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Archive 2013 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a fl...
  
 
jspytek
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


I know I should have posted this earlier but I just had an idea.....

I'm shooting a pinewood derby tonight for the cub scouts. My equipment list is:

Nikon D7000, tripod, 2.8 lenses, SB 600 Flash, Neutral Density 4 filter.

I want to get a shot with the cars moving with a blur affect but crisp cars. My though was use the filter to allow an open shutter to capture the blur then rear sync the flash at the end of 1/4 to 1/2 a second shot.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?



Jan 25, 2013 at 09:03 PM
PShizzy
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


ND filter at night? in some arenas, the lighting is so bad, that if you lower the iso, you should be fine. For example, at 1/500th 6400 ISO 2.8, you could easily bump down to 1/30th at ISO 400, or 1/15th at ISO 200. Depending on the distance, your flash may not have the juice to light the cars though. But an ND filter would make the problem worse.

at 1/4 or 1/2 shutter, even with a tripod you might have issues, unless you manual prefocus and use a remote (wire or otherwise trigger), as even pressing the button could be an issue.

I'd consider gelling the flash to match the ambient, so you don't get an overly orange/green blur with a properly neutral sharp image.

But again, the distance and power of the sb-600 may be the issue. Any chance you could borrow a second flash and maybe team them up? cls at a close distance should work.



Jan 25, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


This can also be done without flash by dialing in a longer shutter speed and tracking a car with your camera.


Jan 25, 2013 at 09:19 PM
PShizzy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


Very true. Its a different look, but panning looks real nice when you nail it.


Jan 25, 2013 at 09:25 PM
jspytek
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


I have a remote and I can prefocus as the lanes are set. I was thinking of trying to capture the beginning slope.

No chance of a second flash.

Per the flash not having enough juice - I could stand close to the track - hold the flash and fire the camera remotely.

I'll be shooting in an older but updated high school gym.


Skarkowtsky - I'll also try panning - I've done that with stock cars and liked the results - but overall I am trying to get the movement of the cars not a blurred background.



Jan 25, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Ralph Thompson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


Do nikons have a second curtain sync like canons? With that you can drag the shutter and the flash will fire right before the curtain closes. Normally the flash fires as soon as the shutter opens.... It's a custom function on Canon...

With this setting you pan with the car, just before the shutter closes the flash fires...Boom... done effect achieved.



Jan 25, 2013 at 10:11 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


Your strategy of using rear-curtain sync is sound. If you want to freeze the car 2/3 down the track you'll want the shutter speed to equal the time it takes from where the car starts or enters the frame to that point. That is to say if it takes the car 1sec. to move from edge if frame to your desired stop point set the shutter first based on that time then adjust aperture for DOF and ISO to get desired exposure. The blur trails will show better on a darker background.

Panning with and without flash creates a blurred background. It creates a similar impression of motion and is an effective way to created a non-distracting "seamless" background to isolate and rivet attention on the car.

I'd suggest you practice both and use the rear curtain for the wide shots where context of the background is needed and the panning blur for close-ups of the cars. Keep in mind you can stage the panning shots after the actual competition and nobody will know when they see the shots rearranged in a slide show later because the background will be blurred.

Shoot the competitors car with normal sync flash, show them the shot and tell them, "Your car is so slow it looks like it is going backwards!"




Jan 25, 2013 at 11:00 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


cgardner wrote:
...Shoot the competitors car with normal sync flash, show them the shot and tell them, "Your car is so slow it looks like it is going backwards!"






Jan 26, 2013 at 04:05 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


jspytek wrote:
...I want to get a shot with the cars moving with a blur affect but crisp cars. My though was use the filter to allow an open shutter to capture the blur then rear sync the flash at the end of 1/4 to 1/2 a second shot.


That's how I'd do it. Have fun, and show us the results if you can.



Jan 26, 2013 at 04:06 AM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


Ralph Thompson wrote:
...With [rear-curtain sync] you pan with the car, just before the shutter closes the flash fires...Boom... done effect achieved.


What would the point be of panning with the car and rear-curtain sync? Panning with the car would eliminate the trail that a long shutter speed would otherwise capture, so the RCS flash would only be "freezing" the previously motion-blurred background.



Jan 26, 2013 at 04:11 AM
sboerup
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


Set shutter to 1/20s or 1/30s, and set the aperture/ISO to make the ambient about 2 stops underexposed. Then set your flash to 2nd curtain sync and let it auto expose...you'll likely want direct flash to get this effect. And pan the camera with the car as you're doing it.


Jan 26, 2013 at 05:43 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


sboerup wrote:
...pan the camera with the car as you're doing it.


Again, why? The OP said he wants the car to have a blur trail. Not a blurred BG, but the car itself.



Jan 26, 2013 at 10:23 PM
jspytek
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


Thanks for the feedback - unfortunately I couldn't quite get it set up how I was hoping - I tried a few different combinations - rear sync flash / panning - but it just wasn't working out right.

The panning didn't work because when I pan a shot I want the background to blur giving the sense of motion - where I could get set up there was nothing in the background (think blank wall) so there wasn't anything moving in the background to give me relative motion.

The rear sync was odd - I figured out how to rear sync the flash but my camera kept giving me a "preflash" at the beginning then a full flash at the end. I'm sure it's a setting I need to fix.

So after about 10-15 raced I figured hey I better get some actual shots here and leave the creative ones for next time :-(




Jan 29, 2013 at 05:18 AM
jspytek
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


Even though it didn't work out - I thought I'd give ya 2 of my favorite shots from the derby - Thank you everyone for the suggestions.





You win some, you lose some







Look!!!!




Jan 29, 2013 at 05:28 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


jspytek wrote:
...The rear sync was odd - I figured out how to rear sync the flash but my camera kept giving me a "preflash" at the beginning then a full flash at the end.


Nothing odd about it; that's the way it works. The preflash is for metering the scene in ETTL mode (just before the shutter opens), and the full flash is for exposure. In front-curtain sync the second flash happens so close to the pre-flash that you may not notice it, but in rear-curtain sync it happens just at the end of the exposure.

In Manual flash mode there would only be the flash at the end of the exposure; no metering pre-flash.

Your first shot shown was at 1/250 and the second at 1/200, so there's no motion blur. A slow shutter would have blurred the cars, but also blurred the boys (and who could expect a bunch of excited Cub Scouts to hold still), so I think they turned out well for capturing the moment.

The second is my favorite; I love the varied facial expressions! The selective DoF keeps one from being torn between looking at the boys and looking at the cars as the main subject(s).

Using a slow shutter and 2nd-curtain sync would have been good if you were shooting just the cars, from one end of the track as they sped toward you for example.



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:37 AM
jspytek
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


Good point on having them run towards me instead of trying to capture a side shot - I'll keep practicing! Again thanks for the feedback from everyone.


Jan 29, 2013 at 06:09 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Asking for suggestions on how to capture motion with a flash during the day


The best thing about the two shots that you posted isn't the illusion of motion but the fact you got down eye level with the kids and are showing the action from their POV.


Jan 30, 2013 at 01:23 AM





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