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That shark is actually front curtain. Although I didn't realise myself when I first posted it!


Over the weekend I have actually written a UWP article (for the issue out at the beginning of May) all about this. Here is an except of the unedited text (I wrote 4 articles this weekend - so they are all a bit rough) that explains the technique:


The main reason I use front curtain (or first curtain) synch for long exposures is that it allows me to compose images very accurately as the strobe-lit sharp portion of the exposure is produced immediately after the shutter is pressed....

The problem with front curtain is that it has the effect of making the subject look like it is swimming backwards – because the blur extends forward from the sharp portion of the image. To overcome this problem we need to use panning...

...the second approach is to pan faster than the subject. This produces a similar looking effect to rear curtain synch – where the subject blur extends backwards from the subject.


Of course good ol' rear curtain is less specialist and certainly produces the goods. These two (which aren't actually in my Bahamas shark gallery) are rear curtain shots - but don't really show trails because I was panning with the sharks:


Lemon (@ 1/15th):



Tiger (@ 1/4):



In summary

On rear curtain if you don't pan you get a non blurred background and trail from the shark. If you do pan with the shark you get blured background and no trails (on front or rear). On front curtain to get trails going backwards you have to pan faster than the subject, and you also get a blurred background.



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FWIW ... I asked Harald Hordosh if the rear curtain control would be integrated into Seacam D200. He says, "yes, it is standard".

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