You have some guests over and want to take some snap shots. You see a friend sitting in a chair and quickly take a shot. Wait! Why is there this dark arch at the bottom of my photo? Is my camera going bad?
The dark area at the bottom of the photo is a shadow of the lens (or lens hood) from the on-board flash.
Image 2 is the actual set up that took Image 1 second before.
There are a few solutions to fix the shadows left by lenses.
- Don’t shoot so wide – Zoom in a little. Maybe you need to shoot so wide, but maybe you don’t.
- Remove lens hood – Since you are probably indoors, a lens hood might be needed. I always use a lens hood, even indoors, as additional level of protection of the front glass.
- Use a hot shoe flash – an inexpensive flash like the Nikon SB-600 is a great addition to any kit. This would not only lift the flash bulb to be higher (great for reducing red-eye), but allows you to bounce the flash off ceiling and walls.
- Don’t use the on-board flash – Maybe you don’t need it. If you’re camera is producing good high ISO images, try that if the shadows bother you.
Anecdote : I used the Nikon 50mm 1.8D lens for Image 2. EXIF data below:
Device: Nikon D700
Lens: 50mm F/1.8D
Focal Length: 50mm
Focus Mode: AF-S
AF-Area Mode: Single
Shutter Speed: 1/60s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Comp.: 0EV
ISO Sensitivity: Auto (ISO 2200)
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Flash Mode: Optional, TTL
Flash Exposure Comp.: 0EV
Advanced Operations: Bounce Flash
White Balance: Auto, 0, 0
High ISO NR: ON (Normal)