The Usefulness of Excessive-Velocity Sync

Amongst different issues, high-speed sync helps you to underexpose your backgrounds for dramatic pictures.

Excessive-speed sync (HSS) is definitely some of the helpful options in lighting. Not solely does it allow you to overpower the solar for extra flattering gentle in the midst of the day, it additionally helps you to use your largest apertures in broad daylight.

It additionally helps you to use one other helpful approach – underexposing your backgrounds by a number of stops. With a strong sufficient gentle you’ll be able to even underexpose the solar by three or 4 stops, thus making it a compositional factor in your body. This allows you to create darkish, dramatic backgrounds for visible affect. It additionally brings your topic ahead within the body, guaranteeing they’re the dominant facet of your picture.

Thankfully, utilizing HSS to create darkish backgrounds like that is simple. And on this quick tutorial, I’ll present you learn how to do it utilizing each E-TTL and handbook publicity modes.

Why Darken Your Backgrounds?

Whilst you received’t need to darken the background in each scenario, darkish backgrounds in scenes that may usually be very shiny look nice. It might be a stylised affair, however it’s a cool model.

Darkening the background brings your topic ahead within the body(offering they’re effectively lit), and emphasizes them as the focus of the background. And the inherent distinction added by placing extraordinarily darkish tones within the body helps to make issues pop.

This shot was taken and not using a flash and is all pure gentle. You’ll be able to see the background shares the same tonality to the topic, lowering the topic’s affect throughout the body.


By deliberately underexposing the background with HSS, the topic now dominates the body.

What Do You Want?

To get began with this method you’ll want:

  • A flash with HSS functionality (and TTL functionality for those who don’t need to use handbook).

Some studios strobes (such because the Pixapro Citi600) now include HSS performance inbuilt.

  • A set off or another means to fireplace your flash. (You’ll want a TTL-compatible set off if you wish to use TTL.)

If you wish to use handbook mode, a PC Sync cable will do the job. However for E-TTL you’ll want a suitable set off. (The icon circled in crimson is the HSS icon.)

E-TTL Mode

To make use of this method with TTL metering, activate the flash, set off, and digicam of no matter system you’re utilizing. Set your flash mode to HSS and E-TTL. (In case you don’t understand how to do that, consult with your handbook.) You must also zero out the flash publicity compensation settings in your flash.

Swap your digicam to ‘Aperture Precedence‘ mode and select the specified aperture. I’m keen on f/four and f/5.6 for this method, however it’s not a rule.

Now dial between -1 and -Three stops of publicity compensation into your digicam. What this does is underexpose all of the ambient gentle in your scene. It’s the way you obtain the darkish backgrounds – every part that isn’t correctly uncovered by your flash might be darkened.

Backgrounds which might be already in shadow (such because the one on this photograph) might solely want one cease of underexposure.

For darkish backgrounds already in shadow, -1 cease of publicity compensation might be sufficient. For shiny backgrounds or backgrounds in direct daylight, you’ll have to underexpose extra. To overpower the solar, you’ll have to underexpose by at the very least three stops.

Backgrounds lit by direct daylight (such because the one on this picture) might have as much as 4 stops of underexposure.

Take a take a look at shot, consider the picture and the histogram in your digicam, and adjust the flash publicity compensation as wanted.

That’s all there’s to it.

Handbook Mode

HSS is nice for overpowering the solar. Right here, three stops of underexposure managed the looks of the solar within the body. Discover how darkish the remainder of body (lit in broad daylight) seems.

The steps for handbook mode are virtually an identical to utilizing E-TTL mode.

  1. Arrange the flash, set off, and digicam of your system.
  2. Set the digicam to aperture precedence mode.
  3. Set the digicam to your required aperture.
  4. Dial in -1 to -Three stops of publicity compensation.
  5. Take a take a look at shot.
  6. Alter your flash energy as wanted.

Nonetheless, in handbook mode, the meter in your digicam doesn’t relay any publicity data to your flash because it does in E-TTL mode. Which means you’ll have to set your flash energy your self by evaluating your take a look at shot and turning the flash energy up or down as wanted. It’s possible you’ll want to change the flash energy much more than you’ll with E-TTL. Simply preserve taking checks pictures and evaluating the publicity till it’s the place you need it.

Adjusting the ability in handbook mode means dialing by all of the increments in your flash. This isn’t an issue, however it’s tougher than E-TTL.

As an apart, gentle meters at the moment are accessible that may measure HSS such because the Sekonic L-858D. Nonetheless, they’re very costly. A Slovenian firm referred to as Lumu additionally makes a lightweight meter that plugs into an iPhone to measures HSS. I noticed these being demoed at a commerce present and was very impressed with the outcomes. They’re cheaper, however they presently work solely with iPhones.

That’s It

Offered you’ve the required gear, the approach is kind of simple. And it can provide you quite a lot of outcomes, so be sure you experiment with totally different quantities of publicity compensation.

Although restricted by your entry to the gear, this HSS approach is straightforward to make use of and can lead to daring, dramatic imagery.

Different Concerns

Right here are some things to bear in mind whereas utilizing this method:

ISO. Usually talking, you need to preserve your ISO as little as attainable. After all, if in case you have a very low-powered flash it’s possible you’ll have to convey it up.

Flash Meters. Most flash meters can’t meter for HSS exposures. There are specialist meters that may, however be ready to pay by the nostril for them.

Daylight Situations. This system works in all kinds of lighting situations, from direct noon solar to subtle gentle on a cloudy day. You’ll want a strong gentle to overpower the solar on a shiny day, however for those who do the approach works rather well.

This HSS approach works effectively in all lighting situations. The picture on the left was created in overcast situations, whereas the picture on the best was taken in direct daylight.

Flashguns / Speedlights. Many flashguns have HSS performance inbuilt and are able to nice outcomes. When you have a flashgun, think about using them for this method.

Give it a strive

Now that you simply’ve seen what may be completed with this comparatively simple approach, I encourage you to get out and take a look at it for your self. And tell us the way you went within the feedback.


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