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Using A TTL High Speed Sync Speedlite Outside With Shallow Depth Of Field

Jeff Horizontal Headshot for Site

Canon 600 Speedlite With Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 Set At f/3.2 And 200mm

The image above was shot outside at 100ISO with the lens nearly wide open at f/3.2 to create the really blurred background. I used a 24 x 24 softbox on a light stand with a Canon 600 Flash set on TTL and High Speed Sync. I had the speedlite (aka: flash) output set a little over exposed in camera because that's a personal preference of mine. I used the Canon ST-E3-RT on the camera's hotshoe to trigger the speedlite off camera.

Using a speedlite (aka: flash) outside can make a difference in the results of your outdoor images and I'm not referring to the little popup flash on the camera if you have one. To get the best results with outdoor flash photography, you should consider a TTL hotshoe mountable speedlite that will allow high speed sync. This type of speedlite will make it easy to balance the daylight and the flash outside so the lighting doesn't look odd. A TTL speedlite communicates with the camera in a way that makes it all work together well.

The high speed sync mode allows you to shoot at faster shutter speeds than normal sync mode will allow. This is important because even outside at 100ISO it's easy for the shutter speed to far exceed the sync mode of the camera especially when shooting at an f/stop of 3.2 like the image at the top of this post.

By no means is this post meant to be a complete understanding of TTL and High Speed Sync. If it were that type of post, it would be far longer. However, I do recommend that you use YOUTUBE to look up TTL Speedlite, Flash Outdoors, High Speed Sync and other relevant terms from this post to help you better understand what has been mentioned above. Watching videos on this subject can help you have a deeper understanding than reading a short blog post.

Don't be afraid to use a speedlite (aka: flash) outside. If you learn how to do it right, you will likely enjoy many of your portrait related images even more.

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David Williams

Short Bio About The Author: I'm David Williams a professional commercial photographer focusing on corporate and business clients with some personal branding, lifestyle photography in the mix. My love for photography began in late 1981 while still in High School. I started making money with his camera in 1982. Brenda, my wife, and I started working together in photography in 1988 shortly after we met. Brenda and I married in 1989 and have two adult daughters. Please be sure to get a quote for services if needed. Call or Text: 919.723.8453. Please reach out to connect with me on LinkedIn.