In 1990 when I was using a film SLR and working hard at learning how to get the most out of my camera, I made a fundamental mistake and learnt an important lesson. Unfortunately it was while I was doing a shoot with three girls from my class from school who were dressed in their Kernowek Lowender costumes and I had arranged a Sunday of taking them to various locations around the Moonta Mines to get a Ye Olde Worlde feel. This was not something I was going to get to repeat.
We had a lovely fun day. We went to the Mines, an old cottage, an old wagon and I shot a couple of rolls of colour and one black and white.
When I got the prints back I was stunned. Yes, I had some nice shots, but half of the images were only half there. The rest of the print was black. I went to my friendly developer man and told him there must be something wrong with his machine! Then he educated me about flash sync, and how, if your shutter speed is too fast, the shutter may have half shut already when the flash fires, meaning the shutter is between the subject and the film!
I threw out all of the ruined shots but here’s a demo of how the shots were supposed to turn out..
And how they DID turn out!…
The good news is that our new DSLRs won’t let us make that mistake! I tried it on my D7000 but even in Manual it would not let me take a shot faster than the sync speed of 1/250. So if you’re just starting out, relax! This is not something you need to worry about!