Have you tried getting her to stand still at the end for say 1/2 a sec so that she can be captured more clearly?
Perhaps you can try setting your flash to trigger multiple times within a single exposure. Below is a shot I tried for my homework during a photography course.
Shutter speed - 1 second
Aperture - f4.2
Flash power set to 1/128
Last edited by azman; 18th April 2009 at 12:05 AM.
Be humble, we'll be more open to learning.
I may be wrong, but I don't think TS is looking for a multiple shot stroboscopic effect and may have said so.
Again, I suspect it lies with your flash settings (and because of the way EX and ETTL was designed and programed to think and operate - it's the direct opposite of how say, SBs were designed to think and work).
Don't change anything else just yet.
Keep it the same for now till you start getting that 'CLEAR' frozen image within that sea of blur, then start experimenting with darker BGs, different shutter speeds, subject wearing different coloured clothes etc etc etc
Either bump up the flash compensation - a LOT if you still want to work on E-TTL till you get something close to what you want, OR switch the flash to MANUAL output, and start experimenting with output (1/1, 1/2, 1/4 etc) till you get that clear, sharp image that's lit by the flash.
Don't bounce if you find that you don't have enough light or start opening up your f stop a bit, or increase your ISO a bit.
I'm just guessing based on what little I know of the EX system at the moment.
Forget that photo of the swish of blur and a razor sharp playing card for now.
Also listen carefully to Catchlight's suggestions. He's very, very experienced with light, flash and getting results that work.
Are you trying to do something like this?
Another one hot from the camera, made just for you.
Ziploc beri evilz leh!
Show seducktif photos then neber tell how he do.
Eh, must make sure that's what he want first mah.
Actually both pics I posted above used the same setup and technique. Here are the procedures:
1. Setup a dark backdrop. Here I used a gray blanket since I don't have any dark cloth on hand.
2. Setup the camera with flash on the tripod.
3. Setup an LED torchlight to illuminate the area where the card is going to be.
4. Set the camera to manual focus, shutter priority, 2" exposure, and the flash to TLL balanced filled flash, rear curtain sync.
5. Zoom and prefocus the lens to where the card is going to be.
6. Switch off the room light.
7. Press shutter release. Camera will fire a preflash at this moment to measure the intensity needed.
8. Quickly swing the card in front of the camera, and pause at the final position. Note that you can pause briefly at any spots to intensify the "ghost image", or move slowly to intensify the "trail". That was how I made photo #2.
9. Wait for the flash to fire again.
10. Repeat 7-9 till you're satisfied with the result.
That's all and have fun!
1 : scene was too bright and would hav allowed the camera to register image information already (try shooting again in lower light and using a slightly shorter shutter speed (i.e. 1/15 or 1/2)
2 : flash wasn't the primary illumination, thus the freezing effect is not prominent.
And now some comments on your attempts in post #5:
The reason why your attempts failed and the person in your pics is "ghosting" is because your background is too bright. When this is the case, and your subject is moving, when the rear curtain sync flash fired your subject will blend with the bright background and become double exposure. This is because before he/she moved into the final position, the background is left with enough time to be captured by your camera before the flash fires.
In order to achieve the desired effects (light trail plus frozen subject), 3 main elements are needed: a dark background (or at least a dark area at the moving subject's final position), a spotlight shining onto your subject, preferably from the top, plus rear curtain flash to freeze your subject. If the background at the final position is not dark enough, it will interfere with the subject when the flash fires. If there is no spotlight to create a strong contrast against the background, your subject will not leave a "light trail" that is obvious enough.
Note that this is different from the case where you want to use slow sync flash to capture a stationary object with a dim background. In this case, the main objective is to capture your subject with the flash, and include the background by using long exposure. Your subject will need to remain still during the long exposure, and it doesn't matter if you use front curtain or rear curtain flash.
Last edited by ziploc; 18th April 2009 at 10:26 AM. Reason: clarification
point noted... indeed, when i took the pic, the area wasn't really dat dark, it's just low lit... and to get the 2 sec shutter i need , in order to create trail movement, i stop down the aperture til i get a 2 sec exposure. wat u have just said make a lot of sense... now i must do it at night to get the dark environment... tks for the advise bro...
Depending on the light conditions you can also have a well-lit scene where you can capture the trails. I had such a situation where a dance was performed on stage. Stage was well-lit for shutter speed of 1/30 sec; f/4 at ISO400 (film). I adjusted FEC to +1 and used 2nd curtain flash. I got a nice trail and the flash froze the dancers at the end. Not as impressive as the examples above cause the background wasn't black - but the impression of movement was there.
It's a different story on the performance stage, as the performers are under the lime light, which creates a strong contrast against the backdrop even when the backdrop is well lit. I suspect there are at least 2 or more stops difference between the performers & the backdrop.