Hanover / Ingolstadt If you have a modern camera, you can sit back: “Sensors of modern cameras are so bright today that photographers hardly need to flash, especially when bright lenses are used,” says Sophia Zimmermann from the magazine “c’t Fotografie”. A flash would destroy this mood with hard light – the photo looks artificial.
Cameras that are no more than about five years old usually capture dim light like in restaurants, churches or a scene around a campfire by themselves in an atmospheric and sharp way. This also applies to smartphones.
“With modern smartphones with an integrated night mode, several photos are automatically taken one after the other and calculated by the integrated software to a photo that is relatively well lit,” says Zimmermann. Even photos of the night sky can succeed with it.
Absolutely avoid background noise
With the exposure time, aperture and ISO sensitivity of the camera, the amount of light to be captured can also be varied manually if necessary. With the highest possible ISO number, the sensor absorbs more light.
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But be careful: “Depending on the camera, interference signals can arise, such as background noise, so ‘pushing’ does not suit every subject,” explains Zimmermann. Photographers call image noise the disturbances caused by blurred or incorrectly assigned pixels. Current digital cameras with small sensors still shoot noise-free with ISO 3200, high-quality full-frame cameras still with over ISO 6400. “This creates atmospheric evening scenes, but not necessarily high-resolution portraits,” says the expert.
Flashing is an art in itself
Here, flash light, deliberately used, offers some advantages. “A flash controls the direction of light manually. This allows photographers to determine the direction of light themselves and use it creatively, ideal for portraits,” says professional photographer Daniel Wollstein.
Andreas Lindlahr, also a professional photographer, advises in the amateur sector to use the flash only carefully. This includes, for example, a subtle flashing, which a viewer of the later photo does not necessarily recognize, or a backlight flashing to weaken a hard light-shadow contrast. However, proper flashing requires a lot of practice and must be re-tuned for each new photo situation.
Cheap clip-on flashes, which can be operated manually, are available for under 100 Euros, weiß Zimmermann from “c’t Fotografie”. However, Andreas Lindlahr advises investing the money in a tripod. Because: “No photographer works shake-free.” With a tripod, long exposure times can be achieved without the photo shaking. This makes a flash, depending on the subject, superfluous.