Flash Exposure Compensation

Flash exposure compensation means that you adjust the flash’s brightness manually to be different from what the camera electronics would do. The flash compensation is chosen like exposure compensation, using digits of e.g. -1.0.

Which values to use is a matter of experience and trial & error, my rules of thumb are:

  • The negative flash exposure compensation is a lot more relevant than a positive one, to reduce the harsh light from the flash in relation to the softer ambient light.
  • Accordingly you will normally not need a flash exposure compensation if you use the flash as a main source of light.
  • Typical values for flash compensation are around -1.0, rarely up to -2.0 or even stronger.

Here are the sample images from the section about fill flash again, now with an additional sample using a flash compensation of -1.0 (click for a larger view):

sample photos 1 without fill flash, with fill flash, with fill flash and flash exposure compensation

The shadows are a bit more visible again, the light appears more natural.

The tree trunk shows the effect even better; the overall exposure is still and the shadows only slightly reduced.

sample photos 2 without fill flash, with fill flash, with fill flash and flash exposure compensation