Direct Flash Dance Floor Twist

One of the coolest effects for capturing dance floor action also represents the second best lighting option: Direct flash dance floor twist. This lighting style adds flare (almost literally) to dance floor images! The setup for this lighting method takes under a minute, works in any dark scene or location, and works especially well with DJ backlighting.

Here are some standard settings for direct flash dance floor twists:

  1. 1/5th, f/4.0, ISO 100 (starting)
  2. 1/8th flash power, 70mm zoom (starting)

It’s important that the lighting (such as the DJ’s lighting) is positioned behind the subjects on the dance floor. That way, when twisting the camera to create light streaks (which occurs because of the slow shutter speed), the color from the lights illuminates only the background, not the subject. The flash will freeze the subject, making the motion blur effect complete.



While the figures in the above diagram appear to be doing the electric slide, the important thing to note is the position of the backlights in relation to the subjects and your camera.