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[Part 3] Using Flash for Different Subject Types: Landscapes

Even under unusual conditions, effective use of flash allows you to capture photos as intended. This article describes how you can use flash to shoot outdoor scenes from inside a room. (Reported by: Hidehiko Mizuno)

Balancing Contrast in Brightness with Flash

When you aim your camera at an outdoor scene from an indoor location, the intention is often to express the interior and details of the room nicely without creating black crush. A flash is particularly effective for such a situation. If the exposure is in accordance with the daytime outdoors, the surrounding area would become too dark. However, by adjusting the flash output and flash angle appropriately to compensate for the insufficient exposure, you will be able to balance the overall brightness.

Points for Selecting and Using a Flash


The amount of illumination may be halved depending on the flash angle. Choose a flash with a high flash output.


Check the bounce angle to determine whether it can be adjusted upward or downward, or to the left or right.


Select a flash model with a short charging time for smooth continuous firing.

With Flash
Without Flash

EOS 5D Mark II/ EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM/ Manual exposure (1/15 sec., f/16)/ ISO 400/ WB: Auto/ RAW (Model used: Speedlite 580EX II)

At Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto. The photo captures both the picture frame above the entrance as well as the shrine grounds.

  1. Frame
  2. 3m to the frame
  3. 8m to the shrine grounds

The distance to the frame was about three metres while to the shrine grounds it was around eight metres. With the aperture value set to f/16, focus was established on both. The exposure level for the landscape was then decided based on the aperture value. The flash was set manually to an output of 1/8 and fired upward.

Speedlite 600EX

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*The Speedlite 580EX II was used to take all sample photographs in this article.

Hidehiko Mizuno

Born in 1968 in Kyoto. The works he has released center on the beautiful scenery, and also the shrines and temples of Kyoto.

Digital Camera Magazine

A monthly magazine that believes that enjoyment of photography will increase the more one learns about camera functions. It delivers news on the latest cameras and features and regularly introduces various photography techniques.

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