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Use your flash--even in the sun

Tara W. has worked for Crutchfield since 2004. She writes about whole-house music and video gear, and works on Crutchfield's video team.

More from Tara W.

I want it all when I take pictures. I want clear, expansive landscapes in the background and bright, smiling people in the foreground. And I've discovered a little tip that helps me achieve it, too — pop the flash, even in the sun.

Here's a real world example: After climbing a mile straight uphill this past Saturday, my friends and I busted out our cameras to record the gorgeous Virginia countryside. In addition to some shots of the rolling hills and mountains, we took a few pics with each other in the frame — just to prove we'd really been there, I suppose. I pulled the shot up on my camera's LCD afterwards, and there was the gorgeous countryside in the background and one of my friends with a big shadow over her face in the foreground.

Shadow face

Then, I took the same shot again, but this time popped the flash on my camera. And I got the exact result I wanted.

Bright face

If you take a photo in a sunny environment and end up with harsh shadows on your subject's face, turn on the flash (see your cam's owner's manual if you don't know how), and you'll get a shot of the great background and great foreground that you are looking for. And that's how you can have it all, or at least when it comes to pictures.