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Hi Speed Sync

Hi Speed Sync
Photo Information
Copyright: Rabani HMA (Rabani) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 69 W: 0 N: 259] (977)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-16
Categories: Nature
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
Exposure: f/4, 1/800 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-17 20:10
Viewed: 1474
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here's something if you would like to try Hi Speed Flash Photography.

Most DSLRs have a maximum flash sync from 1/180s to 1/250s. While this is ok for most flash photography disciplines, this shutter speed is not fast enough to flash freezes something zipping faster than 1/250s.

Like for instance this stingless bee or scientifically "meliponines". Even at 1/800s, it's still not enough to freeze its wings, but enough to freeze its in flight movement just before landing.

Check your flash or camera's body whether it can "flash" faster than its normal autosync speed. For Canon or Pentax, usually its on the flash unit itself where you set it to Hi Speed Sync. Look for the icon or symbol with an "H" beside a Thunder sign. For Nikon's, the setting up is usually in the camera's body.

During Hi Speed Sync mode, the flash unit "follows" or obeys the camera's exposure setting. In the normal autosync mode, your flash unit would "reset" your shutter speed in your exposure setting to its maximum flash autosync speed.

For instance,let say you are taking a sunny portrait work and your exposure is F/4 and shutter speed 1/1000s. You wanted F/4 because you need to blur the background and as it's a bright day, your camera decided the best shutter speed is 1/1000s. But...when you took the shot, the subject's face is dark or underexposed. Switching on your flash at normal mode, you noticed your shutter speed is automatically reset to 1/250s, which is for Canon 40D, its flash autosync speed. At this setting, you would probably get a washout/over exposed background while your subject's face is well exposed.

By switching to Hi Speed Sync, your exposure of F/4 at 1/1000s is maintained but with the added advantage of a filled in flash. So not only you get your background well exposed, your main subject is well lit by the fill in.

High speed sync is usually set for fill in flash, studio photography and freezing anything that moves in the undergrowth or anytime you need to use wide apertures (F/2.8 to F/4) at higher shutter speed.

This stingless bee is part of a colony making home on the side of a tree beside a trail on the bank of the lake at Bukit Padang. There's a collapsed jetty just behind the tree which you can't miss if you are looking for this hive.

Ramdan, wieyos, szatanowska, shubhibanerjee, trekks, amai26 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • wieyos Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1094 W: 43 N: 2059] (9118)
  • [2008-11-17 21:36]

wonder what the fps - flap per second, ? :) - of this tiny bee when a shutter speed of 1/800s could not quite perfectly freeze the wing flappings.

the note is great - informative and inspiring indeed.


  • Great 
  • Ramdan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 688 W: 31 N: 1408] (5765)
  • [2008-11-17 22:00]

1/800 pun inda bulih kasi mati itu pergerakan, kuat betul tenaga batin tu lebah kasi kepak sayap dia tau.

Very informative note.


my last macro was with flash and 1/1300, i don't understand well the note, but seems my camera is better than i would ever think :P
i like the tones of the BG here, and of course the kind of bee caught in flight

  • Great 
  • trekks Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1995 W: 141 N: 3390] (13665)
  • [2008-11-18 20:52]

hi Rabani

How are you doing lately with outdoor trekking and photography? When is your next hardware upgrade? 50D or 5Dmk2?

Very interesting to see 1/800s and I have noticed from Jonothan's post that 1/1300s would still not able to freeze bee's wings. Will be interesting to see the speed that can freeze the wings.

tfs, bill

p/s TheStar news about Mabul island 33ha of new development, that is really a concern.

Hai Rabani,

buah cempedak diluar pagar
ambil gala tolong julukkan
sia budak baru belajar
kalu salah tulung betulkan...

Kalau dari segi teknikal sia memang lemah, apa yang sia tahu set sikit pas tu terus tekan ambil gambar.

That is me still more to learn especially from you all (Rabani, Ramdan, Ageos, Bill, Ruslan...etc). For this captured, sure the bee can flap faster then DSLR shutter speed, very interesting fact.



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