You can't win 'em all. That's what I'm telling myself, because today's project was a bust.
I was supposed to use slow sync flash to capture an image. I read about slow sync flash at both Expert Photography and Digital Photography. I read both my camera manual and my external flash manual. I read somewhere that slow sync flash was good for nightclub photography, so I read a bit about nightclub photography.
Then I tried to recreate a nightclub in a basement playroom with two children dressed for bed. Whatever could have gone wrong?
Slow sync flash means using a slow shutter speed and a flash in low-light situations. The idea is to clearly illuminate your subject while blurring the background. You can read an excellent explanation at Slow Sync Flash at Exposure Guide.
I set my camera and flash as instructed, turned on the disco ball, and let the small people rock out. First, the flash was too bright and illuminated the entire scene. I tried to lessen the effect by bouncing the flash off the ceiling rather than pointing it directly at the dancing fools, but it was still too bright. Reluctantly, I pulled out my manual a second time to learn flash exposure compensation--increasing or decreasing the brightness of the flash. I brought the flash way down. The results were better, but still not very interesting.
I've mentioned before that I don't show my children's faces on Flotsam of the Mind. My dancers further reduced the number of photos I could share by participating only if they could (both) wear boxer shorts only. I had a topless disco dance party in my basement, and all I have to show for it is this lousy photograph.
I learned some things about flash photography, so it wasn't a total waste on that front. I will try it again on a dark evening with cars driving by. That should yield better results.
Tomorrow's challenge is Panning. Digital Photography explains the basics at Mastering Panning. This sounds like a tough one to get right on the first try. If it rains all day tomorrow, it could be a problem. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the results are better than those of my nearly nude dance party.