Posted By MattDoc

Most point & shoot flashes aren't effective past 10-15 feet. External units for DSLRs get a little more reach, but not much. This means that if you are not close to your subject, don't use your flash.

Ever see all of those flashes going off in the crowds at the Olympics or the Super Bowl? Yeah, those people have an awesome photo of the backs of the heads of the people in front of them, that's all.

Also, don't forget that your flash will eat up your batteries very quickly. The less you use it, the less you'll have to worry about your batteries dying before the end of the day.

Here's a quick rundown of where you should be ok to use your flash (if the rules allow) and where you should avoid it:

Flash ON:

  • Around the con of you or your friends (ex. Photos taken with celebs or people in costume
  • Art and collectibles on display (if allowed, check those signs first). But watch for reflections if something is behind glass
  • After-con parties! They're going to be dark so the flash will be a must.


Flash OFF:

  • George Lucas Main Event - Haven't heard for sure, but you can bet that they won't want a thousand flashes going off in there the whole time.
  • Opening Ceremonies - It'll be a big room with a lot of people. The flash won't do squat.
  • Just about any room where there are speakers on a stage. Unless you are in the first row or two, your flash won't make it to the stage.
  • Any session or exhibit where flash is not allowed.

 
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All images © Matt Dougherty unless otherwise noted.