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HHS vs. ND Filters

Lesson 30 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

HHS vs. ND Filters

Lesson 30 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

30. HHS vs. ND Filters

Next Lesson: FCS vs. RCS


Class Trailer

Chapter 1 Introduction


Why Just One On-Camera Flash


5 Reasons to Use Flash


Common Flash Myths


What Makes Flash Challenging?


Chapter 2 Introduction


Flash-Strobe vs. Ambient-Constant Light


Flash vs. Ambient Light Exposure


Flash vs. Ambient Demo


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Natural Effect


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Dramatic Effect


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Creative Effect


Understanding Flash Duration


Chapter 3 Introduction


5 Common Key Light Patterns


5 Common Key Light Patterns w/ Diffusion & Fill


5 Common Secondary Light Patterns


3 Primary Subject Patterns


Light Qualities


The Inverse Square Law


Inverse Square Law in Practice


Corrective White Balance


Creative White Balance


Chapter 4 Introduction


On Board vs. Hot Shoe Flash


Full Feature vs. Manual Flashes


TTL vs. Manual Control


TTL vs. Manual Recycle Times


Flash Power & Zoom


HHS vs. ND Filters




Chapter 5 Introduction


4 Tips When You Must Use Direct Flash


Bare Bulbing Done Right


Grid Snoot + Direct Flash


Mini Beauty + Direct Flash


Ring + Direct Flash


Understanding Modifiers


Direct Flash + Shutter Flash


Chapter 6 Introduction


Ambient vs. Direct Flash vs. Bounce Flash


Silver Bounce


More Light Silver


Soft White Bounce


Overhead Bounce


Overhead Bounce + Fill


Event Bounce


Chapter 7 Introduction


Natural vs. Dramatic Light


Filling and Refining Existing Light


Coloring Light for Corrective Effect


Coloring Light for Creative Effect


Chapter 8 Introduction


Case Study 1 - Dramatic Sunset


Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset


Case Study 3 - Sinister Headshot


Case Study 4 - Family Portrait


Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits


Case Study 6 - Working Angles


Case Study 7 - Drag + Composite


Case Study 8 - Less is More


The Good Karma Jar


Favorite Feature Flashes


Favorite Manual Flashes


Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers


Lesson Info

HHS vs. ND Filters

high speed sink versus neutral density filters, which is the best method for synchronizing flash. And you know what before even talk about which is the best method in the pros and cons of each. What the heck is flash synchronisation? Let's talk about that well, basically, when you fire your your camera. We talked about before. When you press that shutter release, your front curtain opens and the rear Carden trails and the amount of time between those two things happening is your shutter speed. If your shutter speed is set to a you know fairly slow speed, then it's very easy for that flash to power up and fire within the amount of time that it has, because it's kind of slow. So there's enough time there for that flash to power up in fire. But if the shutter speed is too quick, what ends up happening is the front curtain opens and the recording closes before the flashes a chance to power up and fire off. This is what we refer to as flash synchronisation and the general kind of limit for ...

