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07-15-2017, 06:04 AM - 4 Likes   #1
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A Few HSS Examples

I was prompted to dig out a few images that use the High Speed Sync mode, to show some examples of "domestic practical" application .... this is in reponse to a post on the Godox AD360 II-N works on Pentax with Cactus V6 II thread ...... Godox AD360 II-N works on Pentax with Cactus V6 II - PentaxForums.com

One thing in question is the cost / benefit aspect of using HSS vs ND filters or other contrast controlling and light balancing approaches. I guess I use HSS because my flashes offer the option, plus I enjoy the technique ..... but then again most of my usage is simple on-camera direct flash, and with Pentax P-TTL flashes that is a very quick and easy way to take extra control over the lighting balance in your images ..... but there are a few examples here that use off-camera (optical triggered) HSS .....

All of these photos have used shutter speeds of around 1/350th - 1/1000th in order to reduce the ambient light significantly and light the shadowed subject distinctly from the flash, reducing contrast and changing the balance of light in tghe scene considerably .....


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Thanks for taking a look and any HSS related chit chat ! .... Nigel

07-15-2017, 06:11 AM   #2
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Good examples Nigel. I think experimenting with HSS should be next on my to-do list.
07-15-2017, 06:24 AM   #3
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I thought you'd already done some HSS Peter .... The ones of the dog out in the field?
07-15-2017, 07:22 AM   #4
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Awesome post to illustrate what HSS can do. I was recently reading a Street Photo Blog where the author was espousing the benefits of leaf shutter cameras for their ability for high speed shutter flash sync speeds and daylight fill. Your shots are imo much better examples of the technique and it can be used with Focal plane shutter equipment as well! How easily (quickly) were you able to dial in the exposure for your examples? On the blog I mentioned, he was using the flash in manual and quickly dialling in the flash power from full to 1/64, by trial and error, finding the right amount of flash in 2 to 4 shots. Does HHS only work in P-TTL or can you also use it in M?

07-15-2017, 08:19 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Thanks Halide ! These are all shot with Pentax AF-540FGZ flashes, and they offer only P-TTL mode with HS sync .... therefore I am controlling the flash exposure with Flash Compensation and the Ambient Exposure in manual camera mode. For some more details on the workflow and HSS technique please click through to this demo thread ....

A Practical Look at High Speed Synch
07-15-2017, 08:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Halide Quote
Does HHS only work in P-TTL or can you also use it in M?
Depends on the gear.

With Acon and Cactus radio triggers you can also use HSS while using manual flash power control.
07-15-2017, 08:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Thanks Halide ! These are all shot with Pentax AF-540FGZ flashes, and they offer only P-TTL mode with HS sync .... therefore I am controlling the flash exposure with Flash Compensation and the Ambient Exposure in manual camera mode. For some more details on the workflow and HSS technique please click through to this demo thread ....

A Practical Look at High Speed Synch
Well !!
I had no idea I could do this with my old AF-540FGZ flash!
I'll go back to your tutorial and try to figure out how to do this ...
Seems easy enough but I'm sure I'll goof off as usual.
Let's go testing this now.
07-15-2017, 09:20 AM   #8
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Yes, give it a go! Don't forget there's a full section on High Speed Sync Operations in my "Pentax Flash Guide" document ....downloadable from the link in my signature or from the Sticky Thread at the top of this Forum.

07-15-2017, 12:37 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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And here's a few more ! .... I should have said of course that the shots are all taken with the Pentax K7.


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07-15-2017, 02:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Yes, give it a go! Don't forget there's a full section on High Speed Sync Operations in my "Pentax Flash Guide" document ....downloadable from the link in my signature or from the Sticky Thread at the top of this Forum.
QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
And here's a few more ! .... I should have said of course that the shots are all taken with the Pentax K7.
Very nice photos this HSS gives.

That full section is overwhelming (for me) ... my attention span being what it is nowadays, I find it tough to get through its entirety.

