When to Use Standard Flash Versus High-Speed Sync

High-speed sync is a super useful technological advancement in flash technology that makes life a lot easier for photographers using strobes, but that doesn't mean you should always use it. This helpful video will show you some situations where high-speed sync has an advantage and others where standard flash should be your choice.

Coming to you from Gavin Hoey of Adorama TV, this great video talks about how to choose between using standard flash and high-speed sync depending on the situation you're shooting in. High-speed sync is tremendously helpful, particularly in situations where you'd like to shoot at a wide aperture and there's a lot of ambient light, such as outdoor location portraits on a sunny day, and it saves you from having to fiddle with and try to focus using ND filters. However, it's not without its disadvantages, and it can actually be better to switch back to standard flash in certain situations. If you're not using a portrait-length lens and looking for very shallow depth of field, you might actually have more flexibility and get better results without high-speed sync. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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8 Comments

David Love's picture

Can't take my eyes off that flash swaying wanting to get blown over. Also blurring is not retouching.

Daniel Medley's picture

Gavin Hoey knows what he's doing. You'll notice the sandbag on the stand. Also, this is a video on flash, not retouching.

David Love's picture

Hard to follow a lesson if the end result is not amazing. But you enjoy.

I'd say that's more a statement about you than Gavin. Amazing is subjective; facts are not. The point of the lesson was clearly explained and demonstrated. Judging from your portfolio you probably already know enough to know what HSS is, so I'm not sure why you're pretending to be interested in a lesson you don't need just so you can criticize it.

Don't get me wrong, there are thousands of people on YouTube who are crappy teachers and spout bad advice, but Gavin isn't one of them. Also, the edit is clearly a stylistic choice, and like Daniel said, it wasn't even stated that it should or should not be done that way, since the video wasn't about that aspect anyway. But you enjoy being pompous.

I seriously don't get people sometimes. Are you really that poorly endowed?

David Love's picture

I watch tutorials all the time cause there is always something new to learn. I tried to look at your port but wow, no images or avatar which usually I just chalk up to troll.

Oh please. Like having a portfolio on here would in any way have changed your mind one way or the other. Even if I posted some world class images, you’d still find some other reason to justify your obviously stupid comment, which means the portfolio doesn’t matter. It’s just an excuse for you to troll harder.

But thanks for essentially responding to an endowment joke with, “mine’s bigger than yours”. That part was pretty funny.

Daniel Medley's picture

"Hard to follow a lesson if the end result is not amazing."

What, did you skip to the end, decide the retouching was not amazing then go back to the beginning and try to watch it, but found it difficult to follow along because you felt it wasn't amazing? And then, apparently, somewhere along the way you grew annoyed at a sandbagged light stand swaying in the wind?

I wish people would read what they write before posting as it would save others from vicarious embarrassment.

If you're not able to differentiate between a post processed result vis a vis retouching from the lighting information Hoey was presenting, and you find issue with a sandbagged light stand swaying in the wind, then it's obvious the issue is with you, not Gavin Hoey.

Arun Hegden's picture

Good share. :)