Your subject may have a few shadows and a front flash will help lighten up the image.  If your image is back light or lit from above, you may have odd shadows. The ambient light that surrounds the object will be much less harsh than straight flash.

Use a Tripod

To improve your flash photography, a tripod will help you capture better images. If you decide not to use the flash and use ISO a tripod is vital. This will decrease image blur and will capture a greater shot. Even steady hands are not able to stop the camera from moving so if you want your images crisp and clear use a tripod. Also using a Bluetooth shutter release will help your camera stay still.

Joby gorillapod iphone tripod

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