BTW, when you say that you meter to the sky, does it make a big difference if the said sky is dull, cloudy, darker ... ?
07-15-2017, 02:16 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Very nice photos this HSS gives.
Thanks

---------- Post added 15-07-17 at 21:24 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
BTW, when you say that you meter to the sky, does it make a big difference if the said sky is dull, cloudy, darker ... ?
Yes, very overcast conditions will be less bright than full sunshine .... but the metering process will take account of that. Its not a 'rule' that you have to meter the sky specifically, but I have found that generally in HSS situations it is the sky in a scene that has the brightest highlights, and they need to be kept under control, so it is quick if you point the camera at the sky and get a meter reading before even looking at the flash part of it.

Often the straight '0-centre' reading from the sky will be a good one , but sometimes you might want to dial in a 'faster' shutter speed to darken the sky a bit more ..... this tends to bring out depth of colours and will allow your flash-lit subject to pop out more ...(the one of the bay with boats just above is a good example of that .... the ambient exposure there is probably around 0.7 or 1 stop below the metered exposure). This is achieved by dialing in one stop 'faster' shutter speed (eg from 1/500th to 1/1000th).

The last one above there, with my daughter on the scooter, also has about an ambient exposure about 1 stop below the '0 centre' value. Often HSS images do not look like they were taken in the sweltering bright heat of the day .... because the ambient exposure has been reduced they can look more like they taken at the ends of the day, and this is perhaps one reason why they can look attractive .... that plus the fact that the subjects are actually lit, rather than being in shade or with harsh blown out sun on them.

Last edited by mcgregni; 07-15-2017 at 02:32 PM.
07-15-2017, 05:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Thanks for taking a look and any HSS related chit chat ! .... Nigel
These are really interesting, and fine quality family images. They remind me of what pros get by having an assistant holding a ver large silvered reflector to fill shadows.
One off thing I noticed in just one of the images. In the fifth image down, the little girl apparently walking up on a hillside. If you look at the background close to her clothing all the way along her back, and also close to her cheeks on both sides. it appears that the camera has slightly desaturated the background colors close to the little girl, creating a sort of halo or aura of near-grey tones. I don't see this effect in any of the other images.
07-15-2017, 06:19 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
.... that plus the fact that the subjects are actually lit, rather than being in shade or with harsh blown out sun on them.
I think it is fair to say, however, that many times your subject are in full sun light.

It seems to me that your photos are working well because you make very good use of the natural light and use HSS flash as subtle (and sometimes less subtle) fill light. In other words, the dimension of the subjects, the interesting shadows, etc. all come from the natural light. I spotted only one image where you may have used artificial light (or a reflector) from an off-camera angle to give dimension to the subject.

Nothing wrong with that, yours and Brooks's photos work very well combining natural light with flash fill, but I think those who are not that experienced with flash photography should bear that in mind.
07-15-2017, 08:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Thanks

---------- Post added 15-07-17 at 21:24 ----------



Yes, very overcast conditions will be less bright than full sunshine .... but the metering process will take account of that. Its not a 'rule' that you have to meter the sky specifically, but I have found that generally in HSS situations it is the sky in a scene that has the brightest highlights, and they need to be kept under control, so it is quick if you point the camera at the sky and get a meter reading before even looking at the flash part of it.

Often the straight '0-centre' reading from the sky will be a good one , but sometimes you might want to dial in a 'faster' shutter speed to darken the sky a bit more ..... this tends to bring out depth of colours and will allow your flash-lit subject to pop out more ...(the one of the bay with boats just above is a good example of that .... the ambient exposure there is probably around 0.7 or 1 stop below the metered exposure). This is achieved by dialing in one stop 'faster' shutter speed (eg from 1/500th to 1/1000th).

