Using High Speed Sync To Capture Eye Catching Photos

So before we dive into high-speed sync  we need to discuss what flash sync is.

Flash sync is the computer-controlled feature in which the flash and the shutter release are synchronized so that the flash light output illuminates the subject for the specific moments that the shutter exposes the cameras sensor.

The flash instantaneously lights up the subject so the flash doesn’t last nearly as long as the shutter remains open even though this is very fast (1/60s, 1/125s 1/250s, etc.).

There is a limit to the shutter speed, and this is known as the camera’s native sync speed.

What is High Speed Sync Flash?

High-speed sync is your camera ability to use a flash at shutter speeds faster than the camera’s native sync.

Most cameras have a native sync of 1/250th of a second, and anything faster than that is beyond the camera’s ability to sync the shutter with the flash. But if you happen to be in a situation that requires faster shutter speeds to effectively capture the action, or for other aesthetic reasons. Like shooting wide open in the middle of the day. which with out high speed sync would overexpose your image.

However, high-speed sync flash/camera combinations allow you to use the flash at higher shutter speeds.


How to use High Speed Sync Flash?

High-speed sync flash is perfect for  when you want to use a wider aperture setting that requires a higher shutter speed as is often the case with outdoor daylight shooting.

For example, you may want to take an outdoor portrait, and your TTL meter tells you that the f-stop should be set at f/16 with a 1/125s shutter. Those settings will give you too much depth of field, Nearly everything will be in focus. Instead, what you want is a sharp subject, but a soft, smooth or blurred background, which would be achieved with an aperture of about f/2 or lower.  which means your shutter speed needs to go up to 1/5000s or higher if your camera allows. This is easily achievable by setting the flash to High Sync Speed.

When you take your photo, you’ll have that beautiful, soft background that the pros get when shooting outside.

High-speed sync gives you more artistic control over your photos. When you master this use of the flash, you’ll be able to take photos that will grab people’s attention and have them wondering how it was done.

High-speed sync overcomes the limitations of the camera’s native flash sync. This is beneficial to those photographers who always wished for just one or two more speeds on the shutter.

Fill-in flash normally limits shutter speed, requiring a small aperture that keeps the background in focus. HSS allows high shutter speed and large aperture for shallow depth-of-field.


Normal                                                                                High Speed Sync




PhotoCredit: Keydrin Franklin

Images above were captured using the Flashpoint xplor 600 pro.

Check out our inventory of gear capable of high speed sync below.




On Camera Flash:




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