I never use flashlights or other artificial lighting equipment. Personally I think that you can make perfect pictures with advanced artificial lighting but you loose the ‘soul’ of the subject. For me it’s the challenge to use the available light and picture as is, followed by enhancing the ‘soul of the image’ with photo-processing software. At this stage I’m fascinated by the influence of (natural) light and it’s colour (temperatures) reflecting on my subjects. The colour of water surface, for example, changes continuously partly influenced also by the surrounding colours of vegetation etc.
Take this cactus (botanical name ‘Cephalocereus senilis’ but just say ‘Old Man’s Beard’). It’s one with white hair as seen with the bare eye but it’s not that white if nearby other (flowering) plants with different colours. Than the ‘Old Man’ suddenly becomes a colourful personality (or must I say ‘plantality? ). To enhance the colours I only had to move the ‘contrast’ and ‘brightness’ sliders plus the ‘exposure’ one in Photoshop a bit. More important was to photograph it at the right time of the right day. I made three pictures this morning somewhere between 10 and 11 AM and only one had more or less the desired ‘natural’ colours.
The second picture is the original (as is). See for yourself!