2 January 2009

Curtains and fire

second curtain sync
So it's 2009. As we told you yesterday, the aim for blabpictures is a post a day. We'll be trying to be interesting, informative and funny. It will be mostly Canon related, but we'll also have some general photography coverage as well as posting stuff related to photography that we find interesting or worth telling you about. 

We'll be featuring 'togs, so you get to see some good pictures by other togs as well as hearing about their thoughts on photography. 

For today though, here's a little tip about second curtain sync flash and photographing sparklers.

To do shots like this, you ideally need an external flashgun. In this case, a Speedlite 580EX II. This was mounted on the camera, and the exposure was set manually to 3.2secs at f16, ISO 200. These were set manually and you do have some flexibility with the settings, you just want to aim to have enough time for your subject to complete their image, without overexposing the sparkler.

I was shooting handheld, but there is no blur because during the exposure, there was not enough light to create blur on the main subject, and the sparkler was moving anyway. The flash was set to fire as second curtain sync flash so the main exposure on the subject (the girl with the sparkler) was created by the flash at the very end of the exposure, just before the shutter closed. The flash froze her movement resulting in the sharp image of her overlaid by a treble clef (yep, that's what it's meant to be!), even with a 5 second handheld exposure.

Shot with the EF14mm f/2.8L USM lens on an EOS-1Ds Mark III. 


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