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Using Flash mode

From: Shooting with the Nikon D800

Video: Using Flash mode

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.

Using Flash mode

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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This video is part of

Image for Shooting with the Nikon D800
Shooting with the Nikon D800

107 video lessons · 12773 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 9m 28s
    1. Welcome
      2m 16s
    2. What is an SLR?
      5m 18s
    3. Using this course
      1m 54s
  2. 30m 59s
    1. Exploring basic camera anatomy
      6m 34s
    2. Attaching a lens
      3m 28s
    3. Inserting media cards and a battery
      6m 14s
    4. Powering up
      2m 8s
    5. Working with menu navigation and factory defaults
      3m 1s
    6. Setting the date and time
      1m 50s
    7. Setting the language
      1m 20s
    8. Formatting the media card
      2m 15s
    9. Holding the camera
      4m 9s
  3. 26m 35s
    1. What are shooting modes?
      2m 11s
    2. Exploring the viewfinder display
      4m 41s
    3. Using the LCD screen protector
      46s
    4. Autofocus basics
      2m 42s
    5. Metering basics
      1m 31s
    6. Reviewing images
      2m 21s
    7. Working with image playback
      7m 16s
    8. Adjusting beeps and timers
      1m 52s
    9. Changing button behavior
      2m 2s
    10. Using screen tips
      1m 13s
  4. 26m 58s
    1. Exploring Program mode
      50s
    2. Working with exposure compensation
      4m 16s
    3. Changing ISO
      2m 30s
    4. Using auto ISO
      4m 25s
    5. Exploring Flexible Program
      2m 49s
    6. Exploring image format and size
      6m 18s
    7. Setting a virtual horizon
      2m 17s
    8. Setting the color space
      1m 22s
    9. Configuring multiple media cards
      2m 11s
  5. 12m 49s
    1. Exploring focus modes
      2m 6s
    2. Exploring autofocus area modes
      4m 50s
    3. Using focus points
      1m 57s
    4. Using manual focus
      3m 56s
  6. 9m 57s
    1. Using auto white balance
      1m 1s
    2. Working with white balance presets
      3m 8s
    3. Adjusting white balance manually
      5m 48s
  7. 11m 54s
    1. Exploring Continuous mode
      5m 56s
    2. Exploring Quiet mode
      53s
    3. Using the self-timer
      3m 26s
    4. Locking the mirror up
      1m 39s
  8. 34m 40s
    1. Exploring metering modes
      3m 4s
    2. Using the auto exposure lock
      4m 35s
    3. Exploring Aperture Priority mode
      3m 3s
    4. Using depth of field preview
      2m 50s
    5. Exploring Shutter Priority mode
      2m 32s
    6. Working in Manual mode
      2m 40s
    7. Exposure bracketing
      6m 40s
    8. Using Active D-Lighting
      1m 19s
    9. Using the Vignette Control feature
      1m 6s
    10. Using the Auto Distortion Control feature
      58s
    11. Using long exposure noise reduction
      1m 41s
    12. Using high ISO noise reduction
      1m 22s
    13. Using the Bulb setting in Manual mode
      1m 2s
    14. Using the Info button
      1m 48s
  9. 19m 54s
    1. Adjusting LCD brightness
      2m 31s
    2. Protecting and deleting images
      4m 43s
    3. Hiding images
      1m 35s
    4. Toggling the Rotate Tall feature on and off
      50s
    5. File naming
      1m 21s
    6. Creating a file number sequence
      2m 35s
    7. Creating storage folders
      2m 3s
    8. Adding copyright info
      1m 50s
    9. Using in-camera retouching
      2m 26s
  10. 7m 14s
    1. Using the fill flash
      1m 48s
    2. Using Flash mode
      3m 18s
    3. Working with flash exposure compensation
      2m 8s
  11. 22m 25s
    1. Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)
      5m 38s
    2. Creating multiple exposures
      3m 38s
    3. Using the interval timer
      5m 42s
    4. Shooting time-lapse photography
      1m 19s
    5. Working with the image area
      4m 25s
    6. Using the remote control
      1m 43s
  12. 8m 33s
    1. Defining picture controls
      2m 7s
    2. Selecting a picture control
      1m 38s
    3. Modifying a picture control
      2m 38s
    4. Using the monochrome picture control
      2m 10s
  13. 15m 42s
    1. Activating Live View
      8m 9s
    2. Focusing in Live View
      5m 27s
    3. Reviewing some Live View drawbacks
      2m 6s
  14. 17m 27s
    1. Configuring and activating video
      4m 34s
    2. Focusing and working with exposure
      7m 11s
    3. Using Playback mode
      3m 17s
    4. Customizing movie controls
      2m 25s
  15. 12m 44s
    1. Using menu banks
      3m 31s
    2. Using the My Menu feature
      2m 12s
    3. Customizing controls
      4m 0s
    4. Autofocus fine-tuning
      1m 25s
    5. Saving and loading settings
      1m 36s
  16. 14m 5s
    1. Working with custom settings
      51s
    2. Using the Focus Priority feature
      2m 15s
    3. Using the AF Activation feature
      1m 34s
    4. Controlling the number of focus points
      36s
    5. Using ISO sensitivity step value
      1m 8s
    6. Working with EV steps for exposure control
      1m 7s
    7. Using exposure flash compensation step value
      1m 1s
    8. Turning on easy exposure compensation
      1m 31s
    9. Using Exposure Delay mode
      1m 20s
    10. Using the Assign FN button
      2m 42s
  17. 6m 45s
    1. Camera sensor cleaning
      3m 29s
    2. Exploring operating conditions and temperatures
      1m 57s
    3. Getting firmware updates
      1m 19s
  18. 15m 43s
    1. Exploring focus and composition
      4m 55s
    2. Using an exposure strategy
      6m 50s
    3. Controlling exposure through Program mode
      3m 58s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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