Fill-in flash and backlighting

I've previously talked about the use of fill-in flash with bad weather; this tool can be profitably used even in the sunlight, when the sun is behind your subject (indeed, controlling the backlight is the reason for which fill-in flash was invented). This white egret was shot with backlighting and I used the fill-in to reduce the contrast between highlight and shadow.

White egret. Nikon D70 + AF-S 300 f/4 + TC 14E II, 1/500 sec @ f/9, -1 EV, ISO 200, fill-in flash, beanbag from the car

Special care must be paid to the white balance correction when the direct light source has a different temperature than the flash: you must choose between cold fill-in and neutral direct light or neutral fill-in and warm direct light. In the egret case, I opted for the latter choice: the setting sun gave a wonderful mildly warm tonality to the feathers in direct light that I didn't want to loose.

My Nikon D70 is usually unable to find the correct exposure in these cases, also because of the dark background; in these cases I start by dialling -1 EV and taking some probe shots, also for finding the best flash settings.

The wind raising the plumage was a perfect complement to enhance the contrast between the two different lights.