Theater Performance Lighting

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Myer Senior Member • Posts: 2,888
Re: A Sampling of What I've Done

Michael Fryd wrote:

Myer wrote:

Michael Fryd wrote:

...

Michael,

These are all excellent ideas.

In the first I thought about all of this except the part about second curtain synch. Could you explain that?

Here's what happens when you are not using High Speed Sync.

  1. The first shutter curtain opens
  2. The flash fires
  3. The second shutter curtain closes

If you shutter speed is 1/60, and the flash duration is 1/500th, there's some wiggle room as to when the flash fires.

Normally, you use "first curtain sync". This means the flash fires as soon as first curtain is fully open. With second curtain sync, the flash waits, and doesn't fire until just before the second curtain closes.

It turns out that second curtain sync can make a noticeable visual difference in the image.

Consider a dancer jumping through the air. Most of the captured image is due to the flash (which is short enough to freeze motion), but if there is enough ambient light you get a blurred "ghost" image as the dancer moves while the shutter is open.

With first curtain sync (the usual default), You get a clear image of a dancer frozen in midair, with a ghost trail in front of her as she continued to move.

With second curtain sync, you the frozen image of the dancer, with the ghost trail behind her.

With first curtain the "ghost trail" shows where she is going, and with second curtain it shows where she has been.

Some people find the results of second curtain sync to be more visually pleasing.

The advantage of first curtain sync (and why it is the usual default) is that it minimizes the delay between pressing the shutter button and the flash firing. If you absolutely need to capture a particular, and unexpected, moment, it's easier with first curtain sync.

I did find (by looking at the color) that at full power the flash was stronger than the ambient light. However, I'm still concerned that the ambient light will still be there enough to cause a shadow blur.

See above. With second curtain sync, the blur may not be objectionable.

Obviously, whether or not it's objectionable or pleasing is an artistic judgement call for you to make.

About extra flashes. My daughter has an identical 500EX flash that I borrowed yesterday and I did try (at home so not really a good test) using them as on board master and remote slave and it worked fine. That may give enough light to be almost the equivalent to full power.

An extra flash that's about as strong as yours, should give you an extra stop of light.

...

Michael,

I think I'll use high speed sync at 1/320 to freeze the action. For $50 I'll pick up an external battery pack for my flash to shorten the recycle time and lengthen the time between battery changes.

Since I'm using both flash units for ceiling bounce I don't have to be super careful about placement. What I have to be careful about is that the slave sensor can see the master flash and fire.

I may set the slave at 1/2 power to shorten the flash recycle and lengthen the time between battery changes. I'll do some testing at the beginning to see what ISO I need and whether I can reduce the slave power somewhat.

Thanks for your help.

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