View Full Version : Best settings to capture muzzle flash

12-09-2006, 08:06 AM
Hi folks! I'm a novice looking for some advice on the capture of a fleeting subject: The muzzle flash of a gun upon firing. I have captured several, but none have been without some evidence of motion in the shooter. My goal is to capture a sharp image of both shooter and muzzle flash with no evidence of motion. Here's a couple of my failed attempts. Any help on this issue would be much appreciated. Thank you. Dave

Click to enlarge:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v314/dlorenz/th_Img2006-12-01-0024.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v314/dlorenz/Img2006-12-01-0024.jpg)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v314/dlorenz/th_Img2006-12-01-0018b.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v314/dlorenz/Img2006-12-01-0018b.jpg)

D Thompson
12-09-2006, 08:20 AM
I don't know your limitations by what camera you are using but, as fast as shutter speed you've got in burst mode.

12-09-2006, 08:27 AM
While I am not an expert at technique I did notice that you had the camera in night portrait mode with a 1 second exposure with flash. I would try suggesting one of two things, put the camera in manual mode and use the fastest shutter speed you can with flash (the flash will help stop motion but may washout the brightness of the muzzle flash.) and the other thing to try would be to open your aperture to it's widest setting, crank the iso up to maybe 1600 or so and set your shutter speed as fast as possible while giving the proper exposure. A fast lens would definitely help with the second recommendation. Timing will be very hard to get perfect.
Let us know how it turns out, this is something I have been wanting to try.

12-09-2006, 09:01 AM
Dennis, I have a D-70.

D Thompson
12-09-2006, 09:33 AM
Dennis, I have a D-70.

Dave - I just did a quick search and it looks like your top shutter speed is 1/8000 and you can shoot continuous at 3 fps. Not an impossible shot, but a little luck is gonna have to be involved in several attempts. You might try a shutter speed of 1/2000 and set your D70 in continuous shooting mode (1/1000 might get it, but you may have to go up to 1/8000). You may have to bump up your ISO to get the shooter lit and using your fastest lens (f2.8 or better). Getting the subject lit may become a secondary problem and you can forget flash (sync speed will be way to slow to stop the motion).

You may want to set up on a tripod also. You & the shooter will have to get your timing down. You'll need to start shooting a split second before he does and hold down the shutter button to let it keep shooting.

Keep in mind that at a shutter speed of 1/1000 you can only capture 3/1000th of a second. Who knows, you might get lucky and catch the bullet as it's leaving the muzzle. That'd be pretty cool.

Hope this helps and good luck.

12-09-2006, 10:21 AM
Thanks a lot guys...I really appreciate it! I'll experiment and post any good pictures in this thread. Thanks again. Dave