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By default, when you pop up your D800's flash, it goes into Front Curtain Sync mode. This is the mode that we were shooting in last time. It's really going to be the best choice for most situations. It's what you will use for your basic fill flash, which is really all you need to be using your pop-up flash for. However, there are a couple of additional modes that can be handy from time to time. You've probably seen flash pictures where people had creepy-looking red eyes. That red-eye problem occurs when the flash bounces off your subject and right back into the lens at a particular angle that gives it a good reflection off of the person's retina.
The Nikon's pop-up flash is high enough from the lens that you probably won't have to worry about this too much. But if you are having a problem with red-eye, you can switch to a red-eye reduction mode. To change Flash mode, I just press this button right here and then turn my main command dial. So you can see that I'm in my first Curtain Sync mode, the default mode. A little rotation of the command dial brings me to Redeye Reduction mode. You've probably seen these kinds of flash modes on other cameras. Even point-and-shoot cameras have them. They're going to fire a bunch of flashes out of the flash, some preliminary flashes to close the irises down in your subject's eyes, and then fire up the actual flash that it wants to use.
So, when you're using Redeye Reduction mode, it's very important to tell your subject not to move until you tell them you're done, because after that initial flash, they may jam their eyes into their fingers to rub their eyes, because you've just blinded them. So, let them know when you're actually done before going on. Next, we get red-eye reduction with a Slow Sync Flash mode. This does redeye reduction and slow sync. Slow Sync is actually just a mode you can go into without the red-eye reduction. This combines flash with a long exposure.
You may have noticed before that flash pictures, at night, very often your subject will be illuminated and the background will be completely black. This is because your flash only has a range of 10-12 feet or so, so everything outside of that range is going to be underexposed. In Slow Sync mode, your flash will fire and the camera will do a long exposure. The long exposure will properly expose the background, while your flash will nicely illuminate your foreground. This is another one where you really need to tell your subject, "Don't move until I tell you that we're done," because the camera may do a one- or a two-second exposure.
Now, your background may be a little blurry. It may also have a very different color tone than your flash image. But usually either of those things is better than just having a completely boring black background. Finally, there is a variation of Slow Sync Flash called Rear Sync Flash. This has to do with firing the flash in a different relationship to the shutter. The practical upshot is that if your subject is moving, this is going to put their blurred motion behind them rather than in front of them, which is what will happen with normal Slow Sync Flash.
If your subject is not moving, it doesn't matter which of these you use. Again, most of the time, you'll go with the normal First Curtain Sync flash. This is going to be the thing that's probably most useful with your pop-up flash. Flash is a complex subject, and this is not a flash course. We are going to go over one or two more things, but there's a lot of flash detail that you're going to want to dig into in your D800 manual.
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