Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.
Chapter 36. Flash programs
Irrespective of how the flash works, a camera has settings for flash photography. Most cameras use the functions and symbols on their LCD-screen, which are much like the ones shown below.
The more advanced flash systems like E-TTL compensate themselves for daylight. If the flash is activated even though there is, in fact, enough light for normal exposure, then the flash strength is automatically reduced by between 0,5 and 2 EV, dependent on the assessed light measurement. You can really use the flash for fill-in in daylight here, especially if the camera can synchronise a flash with very short shutter speeds (1/250 second or less).
Choice of flash function via the menu system. (Minolta A1)
There are two variants of this mode: the first and the second curtain. The difference between them is the point of time when the flash is fired off. With the first curtain the flash is fired off right after the exposure is started. The lighting then continues for a certain time before the lens is closed.
The second curtain
”The second curtain” is a term, which describes the function where the flash is fired off at the end of the exposure time. It can, for example, be used when taking exposures of moving cars at nighttime. Here the car’s lights can be traced after the car, when the flash is fired off right at the end of the exposure time, and it looks better.
Both fill-in and slow-flash are two sides of the same thing. In both cases the flash is fired off regardless of the lighting. It can be necessary afterwards to reduce the power of the flash. If the flash is too dominant, its effect can be weakened with flash compensation. You can, for example, weaken the flash with, what corresponds to two thirds of a diaphragm step (2/3 EV). So that the people in the image look less ”burnt out”.
The bottom scale in the display states the flash compensation, which can reach plus/minus 2 EV.