Flash in the afternoon - how to use

How to take pictures with a flash in the afternoon and why in general a flash in the afternoon?

High speed sync. Using flash during the day.

High speed sync. Using flash during the day.

The question seems pointless, but when it comes to practice, it turns out that a flash even on the sunniest day can be an indispensable tool in the hands of the photographer.

In general, it is generally accepted that a flash helps when there is little light, i.e. serves as an additional light source in poor light - in the evening, at night, in the house, in the shade of trees, in cloudy weather. But when there is a lot of light - it can and should be used too. As they say - there is never much good light.

High speed sync

High speed sync. The flash added contrast and highlighted the subject.

So during the day, a flash is needed as soften shadows from the sun or other strong and harsh light sources. Mostly flash during the day use for photographing portraits. The harsh light of the sun can make very strong shadows on people's faces. A flash can soften these shadows.

Shadow Suppression

Shadow suppression on people's faces in high speed sync mode

True, there are day flash restrictions. For photographing portraits, it is recommended to use fast fixed lenses. For example, a lens with an aperture of F2.8 and a set value of ISO 200 will require on a sunny day excerpts about 1 / 2000s-1 / 4000s. But there is flash sync concept with a camera shutter and often this synchronization rests against a certain limit. Basically, built-in flashes can work with shutter speeds of at least 1/200, 1 / 250s, or 1 / 320s, of course there are exceptions - this Nikon D40, D70, D70s, D1h etc. which can use shutter speeds up to 1/500 s, but still, they are too long excerptsto take pictures in daylight. But even if you have external flashYou can take pictures at shorter shutter speeds only if your camera allows it.

Attention: None of the built-in flash on any of the central controllers can work normally with shutter speeds shorter than 1 \ 500s. The built-in flash does not have a single CZK quick sync mode.

Attention: High-speed sync mode is available on many cameras only in P, A, S, M mode.

Day portrait example

An example of a portrait in the afternoon. Flash on camera with a diffuser card. The flash reduces the volume of the picture, but adds contrast and color.

In order to be able to use a flash with very short shutter speeds, was created quick sync mode, which is called differently for different cameras of different manufacturers. For Nikon, this is FP (fast pulse, fast sync), it allows you to use flashes and synchronize them with shutter speeds up to 1 / 8000s.

In order to be able to use this mode - need:

  1. For the camera to support fast sync mode
  2. For the flash to support fast sync

Not all cameras can use this mode - they mainly include advanced amateur cameras and all full-frame digital mirrors.

Here is the exact list of CZK Nikon that support mode FP:

D2h, D2x, D2hs, D2xs, D3, D3s, D3x, D4, D5, D200, D300, D300s, D500, D700, D800,D800E, D810, D850, D750D80, D90, D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500, D600, D610,Df

Day outbreak

Flash in the afternoon. Shot with a flash in FP mode, mounted to the top left of the model to create the desired lighting.

As you can see, the choice among Nikon cameras is small. Younger cameras of this mode do not have, which will not allow taking photos with a flash and a small shutter speed. But this is not a problem, since you can use neutral filters for decreasing excerpts. Polarizing filters also reduce shutter speed. Usually the need for flash during the day is very small.

Day outbreak

Flash during the day allows you to get a portrait in high key.

Not all flash units support this mode. – small external flashes SB-300, SB-400 do not know how to work in this mode. Nikon's FP mode works fine SB-500, SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910, SB-5000. These flashes can shoot shutter speeds up to 1/8000. Many third party flashes also support FP mode, but it is often referred to by a different name such as flash Metz Mecablitz 48AF-1 for Nikon has an HSS mode that is completely similar to FP mode.

When photographing during the day with a flash, you need to remember that short excerpts and bright lighting requires a lot of flash energy. Funnily enough, high-speed sync flash recharges faster than normal flash, due to the unusual firing system in FP mode.

Day portrait

Portrait in the afternoon. The flash sometimes gives extra glare and may itself give extra shadows.

