Front-Curtain and Rear-Curtain Flash with the Nikon Coolpix P500

Yesterday I published Photographer’s Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P500 in PDF form.  Today I submitted the files for the paperback book to the printing company, so the printed version should be available for sale within a couple of weeks. So, now I have time to post some more photographs.  I can’t fit into the book all the photos I would like to, so some of them will be posted here on the web site and blog.

First up are a couple of new examples of the effects of the front-curtain and rear-curtain flash settings with the Coolpix P500.  In the book, I used shots of a remote-controlled model car with headlights. The only problem with those examples is that they don’tshow a situation in which you would really want to use rear-curtain flash.  So, now I have taken some shots of a model train with a lighted caboose.  In both images, the train is moving from right to left.  In both shots, the camera was set for Shutter Priority exposure with a shutter speed of 1/2 second, with the flash popped up.  In the first image immediately below, I set the flash mode to Fill Flash, which uses Front-Curtain flash firing. (It’s not called that by Nikon; it’s really just the absence of the Rear-Curtain setting.)

As you can see, with Front-Curtain flash, above, the flash fired quickly, catching the caboose and the car in front of it; then the lights at the top of the caboose travelled further to the left, and traced a light trail in front of the caboose.  In the second image, below, with Rear-Curtain flash, the caboose’s lights travelled to the left for a while before the flash fired, so the caboose appears even with and slightly ahead of the lights.  This look is more natural, because you would expect the lights to trail behind the caboose.  In my opinion at least, this second image shows a situation in which using Rear-Curtain flash produces the best result.




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