Tuesday, January 30, 2007
A Flash In The Night
Create dramatic evening images with a touch of artificial light
A standard flash exposure with a moving subject will result in a photo where the subject is frozen by the flash, but a streak will appear where the subject continued moving into the frame, usually making the blur appear unnaturally in front of the subject. Rear Sync delays the firing of the flash until the end, which results in the streak appearing more naturally behind the subject. This can produce striking images, especially when panning, resulting in bright, backgrounds full of almost surreal hues.
With either sync mode, you can handhold the camera, but if you wish to render the background with full detail and sharpness, use a tripod. Handholding can give wild, edgy effects, but they aren't for everyone.
Flash Exposure Compensation
Even with TTL flash metering producing accurate flash exposure, it still may not result in an image you want. If you have a preference for a more subtle or more pronounced flash look, either can be achieved easily by using the flash exposure compensation mode. By reducing the flash output, you can make a more subtle flash look. By overexposing the flash, you create a fashion-style look, where skin tones can be slightly overexposed, reducing the appearance of blemishes. The flash compensation mode allows you to increase or decrease the output of the flash in as small as one-third increments by as much as two ƒ-stops.
Again, you're only increasing or decreasing the duration of the flash. So if the flash has already reached its maximum output, this feature won't produce anymore light (this would be better achieved by decreasing the distance between the flash and your subject).
One of the most dramatic ways of making your nighttime flash images look distinctive is by taking the flash off the camera. Whether it's tethered to your camera by a dedicated cable or a wireless slave system, the off-camera flash gives directional light that illuminates subjects in ways that reveal depth, rather than the flat look that's common with most flash photographs.
Position the flash at an angle, either handheld or mounted on a light stand, and it can produce a sidelight that allows the opposing side to fall into the shadow, creating a sense of depth.
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