Friday, February 01, 2008

New Contest - Rear Curtain Sync - Is It Good For Anything?

Originally uploaded by VJ Spectra

OK, gang, I having a contest to see who can come up with the best "Rear Curtain Sync" image. It might sound like a fancy term but what's it good for? I'm in the process of writing this article for the Photoshop World Workbook coming up in Orlando this coming April 2 -4. I'm listing about 30 ways to improve your flash photography and I thought "Rear Curtain Sync" might make a good topic. But, what is it? Our cameras are normally set to sync at the beginning of the exposure and all is happy with the world. Canon and Nikon both offer the option of setting the flash to sync at the end of the exposure. At this point, you might be thinking, "What's the point?"

The more I thought about it and researched images using the "rear curtain sync" technique shown on Google and Flickr, I found I wasn't thrilled with the images I was seeing. This one by V. J. Spectra was my favorite after going through several Flickr images. The main reason one would use it is for the effect of leaving trailing (as opposed to leading) light streaks of, say a car's headlights, when making a nighttime time exposure. Check out the article over at Short to see what I mean.

I wanted to see how I could incorporate it into a wedding image. I was envisioning for instance, a clear image of bride and groom walking down the aisle with their motion streaking behind them. Here is one of the problems with the current set of cameras - you must use the Canon or Nikon's own flashes on their respective bodies to make it work. That generally means no direction of light. You could do it with an off-camera flash with the camera in "manual" mode and come up some shots like this,

but the fact of the matter is that I could have done this with front curtain sync and still got the same result just by reversing my start-stop zoom points.

Anyway, I'm soooo confused ---- So here is the deal - I want to see some really creative uses of the "Rear Curtain Sync" technique - not all that blurry stuff I see on Flickr and Google. Submit your best images to the DigitalProTalk Flickr group right here. I'll plan to announce winners sometime in February after a sufficient number of entries are submitted. Remember, the winner, based upon the opinions of our esteemed panel of judges - me and LaDawn - will receive my very popular Digital WakeUp Call tour DVD set worth $78.50. Even Scott Kelby, DWUC DVD owner, called it one of the best out there - here is the link to his review. So let's see what you guys and girls come up with - it should be fun.

That's it for today everybody. Good Luck on the contest. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you on Monday. --David

Related links to "Rear Curtain Sync"

1 comment:

  1. 2nd curtain sync is great for dragging the shutter when your subject (not the camera) is moving. I can't, for example, ask somebody kicking a football to do the whole motion in reverse.

    Anyway, I played around with it before, but I'm not sure if I liked any of the images enough to keep them.