speed on flash Synchronisation is 1 200 of a second, sometimes to be safe I even keep it around 11 60 of the second. But in general you can go upto 1 200 of a second, and the flash can still fire off at whatever power said he wanted to within that period of the shutter speed. Anything above that and you run into flash synchronisation problems and what basically happens is, let's say, for example, you're using a pocket wizard on the camera unit itself, and you're using an off camera flash, and I go at 1 400 of a second shutter speed. When I fire, I'm gonna end up with a black bar in the frame where basically part of the flash was able to fire before the rear curtain closed. And then what we're seeing with that black bar is actually the rear curtain. So the record is closing before the flash had a chance to completely fire. So you'll see a bar going across the image where flash hit a certain portion and where missed another portion. That's synchronization now. Generally, when you're using a full feature flash on your hot shoe, it's not gonna allow you to go up above 1 200 of a second without turning on high speed sink so automatically it limits you there. Where is with a pocket wizard? It doesn't limit. You can actually take the shutter speed up too high and run into the problem with a flash with a full future flash, it just limits your camera to actually not be able to go above 100 seconds. If you ever wonder why. Why is my camera not going about 100 seconds? Because you're flashes on and you haven't turned on high speed sink, So we have two options. Well, if you're working outdoors in midday sun and you want to get your shutter speed slow enough for your flash to fire, you need to get yourself to be below 1 200 a second. That means you're using an aperture of, say, F 11 F 14 to get that shutter speed slow enough to synchronize your flash with. That's a great if. If you're working with a background that's beautiful and you want depth of field and you want to show this entire landscape and you want to highlight a subject in this background and everything, you want to be in focus. That's fine. That's great The problem is, if you're working this midday situation and you want to blur the background, if you want to create depth of field in separation there and you lower the after you open up the APP shirt like it's a F 284 Well, your shutter speed now climbs up, so your shutter speed F two or F 28 is gonna be around 1 2000 of a 2nd 1 4000 of a second. And that's far too quick for standard synchronization speed. So what are our two options? Well, the two options. Basically, we either use high speed sink, which is a feature built into full feature flashes that allows the flash to fire even at higher shutter speeds than 1 200 of a second. Or we use a neutral density filter, which would have to buy separately. This, for example, is that neutral density filters. This is a five stop singer, a filter that this is the filter that we prefer using, cause it's very nice and quality. It is rather expensive, so we have some other suggestions that will be talking about when it comes to nd filters that are in different price ranges. But what the heck? Why would I recommend buying a neutral density filter? Why would I even use a neutral density filters if I have HSS built into my flash? All right, so let's talk in detail of Ages s first, and I have my phone takes. Metro's plus, which is a full featured flash right here and to get to a J. Says I simply hit HSS on the back of the unit and I get to a process. Now. I could carry my shutter speed up higher than 100 a second, and the flash can fire and synchronize between that shutter speed. So that sounds pretty fantastic, right? But here's what's actually happening. Once you go into HSS, your flash is no longer firing. Once, when the shutter opens, what's actually happening, and it looks like it's firing once. But what actually is happening is the flashes pulsing. So the flash within that shutter that it opens up within the speed. Let's say 1 502nd 1 1000 of a second. The flash is gonna fire multiple times as fast as it possibly can to make sure that it basically fits in there Ah, flash. Okay, so it might flash 20 times at within that 1 500 period over that 1 1000 period, 1 4000 period of a second. It'll fire multiple times, and it looks like one flash just happened so fast, but actually pulsed to make sure that one of those was able to get into that synchronization speed. Now, as you can imagine, if it's firing 5 2050 times within that fraction of a second, well, you're probably losing flash power, right, Because it can't fire at full power that many times in that little short of period has to recycle. So we have tremendous amounts of light loss. How much light loss in general when you're using high speed sink, you're gonna be shooting at around 4 to 5 stops below full power. Okay, so we're only getting like, say, 3 to 5% of our total flash output when were in high speed sink loads. Now it still is usable. But the thing there is that you have a lot of compromises that you have to make when you're using high speed sink. Let's say, for example, with this image right here, this was shot at 1 400 a second at F two and I so 50. So to get down to 1 402nd even had to drop my eyes. So down to 50 which on the finding Mark three is not a native I A so so I'm actually compromising a little bit of dynamic range there, but not a big deal. This is just a standard portrait. Okay, so one for him a second. I can get my flash to bounce off a reflector and get a decent fill light, but im extremely close to the subject. I'm very close and the reflector is really close to me, and we're working within a tight distance. As soon as I step away, I can't get enough flash power to travel in the Reflector and onto my subject. There's just not enough power there when I'm using a high speed sink. So what are my options? Well, let me ask you this. How would I adjust my ambient exposure? So how would I basically adjust the constant or ambient light exposure to be darker while adjusting flash exposure to be brighter? Well, if I raised the eyes so then I'm