How NoctaCam Lets You Take Better Flash photos

Have you often struggled, trying to take a decent photo, with flash in low-light? It always turns out blindingly bright! Flashing, indeed, is for the graceless.

Did you wish you could adjust the flash brightness to avoid such bad photos?

To improve night photography for iPhone users, I launched my first photography app, NoctaCam, with one feature: control over light.

Photographers use two kinds of lights: a key light, which is the primary means by which a scene is lit, and a fill light, which selectively brightens dark parts of the scene, while leaving the rest alone. Most camera apps support only using the flash as a key light, but NoctaCam supports both a key light and a fill light.

This is useful in many situations. Here’s one:

Notice that the iPhone camera app’s flash was too bright, so the flower lost its color and detail. NoctaCam lets you reduce the flash’s strength, producing a more vivid photo, with rich yellow color, and detail on the flower, too.

Another problem with flash photos is that the background often disappears:

Notice how NoctaCam captured the striking sky and trees, while the iPhone camera app made it look as if the person is hanging in a vacuum.

Here’s a final example:

The inbuilt camera app’s flash captures only the plants in the foreground, making the sky look dark, missing the gentle dusk tones. You could turn the flash off, but that creates another problem: the plants in the foreground disappear, since there’s nothing to light them. The inbuilt camera app couldn’t capture the scene quite right, whether with the flash on or off.

What this scene really needs is moderate lighting to illuminate the plants, along with natural light for the background, blended seamlessly, like a Hollywood director. The whole adds up to more than the sum of the parts.

Notice also the balance between the foreground and the background in the NoctaCam photo. Contrast gives life and energy to photos, when some parts are dark and some bright. Everything bright makes a boring photo.

Use the light subtly and tastefully. If people don’t notice that you’ve used it, then it means you’ve used it correctly. NoctaCam lets you do exactly that.

These are three different situations in which I was able to take a better photo with NoctaCam — a person, an outdoor scene, and a macro.

As you adjust the LED, NoctaCam shows you a preview of the photo in real time, so you can see how it will look before you take it. You don’t want to find out too late that the photo didn’t come out well, and regret missing the opportunity.

You can use NoctaCam to capture photos of your family and friends, in restaurants, bars or parties. Take close-up photos of flowers at night. Capture gardens, terraces, courtyards or other outdoor areas at night.

NoctaCam makes an excellent complement to your main camera app.

Try NoctaCam, and let me know your thoughts.

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