Slow, Steady, Flash!

 
Slow Sync is a great  way to avoid harsh  light caused by only  firing the flash. Exposure: 1/8sec at f/5  ISO (1250). Photograph/Siddharth Malik

Slow Sync is a great way to avoid harsh light caused by only firing the flash. Exposure: 1/8sec at f/5 ISO (1250). Photograph/Siddharth Malik

Combine the flash with slow shutterspeeds for perfectly sharp and artistic photographs in low light situations. Chandni Gajria shows you how.

Whenever the light is too less, you would think of only two options. One, to fire the flash and second, to use a slow shutterspeed. But what if you could use both these features at the same time? Wouldn’t that solve the problem?

The Technique
The Slow Sync flash function can be found on many cameras and works mainly by combining a slow shutterspeed and firing the flash. This ensures that there is some ambient light captured along with the subject being sharp.

Experiment with shutterspeeds ranging from 1/10sec to 1/20sec for this technique. While DSLRs allow you to manually control exposure and flash intensity for the Slow Sync function, there is very less that you can do with a compact camera. However,the Night Portrait mode or the Party mode found in inexpensive compacts, often fires the flash using a slow shutterspeed. Of course, these are automatic settings.

Front Curtain or Rear Curtain Slow Sync
With Slow Sync you can choose to use either Front or Rear Curtain Sync. In simple terms, you get to decide when the flash needs to be fired. In Front Curtain, the flash is fired at the beginning of the exposure whereas in Rear Curtain the flash is fired just before the shutter closes. Both these methods will give you different results. Try using both to see what suits your requirements.

Tags: Chandni Gajria, Low Light Photography, night photography tips, november 2012, shoot blurs, Shooting Technique, shutterspeed