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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Performing Arts Talk 
Thread started 25 Apr 2014 (Friday) 16:08
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Shutter drag with rear curtain flash.

 
PMGphotog
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Apr 25, 2014 16:08 |  #1

Most of the gigs I've shot recently either had decent lighting, or were small acoustic/small band shows so I've not used this technique as yet. But tomorrow I'm shooting a fairly energetic metal band in a venue I've not shot in before. So, I think I might try this technique and wanted to ask here if I'm thinking it out correctly.

Venue is small, no idea of lighting, no pit so I will be in the crowd and side of stage, no 3 song rule and I should be able to use flash ( but intend to check with the band first ).

My understanding of Shutter drag with rear curtain flash is I shoot at say 1/60 or lower to capture movement and the flash will pop at the end of the shot freezing the action at that point. So for instance the guitar player is head swaying and I open the shutter and then the flash pops and stops him with perhaps head/hair/guitar movement captured as a blur but the final part of the exposure stops the action and is lit by the flash.

Am I wrong in that assumption and what shutter speeds would be best to use?

I'll be taking my 60d, and mounting my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and perhaps my 50mm f/1.8

For non flash shots ( depending on the lighting ) I try to shoot at 1/100 sec min, as close to f/ 2.8 as I can get and let the ISO float up to a max of 3200.

When I switch to using rear curtain flash I plan on trying maybe ISO 1600 max, and upping the f stop to maybe 2.8 or more and seeing how long the shutter needs to be.

Is this a good approach to this technique and do you have any suggestions I could use?

Thanks in advance :)


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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gonzogolf
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Apr 25, 2014 16:22 |  #2

You understand the principle. But the effect depends on how much light you have and how much motion you are getting. I played with this the other night at what was essentially a senior citizen dance. I could go as low as 1/5 of a second and swing the camera around to induce blur as the dancers werent moving fast. So try different speeds and ambient balance to get what you want. Its a nicer effect when you have so lights in the background that blur and streak a bit as well. Try both capturing his blur, but dont be afraid to move the camera or rotate it a bit. Just make sure that you bring it back to the framing you want by the end of the exposure.




  
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PMGphotog
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Apr 25, 2014 16:43 |  #3

Cheers gonzogolf. I was thinking I could go a lot lower than 1/60th but hadn't considered the "re framing" part.

I have the full gig to experiment, so I'll shoot as normal at first so I have some stuff for the band, then try the technique mid way through the set and see what comes out. ( might practice a bit with the support band as long as they don't mind too )


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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narlus
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Apr 26, 2014 10:32 |  #4

an off-camera cord helps a lot here as well so you don't have the flash just hitting the subject head on.

as gonzo notes, rotating or waving the camera will create the color trails of the ambient lights. my rule of thumb is to start around 1/13th, f/4 and ISO 1600, and then experiment with flash power (usually i'm around 1/16th), but it is definitely a bit of trial and error to dial in.


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PMGphotog
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Apr 26, 2014 11:37 |  #5

Thanks Narlus. I'll give that a go.


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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PMGphotog
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Apr 26, 2014 17:35 |  #6

Deed is done, but I had left my flash on in my bag from my last gig and didn't have time to buy new batteries... So I did my non flash shots and then tried with the on camera flash. Probably look pretty bad though. Just about to have a look.

Thanks for the tips guys :)


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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Shutter drag with rear curtain flash.
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Performing Arts Talk 
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