I came cross this term "Pop & Drag" being used in low light setting. What does that mean?

Is it the same as term as "dragging the shutter"?

Can anyone please show some examples of "Pop & Drag" photography?


1 Answer 1


I have not heard that term used before, but it obviously refers to dragging the shutter, and popping a bit of flash. The idea is to adjust the shutter to control the ambient exposure.

Because the flash duration is so short, whether the camera shutter speed is 1/200th or 1/30th doesn't affect the flash exposure. But reducing the shutter speed makes a big difference in the background which is not lit by the flash.

Here is a shot where I set the shutter speed was 1/15th, in order to allow for some motion blur, then a pop of flash to freeze the action. Not the best example since a lot of flash did light the background in this case.

For a more classic example, see this from Neil van Niekerk - Dragging the Shutter

Dragging the Shutter

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1. But, a pedantic note: on some cameras, 1/200th is shorter than the sync speed. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 1, 2012 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice shot! filler... \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Jan 1, 2012 at 17:21

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