59 Flash lighting to create the shot - High Speed Sync Portraits
11 november 2020 
15 min. read

59 Flash lighting to create the shot - High Speed Sync Portraits

Shallow depth of field portraits using HSS

In this episode of ‘How I Got the Shot,’ our marketing manager, Anthony Romano, shares how he stepped outside his comfort zone to create some shallow depth of field portraits for musician Kate Clark—using the high-speed sync (HSS) feature of the LINK 800WS flash unit and the HUB remote.

Flash lighting to create the shot_HSS 3

Why use High-Speed Sync?

A look behind the scenes with Anthony. This time we are going to an outdoor shoot with our new Link800 Flash Head and the new Hub remote control to show how to create a depth of field portrait using HSS.

I will try to explain it as simply as possible for those who are not familiar with High-Speed Sync (HSS). By setting my camera outside to a wide aperture (f/1.4), I am already letting in a lot of light, and if I were to take my flash and use even a tiny amount, it would probably give me way too much light. To correct this, I have a few options. 

Option 1: I could change my aperture from f1.4 to say f/8, but then my background would no longer be out of focus. 

Option 2: I could adjust my shutter speed, but most DSLR cameras have a maximum sync speed of 1/200th to 1/250th of a second (of course, this will vary depending on the brand and model of your camera.) Therefore if I were to use my shutter speed above my maximum, the camera would expose only the open strip at that moment. This is indicated by the black bar at the bottom of my pictures (see sample pictures). The flash should fire while both curtains are fully open. 

Option 3: There is a way however to still use very short shutter speeds: HSS. The flash unit should then not fire at once, but several times in quick succession. This way each individual strip is well illuminated by a flash and the entire picture is well exposed. This function is found on most strobes but not so much on studio strobes. The new Link800 with the Hub does have this.

The Photoshoot 

For this photoshoot, I used the 24 inches foldable Beauty Dish (folds out just like an ordinary umbrella so the softbox is assembled in just a few seconds, which is ideal for on-location) and the tripod. For this purpose, I could move freely over the terrain and keep my setup quite small. After the photoshoot, I could definitely see the benefits of using High-Speed Sync and look forward to doing shoots with it in the future. 

How exactly? Everything is explained in this video of "How I create The Shot". Have fun watching!

Final image

Flash lighting to create the shot_HSS 3Flash lighting to create the shot HSS 2Flash lighting to create the shot HSS

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About the author
Flits & Flash is a specialist in photographic and video equipment. On our website, you can find our entire range of Paul C. Buff. Flits & Flash works exclusively with its Partner Paul C. Buff, Inc
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