Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Don’t knock the inbuilt flash – and Edinburgher graffiti found in Glasgow

I seldom use flash since going digital and being able to use silly high ISO settings – I don’t even have a separate flash now, and rely on tricks to moderate the built-in flash which seems to come on nearly all cameras now.

Back in the days of film, the inbuilt flash was something of a joke, given that we had to use 100 ISO film, or 400 ISO, if we didn’t mind a bit of grain – I ended up with a collection of higher powered flash guns (coupled to the camera), and accidentally found out they would raise smoke from paper if fired too close (when I needed some quick diffusers one day).

I seldom used those flashes though – unlike digital, film didn’t do flash well, with a variety of issues if not shooting with fancy hardware and accurate filters.

Hotspots were a pain, even when I had a flash which had its own zoom lens. While it did alter the pattern and coverage, it still had a bright centre and dark corners/edges.

Colour temperature was a pain too, and even adding filters still ended up with a noticeable blue cast, and an obvious ‘Flash Pic’. Not really fixable if not doing your own d&p, which I never did.

Maybe that’s why I do anything to avoid flash to this day.

And I have to say, that’s a mistake, as I’m always surprised by just how good many flash pics I take come out, usually by accident (if I set a mode that disables my disabling of the camera’s inbuilt flash).

But for the fact that I aim to buy a camera with a bigger sensor and higher ISO capability every time I upgrade, I might even be thinking of adding a flash gun – but I’m not.

I’ll just carry on being surprised, and impressed, by how digital cameras/sensors/firmware deal with my largely unintended flash pics.

The example below is something I just tripped over from a few years ago, which reminded of this effect – one of those adverts that was popular for a thankfully short period, and was painted onto the pavement!

The bottom pic was the first I took when I spotted the naughty Edinburghers had been defacing Glasgow’s streets with their terrible graffiti 😉

I didn’t think the low light pic had come out too well, so let the inbuilt flash do its thing – and I think it did quite well, as seen in the top pic.

I’d say these were unprocessed pics, but the second has been lightly ‘breathed on’, but only to tone down the yellow of the prevailing sodium street lighting, which was still common at the time. I didn’t even straight/align them. The flash pic didn’t even suffer a yellow cast from the street lighting.

Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2017

Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2017

Like the vinyl resurgence (records), I can’t understand why anybody would choose to use film and chemicals, unless it’s a form of elitism, and/or forming a club with barriers to entry (can’t have the peasants taking photographs, can we).

Then again, I can’t understand why anybody would support, or vote, something like Donald Trump into a position of power, yet 74 million mostly unvaccinated loonies did.

25/11/2021 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , ,

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