Flash blur- experimenting on location


This is a technique that I learnt at the end of my first year at college and practised through the summer holidays. The way it works, is by using an external flash gun on camera with a slow shutter speed. When flash fires, where the light hits the subject is frozen and the long shutter speed captures movement (from either the subject or the photographer themselves). The result is this strange kind of mixture of sharpness and blurriness in the same image.

Over that summer I took many trips the park with my brothers and made them do all sort of strange things while I snapped away trying out this technique. Fortunately they were very patient with me. The whole thing is very unpredictable (thankfully I was shooting in digital or who knows how many roles of film I would have used!) and so I shot hundreds of photographs but these are a few of the ones that I think turned out quite well.


When I returned to college in September we were given the task of shooting flash blur with film, having had the summer to "master" the technique. I had a 24 exp film as so as not to waste any I really had to think about getting the balance between the flash and ambient exposures. With digital it was easy, I could see instantly if the image was over exposed, correct it accordingly and re-shoot. Obviously with film, you don't have that luxury, and so I found it much more challenging.