Get Creative Photos in Bad Lighting with Rear Curtain Sync

There’s an old technique photojournalists call “flash and slash” that is used to dramatize movement. Basically, it allows you to keep the subject sharp while creating motion in the background. While typically used for high-movement or chaotic scenes, it is actually a really creative way to add an interesting element when shooting in low light. Watch as Layne Kennedy creates fun and energetic images using this technique:

How to Use the Flash and Slash Technique

Here’s how Kennedy suggests using flash to add fill light to create images that portray motion:

  1. Set the camera to Rear Curtain Sync so the flash fires at the end of the exposure.
  2. Drop down to the lowest possible ISO.
  3. Rotate your camera as you snap pictures of your subject.

At f/22, ISO 200, 1/3 second exposure, Kennedy rotates his camera as he snaps photographs of an active dog. This way he is able to capture motion, and since the flash fires at the end, he also gets sharpness.

flash and slash technique

This is a really great photography tip for shooting in low light, long exposure, when you want to show activity.

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