When should I use second curtain sync?
Your flash normally fires at the start of the exposure – as soon as the shutter is fully open.
But with moving subjects, this can mean that the ghost image created by the ambient light looks odd – a blurred image of a cyclist can appear in front of a sharp flash-illuminated shot of his bike. It can almost seem as if the cyclist is going backwards!
To use this ‘ghost’ to give a better idea of the direction of movement, switch to second curtain sync and the flash will fire when the second of the two shutter curtains is about to close (and end the exposure).
Turn second curtain sync on using your SLR’s Custom Functions or using the hotshoe flash controls.
Second curtain flash works best if the movement is following an obvious path, such as a runner (it’s less useful with dancers or playing children, where they may be moving forwards or backwards), and the shutter speed is not too long.
With first curtain flash, the strobe fires practically as you press the shutter.
With second curtain, the flash fires later – with longer shutter speeds it is hard to predict what the subject will look like when the flash goes off (and the subject may have even disappeared).
PAGE 1: How do I choose the right shutter speed?
PAGE 2: How slow should I go for motion blur?
PAGE 3: Do I need the motordrive?
PAGE 4: When should I switch to manual focus?
PAGE 5: Why should I keep both eyes open when using the viewfinder?
PAGE 6: How slow should I go at night?
PAGE 7: How do I set up for low-light events?
PAGE 8: What shutter speed do I use for zoom bursts?
PAGE 9: When should I switch on the flash?
PAGE 10: When should I use second curtain sync?
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