This week's lesson was about using the flash. It's good to avoid using a flash inside since it can cause the photo to look too harsh and unnatural, and it can totally wash out your subject. However, sometimes there just isn't enough light and the flash is your only option. The lesson gave some good tips on how to work with your flash. (1) Have your subject stand as far away from a wall as possible since the flash will cast a strong shadow against the wall (if you click the link to the lesson above you can see examples of this). (2) Make sure you aren't standing too close to your subject. This is what will make them totally washed out. A good distance is 5-6 away, and you can use your zoom if you need to.
The lesson also talked about how you can use your flash outdoors to enhance your photos, particularly on bright sunny days when you wouldn't think to use it! When the sun is shining, it can cast dark shadows on your subject's face. However, shooting wish the flash will take away the dark shadows. Here's a pretty extreme example that I took of Mollie several months ago:
The first part of this week's homework was to take a picture of your subject outside on a sunny day without the flash. Here is my example of Mollie. This isn't a great example as there's not tons of shadows, but it's all I could get today.Then we were to take another picture using the flash. I totally forgot that you're supposed to stand further back when using the flash, so this picture is EXTREMELY overexposed, but you can see the shadows are gone! If I had been standing a few feet back, I think this technique would have worked perfectly.
Flash can also be used outside on bright sunny days when trying to shoot a subject that is backlit (the sun is behind them), or in the shadows. Here is a backlit picture of Mollie taken without the flash: