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Photography Tips



Ever wondered what all the flash modes are on your camera?  I know I am in a constant state of wonder aka confusion.  Today I am playing with second curtain flash.  What's that?

Ever wonder how a photo was taken that has that blurred background with the feel of movement and yet the the subject is crystal clear?  You can see that it has not been panned.  Perhaps pixel pimped in PS?  Hmmmm.   Not quite sure.

Consider using the second curtain flash.  Instead of the flash firing at the time you click the trigger and the lens opens, it fires just as the lens is closing to freeze the moving subject at that moment, leaving the movement a blur and the subject in focus.

Check the flash settings on your camera.   There should be a second curtain setting for the flash either in the camera menu, or wherever your flash menu is.  Or both.

When I press the trigger on my camera, the flash quickly fires, the shutter stays open for whatever amount of time I selected, and then just as the shutter is closing, the flash fires again to freeze the subject/target.

I will use this as my photo of the day and try to snag a sample for you while I am out and about.  I may revisit the technique as I work the process out over time.  But for a quickie example, here is what I did.

Take one, 4 second shutter speed, ISO 400, twisted the camera while shooting, did not adjust focus.  Stayed as steady as I could for the first half of the shot and then held onto the lens while turning the camera.  Used a wide angle lens because I was to lazy to get up and get a different lens.  ;)  I was not going for a tack sharp image, just trying to put it all together and see what happens. 


Dixie Cups and Diamonds

Ok, so not real diamonds.  But here are the ingredients:

You need something to take a picture of, your camera with pop up flash, white plastic cup.

Here is what you do with them:

Do not judge me.  This is ghetto studio here.  :)   This diffuses the light from your flash and costs about a penny.  I got a pack of 100 white plastic cups for a dollar at the local dollar center.

Obviously, you can take the time to make adjustments, post-process in whatever program you like, etc.  This is just nice to have for when you want a softer light and want something simple and cheap.  See examples below.  All settings were the same for each. The only difference was adding the cup as a diffuser in the second photo.