| Stockpile of all things Photography |



June 12, 2014

The only way to remotely use high speed sync with flashes

More articles by »
Written by: Lawrence

So what is High Speed Sync?

If you want the definition, then you need to check out this wiki. What matters to me is what High Speed Sync allows me to do in photography.

Do you hate when you take a picture of a person outside in the sun, the person’s face is either too dark and the background is correctly exposed or the person’s face is correctly exposed and the detail of the background is blown out?

Having issues with achieving a shallow depth of field even when shooting at 200MM in the sun?

With High Speed Sync, these issues will be non-existent. Below I’ll show you how I utilize this cool feature to enhance my out in the sun images and also solve common exposure problems.


  • Identify the situation and if the environment presents itself to use High Speed Sync then I’ll show you how I utilize this amazing feature. Below are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if High Speed Sync is an option.

o   What time is your photo shoot?

  • If you are shooting outside the golden hours, then make sure your subject is in open shade.

o   Would you be able to place your flash within 3-6 feet from the subject?

  • If you only have one flash and can’t be at least 6 feet away, then you will need at least two flashes to have enough power to overpower.



  • DSLR
  • Flash with TTL capability
  • Lightstand
  • Flash trigger with TTL ability (For this article, I am using pocketwizard Flex TT5 and the AC3 when I have more than one flash for remote power adjustments)



  • First you will need to meter for the ambient light

o   Ambient light = A

o   Camera = – 1 stop of A

o   Main Light Flash = + ½ stop of A set to TTL mode (check your wireless trigger instructions for what to set your flash)

o   Edge Light Flash = + 1 stop of A set to TTL mode


  • Ensure your subject is at least a 1/3 of the frame.


  • If you only have one light, then use the sun as a backlight for edge and the flash as main or fill to add depth to your subject.

Below is an example of where High Speed Sync allowed me to shoot at a low f-number at 12 noon overhead sun.

It was a fairly hot cloudless day for my nieces school outdoor performance. The stage was covered to provide a slight shade. Although, there were a few breaks in the shade which caused some harsh light to pass through.

PhotographySILO_20140509untitled shoot_LAP2777

After I assessed the situation, I then proceeded with flash placement. I had two flashes attached to Pocketwizard Flex TT5s and two Joby Flash Clamp and Locking Arm to mount on the stage and speaker stands.

PhotographySILO_20140509untitled shoot_LAP2833

I positioned the flashes at about head level on each side of the stage to provide a main and on some occasions an edge since there wasn’t enough sun for an edge light but just enough sun that without high speed sync I would be limited to using f8-f16. Since I wanted to isolate my niece blur everyone not in the same focal plane, I had to use an aperture of f2.8 to 5.6.

I’d love to see how you utilized high speed sync in your work. Please post your image/s at the PhotographySILO Flickr Group

PhotographySILO_20140509untitled shoot_LAP2751


If you enjoyed our content make sure to +1 our New Google plus page and subscribe to our YouTube channel and support us by using our amazon link.


A huge way to help is to use any of these links when you buy anything regardless of your location in this world. It really doesnít cost you anything but means the world to this site for support. These places have the best prices and service and I recommend each and every one of them.

If you’ve purchased gear using any one of my links or helped otherwise, I really appreciate it and just know you are amazing and a huge help to the growth of the site.

Thank you!

The material on this website is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only and is not to be used for professional advise, career or physical, or in a place of professional training or accredited education. User of this site is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.



About the Author

Lawrence Atienza is a Jack of all Trades and Master of ALL. Whether it be in the realm of Advertising/Advertising operations with over 10+ years of experience to dabbling in the creative realm of photography and founding/writing for, Lawrence Atienza gives his all. You can find him on Google+,Twitter and the major social media outlets.