Flash Modes
What are those other flash modes?
While you might be familiar with the Fill-in Flash\Flash On modeand the Flash Off mode, you may have never used the Slow Sync modesor. 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: Sometimes your camera will have 1st Curtain with red-eye reduction mode. In such a case, use this 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, i.e. 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. If you have neither, brace the camera against your body as best you can to keep it as sturdy as possible.
Bracing the camera:

Inhale as you press the shutter button and exhale afterwards.

2nd curtain (rear curtain):
This mode is similar to the mode described above, however, whereas the flash normally fires at the beginning of the long exposure or when the shutter first opens, this fires the flash at the end of the exposure or right before the end of the long exposure. This results in a more natural appearance of moving 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.
When using this mode keep in mind to keep your camera steady such as on a monopod\tripod or steady surface. If you have neither, brace the camera against your body as best you can. See “Bracing the camera” above.

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

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