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Friday, November 9, 2012

10 Days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 5

Today, I want to introduce you to a magical function, that is a flash option. Slow Sync. There are 2 ways for almost every camera to work in this mode. What this option allows you to do is open the shutter and expose a background, like a sunset, Christmas tree lights in a fairly dark room, or holiday lights at the park or zoo (any outside holiday light displays). It exposes the lights and then just before the shutter closes your flash fires exposing the foreground (where your subject is) Now if you will forgive the super old film images... I will try to replace these with some new ones this season!
No Flash

Flash (yes, the house lights are still on - but you cant see them!)

Slow Flash / Exposing for both the background and a flash for the foreground!

Let's go with the SUPER easy first. If you have preset options on your camera (either on a dial or in the menu system) look for an icon that has a star behind a person
This will adjust all your settings for you and command your flash.
IMPORTANT: You need to use a tripod, in this mode. Since your shutter is staying open for a long time, if you hand hold it, your lights will be blurry due to camera shake!!

If you want to have more control over your settings, or learn how to manage this in a different way, you can achieve the same result by....

Set camera to Program (or if your comfortable the appropriate M or S mode)
Command your flash on (look for the button that looks like a lighting bolt with an arrow on the bottom)
Now, cycle through your flash options (typically by hitting the SAME flash button, over and over again, or for DSLR you hold the button and spin a command dial, like you would to change your aperture/ shutter control, this dial is typically found where your thumb sets on the camera right)

You should have one icon that looks just like the button - thats flash on
One that has the flash icon with a circle and line over it - NO flash (command flash off)
One that is an eyeball with the flash icon (Red eye reduction function - preflash)
And one that says "rear" or "slow" with the flash icon = this is the option we want! (if you have both you want slow... rear does work, but there are differences...)

DON'T FORGET the TRIPOD! You would also do well to inform your subjects that your shutter is going to open, flash fire and then shutter will close, and not to move until you give them the "all clear" since your camera can pick up "ghosting" images if someone moves while the shutter is open.
Also works great for party images!

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