increasing ambient light. And I'm increasing flash power. Right? So it's doing both at the same time. Let Sam I have to and I want to stay f two for compositional purposes, regardless, if I had just my aperture again, the same thing happens. If I just my capture. Then I get more either more or less flash power and more or less constantly, it affects both equally. But remember, shutter speed does not affect both. Equally right shutter speed on Lee is regarding constantly. So if I wanted to darken down my constant light while keeping my flat while brining up the flash exposure, what I could actually do is I could take my eyes. So from 50 to 100 now, at that point, my constant light, my ambient light becomes one stop brighter so I can take my shutter speed upto 1 800 of a second. If I want another stop up in flash power, I goto one I go toe So 200 I take my shutter speed up from 800 of a second toe. 1 1600 a second. And that keeps that ambient light exposure again. We brighten up by I s O, but then we darken it down with shutter speed. The shutter speed is not affecting the flash. You can probably imagine the limitations you're gonna run into with this. You're either going to run into a limitation with your shutter speed that your shutter speed doesn't go. Maybe above 1 4000 of a second or 18 thousands of a second. You're gonna run into that limitation at a certain point, or you're gonna be using a really high I s O, which is lowering your dynamic range and reducing your image quality. Okay, so that's basically the cons of high speed sink. We get less power, far less power, 45 stops less. We also have a loss of image quality or we run into shutter speed issues at a certain point. Okay, so we're gonna have kind of issues there, compromises that we have to make an. In addition again, if you're flashes firing and pulsing multiple times with every single shudder with every single shut action, then you're using more battery life. And it also means they're gonna have slower recycled times too. But the pro is that there's no extra gear, right? It's built into the flash. That's all you need. Okay, so let's go The nd filter side with the nd filter with a five stop just like this guy in regular noonday light as bright. And it's gonna get outside. We can shoot with a five stop at f 1.2 fully wide open. And right now I'm even I So, to hundreds I can even get down I saw 100 or so 50 I can lower the I So quite a bit and I'm still below my sync speed. Okay, so my sinks me that 1 200 a second. So great, Fantastic. Now I can use my flash at full power and that sounds great. It sounds like I'm gonna get tons of extra flash power. There's one problem here. We had a 4 to 5 stop light loss because we're using high speed sinking because the flashes pulsing here we have a five stop light loss as well, because we're using a neutral density filter and a neutral density filter effects both your flash and the constant light. But what you are getting is that you can run the flash at whatever power setting you want you get the recycle speed that you need and you get to keep the air so low. Okay, so you gotta keep the is so low you get a run within that synchronization speed, and you can basically get the best image quality possible. Once again, you do need to get a decent nd filter. Otherwise, you're nd filter itself is gonna be reducing your image quality, your sharpness, your color and so forth. But with a nice or at least with a decent nd filter, you're getting better image quality. You're keeping your sink speed below 1 200 of a second, which means that you have your full range of power settings and so forth on your flash. But you still are gonna have light loss because you're now controlling or you're now bringing down ambient and flash power by five stops or whatever amount of stops your Andy filter is. So the pros well, the more flash powers negated by the neutral density filter, you do get better image quality. You get better battery life because you're flashes not pulsing. Though the cons it requires a bit more gear, it could be a little bit inconvenient to carry around nd filters with you and nice Andy fielders could be rather expensive. And Conrad for is that Well, if you get a cheap nd filter, it can end up reducing your color quality, your image quality and sharpness because you're taking a 20 or $30 cheap piece of glass and putting it over. You know, a really nice Lynn. That could be several $1000 that's never a good combo. So I would recommend if you're gonna go to nd route, at least get a decent nd we have good nd starting at 100 bucks, going up 250 bucks for mid tier and then with something super nice like a singer. A It's gonna be around 300 bucks. So those are the pros and cons. HSS versus Andy filters. I'm gonna prefer using nd filters cause allow me to get the best image quality possible. But when you're starting out on your learning, feel free to try out both. Let's go ahead and move to the next video. Now

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lighting 101 Slides

Ratings and Reviews


The best class for understanding light and lighting there is bar none. Pye is an excellent teacher and the quality of the material provides for a rich and very informative experience. Pye breaks down the fundamentals in easy to digest packets and then elaborates as needed. If there is one class that you watch this is it! Worth purchasing and saving for future use. I would also HIGHLY recommend downloading the saving the PDF of slides that accompany the videos. Again, and can't say it enough, this is THE BEST video to lighting on Creative Live. A must watch for the novice and the expert.


Great course, I highly recommend it if you want to become a more confident flash user. Pye is a wonderful instructor and just such a nice guy, it's a pleasure to listen to him

Simon Metselaar

This is the best thing that happened to me since I've been into photography. What a lifesaver. Unfortunately I already payed for some courses that are not Pye, but Pye just nails it. Amazing, and kind of a life hack. Thanks again :)

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