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5
Adjust the Light
Better Flash Photos

There are a couple of ways to get around the limitations of your camera's built-in flash. Try using a diffuser in front of the flash. It could be a piece of white paper or some translucent plastic. You'll soften the light and prevent glare and harsh shadows. On some cameras, you can use a product called a Lightscoop. This is a small mirror that snaps on in front of your camera's pop-up flash and reflects light off the ceiling or walls when shooting indoors, cutting glare [source: Lightscoop].

Think about it: What is a photograph? It's a record of light, nothing more or less. Many amateur photographers take light for granted. In fact, judging and adjusting the light is the key to taking good pictures.

Diffuse light is better for picture taking than direct sunlight, which creates shadows and glare that can ruin a photo. Photographers love to shoot in early morning or evening when the sun is low. A cloudy day is better than a sunny one. If you have to shoot at midday, move your subject into the shade.

A flash can help if you use it properly. The pop-up flash on your camera is most valuable as a fill flash [source: Story]. Use it to light your foreground subject when the background is already bright. It will eliminate shadows and give the subject the correct exposure. Be careful when using a flash in low light: It bleaches colors and washes out your subject. And keep in mind that the light from most built-in flashes reaches less than 15 feet (nearly 5 meters) [source: Kodak].

You can shoot indoors without a flash. Just move your subject near a window. A bright, north-facing room is ideal [source: Halford]. Use a piece of white poster board to reflect light onto the subject and improve your picture [source: Bezman Lighting].

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