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Photography Question 
Gianna Stadelmyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2004

Fill Flash

I have a Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel). I am not a fan of flash in my photography, but admit there are times it's useful... like to fill shadows on faces in outdoor shots or to fill in a backlit subject. (I had even purchased a Canon external flash, but discovered my hot shoe was bent and can't use it now until I get that repaired.)
The problem I am having is making that flash fire when I want it to. When I am in manual mode, I can make it go, no problem. But on family vacations and such, I often shoot in a program mode so I don't miss a shot. Example, my kids feeding the pigeons out of their hands at St. Mark's Square in Venice. The sun was bright and the kids kept changing positions, so there were times fill flash would have benefited. I was shooting in portrait mode so that I could get their faces in focus while feeding the birds and blur out the bg. But I could not get that flash to fire! And shooting in manual was proving difficult since the light would change depending on how the kids were turned. I have read the manual and looked in the menu options, but nowhere do I see how to force the flash to fire as a fill flash. (My fuji s7000 has it's own flash settings including being able to make the flash stronger if needed, but the Canon is different.)
Does anyone know how to force a fill flash in a program/auto mode on the Digital Rebel? And does anyone know if I can adjust the strength of the on-camera flash. Like I said before, I can't use my external flash until I get the hot shoe repaired when I get Stateside again in a couple of months.
I'd really appreciate any advice. My daughter's first communion is coming up on May 8th and I will definitely need that flash inside the church.

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4/17/2005 9:05:46 AM

Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  I had to look at my camera. It appears that you can only use the flash, and keep your aperture/shutter speed where you want them in the aperture/shutter or manual modes. Auto has a mind of it's own, and program when you activate the flash reverts to shutter speed of 60. I know this probably didn't help much, but at least I learned something...:-)

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4/17/2005 11:04:31 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  I was just wondering, but what about using the night portrait setting? I think that camera has it. It's got a picture of a person with a star about their head. I know that exposes for the back ground and flashes to light the subject in the foreground. Maybe that will work? Make sure your shutter speed doesn't get too low depending on what the lighting conditions are like. I don't think you can change the intensity of the on camera flash though? Try using AV and TV mode and see what happens. Maybe TV would be better so you don't risk the shutter speed attempting to go over the sync speed (with the on camera flash). Hope this helps you out!

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4/17/2005 11:48:17 AM

Gianna Stadelmyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2004
  That does help. Thanks, Bob and Andrew! Yes, I do have a night setting and hadn't thought of that. You are right... I'd have to watch the shutter speed didn't drop to low. One, because I won't be able to set up a tripod in the church and two because my subjects will be moving. I will try a higher ISO and do some practice shots that way. I'll also play with the aperture settings and see how that plays out with the flash. Thanks again!!!


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4/18/2005 12:21:59 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  In the Basic exposure modes (green box and icon settings), the built-in flash is Automatic and only fires in low light situations. Daylight fill-flash is only available with the Creative modes (P, Av, Tv, M, A-DEP).

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4/18/2005 8:06:33 AM

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