The last one above there, with my daughter on the scooter, also has about an ambient exposure about 1 stop below the '0 centre' value. Often HSS images do not look like they were taken in the sweltering bright heat of the day .... because the ambient exposure has been reduced they can look more like they taken at the ends of the day, and this is perhaps one reason why they can look attractive .... that plus the fact that the subjects are actually lit, rather than being in shade or with harsh blown out sun on them.
Thanks for the reply !
I definitely will give it a good go ... children visiting here soon; plenty of outdoors shots to be taken!
But I will "practice" ahead of time, of course.
07-16-2017, 01:27 PM   #15
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Thanks for the excellent contributions above everyone! I'm really pleased this has prompted some insightful responses and thinking about HSS matters

QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
I dug around for some things I could show comparing HSS to plain old sync. Looked through events I covered with on camera flash
Those are vibrant and lively images .... getting the ambient under control and bringing out the subjects with flash has worked a treat. F8 and F11 are good apertures! I do believe that if you need to get the best bright ambient/flash ratio possible you should use ISO 100, 180thsec (or 1/200th for K1), then set aperture for the desired background exposure level .... then use Manual flash on full power and place the subjects the correct distance for this power. This should provide more power and effectiveness than HSS, which you have no doubt already realised and do regularly.

So I do agree with you on the cost / power equation. The only thing though is that a lot of people don't want to shoot their images at F8 or F11 nowadays; they want to use their 70-200 zooms at F2.8 and copy all the Sony YouTubers ..... of course its a compelling effect when done well, but its going to involve expense to get that sync speed broken and flashes HSSing.

QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
But you are a troublemaker because I looked up the YN-585 and its $76 at B&H. I might have to get a pair.
I'm glad to have troubled you .... but equally glad that you are prepared to consider those alternatives. As far as the Manual vs P-TTL thing goes, we probably come at it from opposite perspectives ..... you haven't needed P-TTL because Manual works well for you ...... I haven't needed Manual because P-TTL works well for me. I still think that ideally it is desirable to have both available for the situations in which they each suit better.

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
These are really interesting, and fine quality family images. They remind me of what pros get by having an assistant holding a ver large silvered reflector to fill shadows.
Thankyou! I'm glad you like the photos .... unfortunately none of my 'assistants' is ever going to hold anything much for me when we're all out and about, so its plain old direct on-camera flash a lot of the time .... but it doesn't have to look like the stereotypical look that it so often is portrayed as.

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
it appears that the camera has slightly desaturated the background colors close to the little girl, creating a sort of halo or aura of near-grey tones.
I have seen this, yes, and I'm not sure what it is really .... a possible processing artifact? I may have done some levels adjustment layer work and brushed possibly ....Although generally one great benefit of flash and ambient balancing at the point of capture is that processsing is minimised and exposures are spot on.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It seems to me that your photos are working well because you make very good use of the natural light and use HSS flash as subtle (and sometimes less subtle) fill light. In other words, the dimension of the subjects, the interesting shadows, etc. all come from the natural light.
Thats a good analysis, yes. Its not always planned or a conscious effort, but you're right, its best when the shape of light can come from the angle of the sun and the direct flash only has to reduce contrast and bring up the shadow side of the face. And yes, sometimes its not so suble! (I'm not always one for subtle when it comes to flash ). The one with the ball being thrown up and the deep blue sea in behind is a good example .... it looks like a stock photo for Bryan Petersens book "Understanding Flash Photography", with me just having read off the correct distance to place the girl for 'correct' flash exposure!

But the point perhaps is that it makes a photo that wouldn't exist without flash ..... at least not if you wanted all those elements in place as they are. Without flash there is no way you could control the DR sufficiently in order to expose the backgrouind nicely and still have the subject placed under the overhang in deep shadow.

A good example of what you're referring to is the last one with the scooter ..... there you can see the nice side lighting from the sun, with the ambient exposed for those highlights, and the HSS flash bringing up her right side to balance.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I spotted only one image where you may have used artificial light (or a reflector) from an off-camera angle to give dimension to the subject.
Thats the close up portrait with the green foliage background (our garden) .... that background is reduced from full afternoon sun by around 1.5 stops, and she is lit by an off-camera RF60 with softbox and the on-camera AF-540FGZ triggering flash in Master Mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
definitely will give it a good go ... children visiting here soon; plenty of outdoors shots to be taken! But I will "practice" ahead of time, of course.
Yes, get a teddy or doll out .... they make patient models while we mess around and fiddle endlessy with the settings and adjustments ! I hope you have a fun time photograping them, and let us know how it got on.

Last edited by mcgregni; 07-16-2017 at 02:43 PM.
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