The biggest misconception in outdoor photography is the use a flash. Most people know that if they are indoors, they use a flash. Most point and shoot camera flashes default to auto flash, meaning, if the camera detects there is not enough light for a good picture, the auto flash will kick-in, in low light. What most people don’t know is when you are outside and your camera is set to auto flash, it will automatically shut down your flash. This is perhaps when you need your flash the most. For example, you are out of the beach and it is 5pm, shadows are heavy and your subjects faces are shaded. This is where your fill flash can help. Go to your settings, override the auto flash(make sure that the flash icon does not have a line through the lightning bolt or flash symbol) and force your camera to flash. This will fill in the shadows (often cast by hats, glasses, noses etc) and light up the faces of your subjects. On the other hand, if your subjects look overexposed and washed out, you can’t decrease the flash strength try moving back a little from your subject and using your zoom to get a tighter framing as this will decrease the impact of the flash. Also remember, with most cameras, about 6 or 7 feet is a normal flash range. Experimenting is the key. Sample images above show the difference between an image outdoors with the flash on and the flash off.