Mother and Daughter

Mother and Daugher

f’/5.6, 1/50, ISO-800, 55mm

My niece with her two-month-old daughter. The popup flash was also used set at -2 exposure compensation. I’ve been playing more and more with the popup flash lately, experimenting with using it for fill light in low-light indoor shots. Months ago, when I was still learning about all the newfangled widgets in these DLSRs, I attempted the flash a couple of times, got great ugly shadows, and never popped it up again.

I’ve discovered, though, that by cranking down the flash exposure compensation on the camera, a warm glow can be added without necessarily creating background shadows. It helps me get nice shots without cranking the ISO to unbearable levels (though I still had to go pretty high for this one). The other thing the flash gets me is a nice little twinkle in the eyes.

I softened the skin tones in this with Nik software, and accentuated the orange and yellow just a hair to add to the impression of a glow on their faces. Also I added some sharpness to the eyes. Thanks to the window just out of the frame to the right letting in some natural light, the glow was slightly accentuated by deepening the shadows and bringing out the highlights.

I would, of course, love to have an external flash (nothing fancy, a 430EX II would suit my purposes nicely) and an off-shoe cable for it, but right now I have to be satisfied with resources that are somewhat more limited.

This entry was posted in Flash Lighting, Indoor, Photography, Portrait and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat July 16, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    This is an absolutely beautiful photo. I have a hard time with harsh shadows when I take indoor portrait photos. Thanks for the info on your pop-up flash. I need to work more on that. This is a stunning photo.

    • AJBopp July 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

      Thank you so much for the compliment. I was pleased with how it turned out, though I think I would do well to take another look at how I sharpened the eyes. When viewed full size, it seems like I have over sharpened.

  2. ndjmom July 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I adjust my pop-up flash all the time. My problem is that it’s usually on a low fill flash setting and when I really need it to POP in the dark setting I’m left wondering why I can’t get enough light,…duh? Nice portrait of Mother and child.

    • AJBopp July 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      Yeah I have run into that a time or two also. Frustrating when you lose that once in a lifetime shot because you’re buying the last shots settings.

  3. John Todaro July 19, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Wonderful portrait. All bases covered.

    • AJBopp July 19, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      Thanks! I was really pleased with this one.

  4. mdphotographers July 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Great job.. I honestly could not tell that you used the pop up flash to create this image.

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