Using flash at slow shutter speed
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Old 02-21-2017   #1
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Default Using flash at slow shutter speed

Ive seen shots of a person/model posing by a waterfall. The shot obviously will have a slow ss so the water has has that creamy flowing look yet the model seems very sharp. I know flash would be used but what would go I to setting that up? How slow of a ss can I go? On or off camera flash? Front or rear curtain sync? What are some starting settings?
I've tried a few times but haven't gotten the model as clear as I had hoped.

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Old 02-21-2017   #2
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

My guess is that the model is lit almost entirely by the flash and is posed in what would otherwise be a very dark part of the scene, with the rest of the scene being lit by continuous light. It may require some gels on the flash to match its white balance to the rest of the scene. It doesn't matter whether it is front or rear curtain sync as long as none of the waterfall is lit by the flash.
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Old 02-21-2017   #3
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

Yeah, what he said.... kind of a "Drag the shutter" deal. Slow shutter speed and pop the subject with a flash burst, either at beginning or end of the "shutter opening"....
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Old 02-21-2017   #4
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

my problem is I seem to get ghosting. How do I eliminate that? And are u saying position the model against a dark part of the background?
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Old 02-21-2017   #5
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

Like this
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Old 02-21-2017   #6
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

And this
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Old 02-21-2017   #7
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

How is the model so sharp with what has to be a very slow shutter speed?
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Old 02-21-2017   #8
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

I see no ghosting in either of these images. A decent model with good mechanical support should be able to hold a pose for a second or two, which is plenty of time for motion-blurring fast-moving water. In the top image, both arms are being supported by the metal handrail, the head by the left hand, and the upper body by the right arm. In the lower image, the model is far enough away that slight movement would be less noticeable. Nevertheless, the model is seated with the left arm firmly planted on a rock and the right wrist resting on a firmly supported knee. It doesn't look like flash is needed at all for these two scenes. In one second, a (theoretical) drop of water at the top of a waterfall and about to fall off when the shutter opens will fall a distance of about 4.9 meters (about 16 feet) by the time the shutter closes. At 1/2 second, the water will fall about 1.2 meters (4 feet) before the shutter closes. A 0.9 decade (3-stop) or 1.0 decade (3-1/3 stop) neutral density filter with a polarizing filter, the latter of which you should already have if you are a serious landscape photographer, coupled with a cloudy day, should be enough to get a decent exposure at 1 second shutter speed. Go for a 1.8 decade (6 stop) or 2 decade (6-2/3 stop) neutral density filter if you find that you need something stronger. One of these will let you shoot at 1/2 second or more even in full sunlight.

By the way, if these are your images, I would suggest backing up a bit, perhaps using a longer lens, and giving a half-stop or so less exposure to the top photo. The model's forehead and fingers are uncomfortably bright and show loss of detail, as does the water running down the rock just below the center of the picture. The model's forehead is too close to the edge of this wide-angle shot and the distortion from the rectilinear lens is exaggerating the size of the model's forehead and stretching it in an asymmetrical fashion toward the upper left corner.
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Old 02-22-2017   #9
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

They are not my images, i thought my post under the 2 images made that clear that the ones i was posting that the model is sharp.
In any case, thank u for the info.
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Old 02-25-2017   #10
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Default Re: Using flash at slow shutter speed

Those do not appear to have even a tiny dose
of flash. The subject is just holding still. It may
very well be a much faster shutter speed than
two seconds or such, which is more like a brief
time exposure. It's all a matter of how fast the
water is really moving.

[And yes I noticed the highlights in the eyes ...
and my verdict is still 'non-flash'.]


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