What are examples of circumstances where rear curtain sync would be preferable to front curtain sync flash?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Hey, we have a lot of good answers to many of these questions already. They're not bad questions, but maybe you could spend a little time looking before asking? If there's something in an existing question or answer you don't understand, feel free to as a new followup question referring to that one. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 3:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ is rear curtain technique 2nd and front curtain the first? \$\endgroup\$
    – wow
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 3:42
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ For that, see What is second-curtain or rear-curtain technique? :) But in short, yes, those are synonymous. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 3:43

1 Answer 1


Second curtain sync is used when you want to get natural motion where light trails lead to an image as opposed to leading away from it. Normally a flash will go off at the start of a shutter (which is normally longer than the time the flash is active.) This results in a heavily exposed image followed by a trail of light. Second curtain reverses this by making the flash go off at the end so you get a trail of light leading to the more heavily exposed moment of time.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you may have it the wrong way around. With a normal flash, the trails will be in front of a moving object and with a rear curtain flash, they'll be behind. If that's what you meant, then sorry but I misunderstood. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 23:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thomasrutter - yes, that is what I meant. Second curtain, the light trails lead to the image (ie, they look like the object is moving in the direction it is actually moving). \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 0:55

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.