The Shutter in Flash Photography (shown in a Live Shoot)

This is the first episode of a series of 3 where I explain you the role of each Exposure Triangle factor in Flash Photography. Here we are looking at the Shutter.

If you do not know how the Shutter affects your photography (without flash), I invite you to check the episode: The Shutter I did in early 2012.

In Flash Photography the Shutter has a very specific power which you will understand easily by looking at the following two images:

Perfectly exposed photograph at 1/200sec

Perfectly exposed photograph at 1/200sec

The photo above was shot with: Flash power 1/2, ISO 400, Aperture 6.3; Shutter 1/200. What we can notice in this photographs the only light captured in this exposure is coming from the Flash. There is no ambient light (with the exception of the lights on the ceiling of the tunnel).

Overexposed photograph at 1/25sec

Overexposed photograph at 1/25sec

The photo above was shot with: Flash power 1/2, ISO 400, Aperture 6.3; Shutter 1/25. By slowing down the Shutter speed, we have captured more ambient light.


Conclusion

While the Shutter Speed affect the exposure of a photograph in standard Photography which can then be compensated by using the 2 others factors of the Exposure Triangle (ISO &/or Aperture), in Flash Photography the Shutter Speed has absolutely no effect on the exposure of your subject as long as the light emitted by the Flash is stronger than the ambient light. However, the Shutter Speed does affect how much of the ambient light is being captured. The shorter the Shutter Speed, the less ambient light is captured and the slowest the Shutter Speed, the more ambient light is being recorded.

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