When do you use flash?

November 24, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. I’ve switched sites twice after accidentally blowing away the original site.

I thought I’d get the initial blog post on the new site kicked off with a question. When is it appropriate to use flash? I ask that question with sports photography in mind specifically. I recently applied to a high school athletics site to be a part of their professional photographer network (I’ll not name the site). My application was turned down. I don’t have a problem with being turned down and in fact the response provided a list of reasons why I was turned down. Some of it seemed like someone just went through a checklist to make it seem thorough; on the other hand I’m almost always appreciative of feedback since it tells me where I need to improve.

One of the items, however, I found curious. They explicitly stated in the application process and in the application feedback that they strongly prefer flash photos. For portraits or non-action photos I could understand using a flash. On the field; however, I consider flash to be an off-limits tool. For one, it’s my job to capture the action not be a distraction to it or become a part of it. Another reason is that while flash photography may not be unilaterally banned at the high school level it is at the collegiate and professional levels. I need to learn to not depend upon flash then, in my opinion — no matter how crappy the stadium lighting.

Anyone else shooting high school football or other sports under outdoor lighting? Do you use flash? Why or why not?

 


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