Tiny flash, huge impact – People of Sheung Wan



So, recently the sunset had been blinding my eyes shining as I get off from work. I had been observing the sun and objects while I casually shoot photos with my GRD. I have no knowledge on how to operate with flash (such as flash exposure compensation, flash power, and more..)

After work

Three days ago, I was playing with my GRD’s tiny pop-up flash after seeing countless street photographers using their external flash on the street and seemed to be the subjects did not care about. People are just blinded when there’s heavy sunlight shining toward them. So flashing them wasn’t any issue when it comes to stealthiness. Moreover, the shutter/flashing speed goes so fast that I hardly notice my camera flashed. This series of photos were all fired with the built-in GRD flash. The manual flash output was set to 1/32…not sure if that does matter for this tiny strobe…

Man on the phone.

In most back light and dim situation, I’ve never use flash. I only thought it’s too artificial and making a photo look very unnatural.  However, that’s my amateur’s wrong assumption!! I was so wrong until I see good photographer’s use them correctly. It’s either without it to maintain the mood of the environment or use it to highlight our subjects beautifully. That’s what my impression on flash after seeing and using a few times. I hope I’m on the right track. I’d really like to use it properly to improve my photography.

Cool man in sunglasses

With flash, I also noticed I don’t need to rock my ISO setting to max in scenes that I normally do. Even the shutter speed is 1/32-1/90, I could still freeze the subject. I feel like I’ve discovered a treasure by myself…sorry to sound so noobish…

Kids going home
Kids going home. f2,2 ISO 3200 1/32

1/32 could freeze my subjects and yet not overexposing them. The flash filled out the original darkened highlight. I’ve never thought of something like this until I PLAYED with it.

I’ll play around with it more. As a matter of fact, I’d like to invest on a flash. Here comes the nightmare for me – money >.< I’d like to get a Fuji retro-looking EF-X20. It’s not big but it has the functions/settings/modes that I’d need as a start out one.

I’ll do more research (save up some more) and see if there’re more options (given the right compactness) in the market.

man fishing
Man fishing

I don’t want to kill my GRD’s built-in flash…I know I’d be using it a lot going forward.

Exercises in the sun.
Exercises in the sun.

Photography is full of surprises. Everyday something new for me for me to play with. My next lesson is to learn how to control the flash. It’s challenging enough for me already. Let’s see how far I can go.