Advanced Technique & Process 2A: Testing Rear-curtain sync flash

8th & 9th October 2014

I used:
Canon 5D mk iii & Canon 1000D (On self timer so I could run and jump)
430EXii speed lite
A tripod

I researched rear-curtain sync flash for my project and did some tests to see how it could be used and how it affected the look of my images.
The look I wanted to achieve at first was to expose the scene on a long exposure, e.g 10 seconds, then have the flash go off at the end, as the subject jumps into the shot. I did these tests in my house where there was a lot of ambient light, and this definitely affected the look of the shot, and I’ve seen through these images that rear-curtain sync flash only works when the ambient light in the background is to a minimum. (However this could have been a result of me expecting the subject to completely show, but with having the flash at the end it is almost ‘layered’ ‘on top’ of the exposure of ambient light that has already been taken, so the subject caught by the flash appears as a ghost, and not very visible.) I tried my flash in this way, but at different powers e.g 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 to see how this affected the exposure. The only thing with using flash too high power is it lights up the whole scene when I am only wanting the subject in my images to be lit. So I will have to try and balance the amount of ambient light behind the subject, with the brightness of the flash. Here are my test shots…


I found that the darker the background (and less ambient light in the background) the better the image and contrast between the flash and the light… I will continue to test this technique and do some test shots with my models for this project.

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