Cameras have been cleverly designed for the most part. There are one or two cameras that look as though they may have been designed by a team of mutant teenagers after smoking something inspirational. But the majority of cameras these days automatically produce sharp, correctly-exposed images.
So cameras are simple enough to use. That is, until you pop a flash on top of your camera and start shooting. Things can go wrong very quickly and they usually do; if not technically then they become disasters in art and design. Placing a flash in the hands of an amateur photographer is akin to handing a live grenade to an eight year old boy.
A lack of confidence and competence with flash isn't restricted to amateurs. I know half a dozen highly-renowned professional photographers who don't know the first thing about flash. Their solution? They always find an excuse not to use it (but they don't always get away with it!)
Here are a few simple tips to set you on your way to being a more successful flasher:
1. Each and every time you take a photograph with flash you are actually taking TWO images - one on top of the other on the same frame. Never ever forget that - its always two images with flash. Its a key piece of knowledge to understanding the many dimensions of flash.
2. If you're using a DSLR camera with a flash the safest setting to use is 'P'. This means the camera has the largest range of options by adjusting both shutter speed and aperture.
3. Extend the life of your pet budgerigar by not firing your flash into your budgie's eyes (or any other pet for that matter!)