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  • Writer's pictureJohn Patota

Flash During the Day?!?!

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

I've been using my Godox V1n a lot flash lately. Yes, even during the day in bright sunshine. Let me tell you why.

In photography, "fill in flash" is a technique used to balance the exposure of a subject's face and the background in a photograph, particularly in situations where there is a significant contrast between the subject and the background.

When photographing a subject against a bright background, such as the sky, the subject's face may appear underexposed, resulting in a dark or shadowed appearance. To overcome this issue, I use my Godox flash as a fill-in flash, which provides an additional burst of light to illuminate the subject's face and balance the exposure. So, I found myself on the last day of the Wake Forest Invitational at the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2 as the college teams in the tournament were finishing up play. I ditched my Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 telephoto lens in favor of my trustily Nikon 24-120 mm f/4 and locked in the Godox flash. A few test shots later I had the exposure dialed in: 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 100, and -3 TTL on the flash.

Here is an example of photos taken one after another. One without flash, the other with a flash.

No Flash


See how the flash adds a bit of light to their faces? In this situation, the sun is behind the subjects, creating backlight. Not good for brightening up your subjects.

The fill-in flash is typically used in conjunction with ambient light, meaning that the flash output is adjusted to be less intense than the natural light in the scene, resulting in a more balanced and natural-looking image. For my run-and-gun photography, I mount the flash on the camera and point it directly at the subject. No need for a diffuser cap or other light modifiers.

Fill-in flash can also be used during the golden hour when the light is low and the shadows are long. The image below was taken just as the sun was going down behind the subjects. Because the group was backlit, I need to add some light on them.

A group of photographers from the Sandhills Photography Club at the Pungo Wildlife refuge in eastern North Carolina as Snow Geese circle the field.

In summary, fill-in flash is a photography technique used to balance the exposure between a subject and the background by providing additional light to the subject's face or other areas of the scene that may appear underexposed.

A word about the Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. First, you should know that only review photography gear that I actually use. And I'll always give you my honest opinion. If you decide the click on the link them buy the item, I get a small commission. You do not pay any extra, but it does help me continue to write these blog posts. Thank you!

One more thing, I am a Nikon shooter. So when I link to camera, lens, flash or camera accessory, it is for the Nikon system. When possible I'll link to similar equipment for Sony, Cannon and Fuji.

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