Rear Flash shooting question.

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I've seen some cool images in dark places where people are in focus but there are trail of lights appearing in the photo.
I know that this is done using a slow shutter speed and the flash set to rear. I did some practicing and it appears to give me the same result. In other words what I did was set a shutter to a couple of seconds and set the flash to rear and move the camera around the lights and then hold it till the flash fires and the photo is recorded.

My only problem is that when I click the shutter to take the pic, the mirror locks and the viewfinder blacks out as it should, so I cannot seem to frame the photo as I like cos I cannot see lol!!! As I understand it, in this mode, the sharp subject in the photo will be where the camera is pointing to at the time of the second and last flash fire when the shutter speed time is finished.

Do I understand this correctly? Is there an easier way of doing it?

There are many artsy shootings that I want to practice, like zooming in and rotating the camera after pressing the shutter button... Those will create some cool effects especially in clubs but I will leave those for another thread after some research and practice....

Thank you All!!
 
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My only problem is that when I click the shutter to take the pic, the mirror locks and the viewfinder blacks out as it should, so I cannot seem to frame the photo as I like cos I cannot see lol!!!

I think you are saying that the long shutter time keeps the mirror up, so the viewfinder is black during the long exposure. That would be expected of course, from a SLR with the mirror.

As I understand it, in this mode, the sharp subject in the photo will be where the camera is pointing to at the time of the second and last flash fire when the shutter speed time is finished.
Right.

Yes, the moving of the camera, or rotating the camera, or zooming, can make dramatic results from the lights in the background. You sort of plan this out in your mind, what you will need to do, before pressing the shutter.
 
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If you are looking to show the movement of your subjects by having a blur behind them, then rear curtain flash is what you want.

However, that does not sound like what you are describing. Are you seeking to blur the subject, to show its movement, or are you seeking to blur other bright spots (ie. lights) other than your subject. If you are seeking to blur lights, other than the subject, by moving the camera, then use normal, front curtain flash, not rear curtain. Set a long shutter speed, 1/2 to one second or so, frame your shot, hit the shutter button to capture your subjects, and then move the camera. I do not have a good example, but is this similar to what you are seeking?

113613971.jpg
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This was shot with front curtain flash and 1/2 second shutter speed. You can get much better results if more lights are available in the scene.

Using rear curtain flash to show the movement of a subject is done by either keeping the camera still or, more often, by panning with your subject. This does not seem to be what you are trying to accomplish.
 
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Thanks Wayne, I thought so :smile:
Cliff, yes that is what I want!!! But I'm also interested in the other scenarios you mentioned. So all examples and info are greatly welcome please!!!!
Thanks a lot!
 
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This was shot with front curtain flash and 1/2 second shutter speed. You can get much better results if more lights are available in the scene.


Wouldn't the people start to blur along with the lights with more light?
 
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This was shot with front curtain flash and 1/2 second shutter speed. You can get much better results if more lights are available in the scene.


Wouldn't the people start to blur along with the lights with more light?

NO. The people are exposed only during the duration of the flash (approx. 1/1000 sec.). During the rest of the exposure time, the only parts of the frame that will be recorded are those that are bright enough to record without flash. In the above photo, that would only be the lights.
 
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NO. The people are exposed only during the duration of the flash (approx. 1/1000 sec.). During the rest of the exposure time, the only parts of the frame that will be recorded are those that are bright enough to record without flash. In the above photo, that would only be the lights.

I guess what you meant by more lights is what they are holding. I misread it as more ambient light which would not make sense.
 
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I just did this the other night. My friends had some light sabers, and I have the glow of the saber trail as they are battling it out. Of course, the people are very clear, since I used a tripod.
 
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Yes I have tried it on a tripod with good results, however when the subjects are still and there are light bulbs around, I have to move the camera when the mirror is up in order to create light trails, and this is where the framing issue is :smile:
 
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