We Simplify The Technical!

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.

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).

SETUP: Try it both ways
Camera Settings:
ISO 100
½ second (0”5)
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) 

Front Curtain Sync

Front Curtain Sync

Rear Curtain Sync

Front Curtain Sync

Front Curtain Sync

Rear Curtain Sync

SETUP: Rear Curtain Sync – CANON

SETUP: Rear Curtain Sync – NIKON
Press and Hold the FLASH MODE button and turn the rear dial to change to REAR CURTAIN SYNC

Our Newsletter

Join over 9000 photographers world-wide who receive our monthly newsletter with upcoming events, photography tips, specials and more!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Understand Photography, 2383 Linwood Ave #302, Naples, FL, 34112, http://www.understandphotography.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Peggy Farren

Peggy Farren

Photographer, instructor and speaker.

Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, author, instructor and speaker. She’s been interviewed and featured on TV and in many national and local publications.

Peggy is the host of The Understand Photography Show, where we teach about travel, nature and fine art photography.  Subscribe to our Youtube channel for new videos every Tuesday and Saturday!

Did you like this post? Comment below.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This