Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dragging The Shutter

You know how when you use a flash on your camera how the background always turns fades out and turns black? That's one of the things that I dislike about using a flash. More often than not I prefer to shoot in natural light. However, there is a trick that you can use fix this problem and it's called dragging the shutter.

After setting up your camera to use the flash, you then switch it to manual mode and reduce the shutter speed. It may take a little experimenting so you might start at 1/15th of a second and then work up from there. The result is that the flash illuminates your subject but then the shutter stays open after the flash has fired, thus giving your sensor the chance to capture light from the background as well.

In this instance I was breaking in my new remote wire for my flash so that I could use the flash gun from the side. That creates some pretty dramatic shadows.Of course, slowing down the shutter opens up a whole new world of possibilities that I will explore in the future. This next picture takes a step in that direction. Here right after the flash fired, I stepped out of the picture while the shutter was still open. As a result, I'm all there during the flash but you can also see the background through my sweater. The wavy light that seems to be flowing from my lens was just a happy accident. Something you look to create when playing around with the slow shutter speeds.

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