Sequence viewing > Light & Lighting - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

Light in Photography -   LIGHTING -  FLASH LIGHTING


So the discharge of light from the flash is synchronized when the shutter of the camera is open, a cord with an electrical connection to the shutter release is used. This is called the sync cord. While many cameras have a socket to allow the cord to be plugged in, some cameras only make this connection through the hot shoe attachment, a facility to attach a portable flash. Cameras with this hot shoe connection need a special attachment that clips onto the hot shoe facility and allows a  sync cord to attached to the flash.

Although the actual duration of the flash is over in less than a  1/2000 second ( many flashes are much faster up to 1/10000 second ) and with focal plane shutters this has to be synchronized so that the two blinds of the shutter are completely open. One blind needs to have completed its movement across the focal plane, while the other has not yet begun. 

Most SLR focal plane shutter cameras have shutters that are synchronized at 1/60 sec. This is often marked on the shutter setting with an X or the setting are in a different colour. If a photographer uses a shutter speed faster than this synchronized speed the image will appear as a thin slit, the faster the shutter speed, the smaller image. 

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