Front and Rear Curtain Sync on your Flash

Peggy Farren 2016-03-26

Here's a super simplified explanation of front and rear curtain sync for your speedlight.

Front Curtain Sync. Triggers the flash at the beginning of the shutter duration, as the first curtain is opening. This is default mode for all flashes.
Front Curtain sync freezes the image of the subject. When using a slow shutter speed, the blur will be in front of the subject.

Front curtain
Rear Curtain Sync (aka Second Curtain Sync)
Causes the flash sync to wait, and not to trigger the flash until the end of the shutter duration, as the second curtain is about to start closing.
Freezes the subject at the end of the motion blur trail. When using a slow shutter speed, the blur will be behind the subject.
Rear Curtain sync can have no visible effect unless the shutter is slow enough to create some ambient motion blur (1/30 or slower).

rear curtain
SETUP: Try it both ways
Camera Settings:
ISO 100
½ second (0”5)
f/8.0
Flash Settings:
Manual flash mode
1/16 power


(We metered on the ball but then made it darker so the black would be black.
Your settings will vary)

set up
Front Curtain Sync
front
Rear Curtain Sync
rear
SETUP: Rear Curtain Sync - CANON
canon
SETUP: Rear Curtain Sync - CANON
canon rear curtain
Canon flash
Canon
SETUP: Rear Curtain Sync - NIKON
Press and Hold the FLASH MODE button and turn the rear dial to change to REAR CURTAIN SYNC
Nikon rear curtain
Roll the rear dial to change flash modes

Select REAR CURTAIN SYNC
Nikon
Nikon second curtain


Try this at home!

~Peggy Farren is a professional photographer and the founder of Understand Photography, where our motto is "We Simplify the Technical!

Don't miss a thing.

Subscribe to our show!

Click to subscribe!
Close popup

Subscribe to our show!

By subscribing to our show, you will never miss out! We will notify you via email when a new podcast is posted.

Please Fill Out This Field

Like what you are reading?

Sign up for our newsletter!

Sign up now!
Close popup

Sign up for our newsletter

Your details are safe with us.

Please Fill Out This Field

Post Your Comment Below

What Camera Should I Buy?

One of the most often questions we receive is "What type of camera should I buy?" Of course a lot depends on your budget and what you want to do with the camera. Watch this short video for Peggy's recommendation.

Sign Up for Access
Close popup

Which camera should I buy?

Enter your contact information to watch this short video for Peggy's recommendation!

Please Fill Out This Field

Join the movement

About Peggy

Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, instructor, writer and speaker.

With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.

Learn More

Essential Preparation Tips for Travel Photography

This free report will help you choose the right cameras, lenses and accessories for your travels. You'll need different equipment depending on where you are going, your finances, and the weight of the gear. We'll show you how to determine the best equipment for your needs. Also included is a comprehensive list on what you'll need, some things you may not have heard before but you'll be so glad we let you know!

Sign Up for More Information
Close popup

Essential Preparation Tips for Travel Photography

Many you've never heard before!

Please Fill Out This Field