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Flash sync

edited February 2013 in wedding photography
Hi you all, I've read lots of tangents and they helped me a lot. Thanks for this.
I'd like to know which flash sync is better for church ceremonies. I mean, whats better between direct sync, rear curtain or whatever else? It seems to me, in TTL mode, when I shoot slow/rear I get more ambient light, but how to manage the risk of blur? Upon seeing your last video "direction of light" I didn't find any suggestion.
I apologize for my poor english, thank you in advance,
Ruggero Poggianella


  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited February 2013
    I see what you are trying to achieve and although it sounds good you need to be careful. Using a slower sync speed to point where you are deciding between front or rear curtain to bring in more ambient light is very dangerous. More than likely your subjects will have motion blur.

    Most churches are fairly well lit. They certainly never dark to point where you need the flash to be your primary light source. I'm sure some photographers encounter that from time to time. That church would make me nervous :)

    Flash can freeze you subjects but it has to be the primary light (stronger than ambient) source and you have to be close enough due to light fall off. Light from your flash is quite powerful within the first few feet and then gets weaker very quickly. Think of the light coming out of your flash as a cone which gets bigger as it goes further away.

    Typically if your camera light meter shows at least two stops under exposed your flash will freeze the subject. Here I experimented with a shutter of 1/10. I swept the flash as I took the shot. The flash froze the t shirt which was about 2 meters away but the christmas tree which was about 4 meters away is blurred. See attached file below.

    Photographers use this method in low lit receptions. You need to be steady and there cannot be people moving swiftly. Basically standing still. If the bride is dancing and you are too far away the flash will not freeze her especially if you are bouncing.

    Your best bet is to maintain a shutter speed that will freeze everything. At least 1/60 and here the first or second curtain sync will have no great effect. Even 1/60 will show blur with people moving outside the flashes range.

    Faster is even better as Neil states magic happens at the cameras sync speed particularly when the background is bright. So finally the answer is as high an ISO you are comfortable and open up that aperture. Bring in as much ambient as you can even with a faster shutter to balance your flash. This is were fast lenses shine. The more the ambient the less harder the flash works, the more natural the images look. You can experiment at 1/125, 1/160, etc.

    Here is a very good video on fall off or the Inverse Square Law. I think it is just as important to understand this if you are into flash as understanding how your shutter, aperture and ISO work together without flash.

  • hello rugr... are you shooting with your camera in Manual mode? if not, you should be (IMO) if u are in Manual Mode the different sync settings will NOT affect how bright the photo is.
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