I have this scenario where is dark in evening I guess and I made an outdoor portrait using my flashes. What I wanted to get is the foreground face flashed and the background of the image properly metered. Thus I performed metering in the background that I need to be well lighted. This leads to many seconds of shooting. Thus my question is the following: what should the model is preferable to do:

  • either to move quickly off the frame after the flash
  • or to wait until the end of the shooting?

It is a simple case however since I am using film I dont want to use no click of my roll film.


You will have some gohsting "exept" in the case your model is sitting or laying against a wall, column, etc. In early portrait photography they build some rigs for the people. (well, your model will need to hold her/his breath for some seconds probably)

Do not make your subject "disapear" becouse it will look transparent... Or exploit that effect.

To exploit that use rear curtain sync flash. https://www.google.com.mx/search?q=rear+curtain+sync+flash

If you want to freeze as much as possible, use a higher ISO, beware of the extra noise you will get. You could use a faster lens, but you will probably have the background out of focus.

Or think of actually iluminating the background too, if you use radio triggers you can spread some flashes arround. You can also boost the dark areas in post pro. Actually you can take a separated picture to add detail on the dark areas masking a bit your subject.

  • Support your model.

  • Higher ISO.

  • Boost the shadows in post production.

  • Iluminate the background.

P.S. As mentioned in Pinhollow Euri answers you can also put your subject in a very low lit environment, but you will probably need a focus asistant beam.

Oh, an obvious thing... use a tripod.

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  • Short answer... Should stay there. – Rafael Mar 14 '16 at 21:11
  • What about if my exposure will last for 30s? Am I going to have the same ghost phenomena? – Jose Ramon Mar 15 '16 at 14:41

Model walking away will discover the part of the background and some kind of ghosting will happen - both the model and the background will be visible. Model should wait until exposure end.

This raises another problem: if the exposure is long enough then the blurred image of model may become more visible than desired. Take this into account when choosing exposure. Most probably you won't be able to make background as well lit as model without introducing mentioned defects - unless you place model somewhere in the shadow so that blurred image of model does not appear.

Here is an example of what happens if model leaves.

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  • So in the case that I put the model in a shadow, the model has to wait there? or to move quickly after the flash? – Jose Ramon Mar 14 '16 at 17:52
  • @jose-ramon: the model should be placed in the shadow from the beginning, you should choose the scene and composition accordingly - if you want to have best background lightness and do not deal with processing, that is. In this case the blurred image of model will be less visible. – Euri Pinhollow Mar 14 '16 at 17:54
  • What about if my exposure will last for 30s? Am I going to have the same ghost phenomena? – Jose Ramon Mar 15 '16 at 14:41
  • @jose-ramon: it does not depend on the exposure duration directly. Instead: the smaller the difference in EV of background and model is the more said ghosting is obvious. It means that you cannot get maximum background lightness if you move away your model after flash impulse - without ghosting, that is. 30 sec does not mean anything alone. – Euri Pinhollow Mar 15 '16 at 15:41
  • What I am trying to figure is the following. The model will get flashed so it will be exposed to the film, after this short period of flashing if the model has been placed in a shadow and will quickly abandon the frame, why there is goint to be the ghost phenomena? I mean 30sec is a lot period of exposure, right? – Jose Ramon Mar 15 '16 at 16:06

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