What are those other flash modes?
While you might be familiar with the Fill-in Flash\Flash On mode and the Flash Off mode , you may have never used the Slow Sync modes or . If you used them without knowing what they do, you may have gotten results that were less than desirable. When used in the right situation you can broaden your picture taking ability.

1st curtain (front curtain):
This flash mode is very similar to Fill-in Flash Mode , however, the camera will use a longer exposure time (i.e., slower shutter speed) than it normally does for flash photography. This results in an image where both the background and the subject are properly exposed. Typically flash shots result in a brightly exposed subject against a dark background. These types of shots make it difficult to have any sense of atmosphere or convey any insight as to where the subject was located.

Image shot in 1st curtain (front curtain)
The background is properly exposed via the slow shutter speed in use, while the use of flash illuminated the woman.
Note: Use when shooting portraits against a dark background. This will incorporate the red-eye reduction mode and keep the image looking as natural as possible.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when using this mode:
  • Your subject should be relatively stable — standing still or not displaying any movement.

  • Your camera should remain steady such as when placed on a monopod\tripod or on a steady surface. Or brace the camera against your body, as best you can to keep it as sturdy as possible.
Bracing the camera:
To help steady the camera, slowly inhale as you press the shutter button and exhale afterwards.

2nd curtain (rear curtain):
This mode is similar to the mode described above; however, the flash fires at the end of the exposure or right before the end of the long exposure. Normally, the flash fires at the beginning of the exposure. By having the flash fire at the end of the exposure the result creates more naturally appearing movement of bright objects in the scene, such as the trail of a flashlight or birthday candles. Once again, the background and foreground will be properly exposed.
Again, keep your camera steady when shooting in this mode. If you don’t have a monopod\tripod or steady surface, brace the camera against your body as best you can. See "Bracing the camera" above.

Notice in the trail of lights appears to be in front of the subject and in the trail of lights is actually behind the subject for a more natural appearance.

Don’t forget to change back to the regular Auto or Fill-in Flash mode on your camera when your nighttime shooting is over or your daytime and indoor shots may be blurred.
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