If you have an advanced camera with fast sync mode, then most likely there command mode for the built-in flash. This will allow you to use your external flash in remote control mode using the protocol Nikon CLS. That is, it will be possible to give light at the right angle and thereby create an excellent art photo. I advise you to experiment with photos with a flash against the sun to understand how effective the flash is in the daytime. For example, in the photo below, the girl lights up with a back (strong side) light, if I did not use the flash, I would get a dark face. The flash turned out quite differently. True, using the flash on the camera can lead to a loss of volume in the photograph.

Day outbreak

A flash in the afternoon in the strong side light of the sun.

Is it worth using flash diffusers, reflective cards - you need to look at the circumstances. As practice shows, sometimes very effective flash on the forehead in daylight, which is unacceptable when photographing people, for example, at night. When using a diffuser, the leading number of the flash is lost, which, even with fast synchronization, is less than usual. With fast synchronization, the flash makes a series of pulses with a huge frequency (of the order of 50 KHz), the human eye does not see this, but it decreases the distance from which the flash can illuminate the subject. You can read how to increase the flash range in the section Tricks 7.

High speed sync

High speed sync. The flash highlighted the subject and added contrast.


Flash during the day is just as useful as a flash at night, the main thing is to set it up correctly and remember that to get good shots it would be nice to have a quick sync mode between flash and camera.

Help to the project. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 186, on topic: Flash in the afternoon - how to use

  • Sergei

    Good day! Tell me, is it possible to use the high-speed synchronization mode for sequential shooting and for serial shooting? Does this affect the performance and resource of the lamp? Thanks! I cannot get an answer to these questions anywhere.

  • Nikita

    Hi people! all with NG 2014))
    Tell me, did anyone hear about attempts to expand the functionality of the d3xxx-d5xxx cameras before the advent of FP. rumor has it that this is a software limitation ..

  • Alexey

    Hello, I still can’t understand how the quick sync mode works in AV mode.
    I set the AV mode, turn on the fast sync mode on the external flash (I turn it on on the flash itself), as a result, the fastest shutter speed available is 1/250 anyway. On a specific example, I checked (a man on a stone, on the edge of a mountain in deep shadow from trees, background - mountains, greenery, a bright bright sky 1/4 of the background from above - at the level from the shoulders of the person from the foreground, in M ​​mode in the same In conditions of F6.3 - 28 and 45mm without flash, the automation offers 1/2500 - CV metering, maybe the camera does not show it in AV, but does it adjust it programmatically?
    If it's not difficult “on your fingers” can you tell where to “poke”? :)
    70D camera flash 430EX II

    I have to use manual mode (M), in my case it is very inconvenient.

  • Vladimir

    Good afternoon, can I somehow enable this function so that the flash works at a distance through the rf-602rx synchronizer?

  • Christina

    People, tell me pliz, where does the fast sync mode turn on on the flash of the sb-700? On the camera itself (d 300), it turned on FP, but still it turns out a black bar at the top.

  • Christina

    everything, the issue has been resolved. This is my synchronizer that does not support this function :(

  • Vic

    Despite the ridicule, quite a lot of “masterpieces”)) photos like “Me and the Eiffel Tower” are taken during the trip. Situation: Canon 600D, noon, sun behind the photographer's back, model in the foreground (2-3 meters from the camera), shadows under the eyes and neck, masterpiece in the background. I shoot without a flash - the face is in the shadows, the masterpiece seems to be nothing, I turn on the flash - the face is better, the masterpiece is overexposed, I try to cover the aperture + the flash - the masterpiece comes out better, and the face is dark. A similar situation is in the backlight. What to do, gentlemen?

  • Dmitry

    Good health Arkady! A small question, Nikon 7000 + SB700, when the FP function is triggered, is it somehow displayed?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No way, just at shutter speeds shorter than 1 / 320s with a flash, everything will work as expected.

  • vadim

    u menya voznikla problemka.ispolzuy nikon d700 s sb-910.ne znay po kakoy pricine no propala FP.vernee vozmojno ya ne mogu ee naiti.podskajite detalno dorogu k aktivirovaniy FP ...

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Hello! Arkady, what advise flash for d80?
    Thank you so much for your blog ...

  • SER

    Arkady! on d610 and sat 910 in FP mode, we put only A or P in M ​​mode - FP won't wake up to work or what?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      FP is independent of the metering method, be it A, S, M, P or automatic.

  • SER

    Then I'll probably use FP mode on the manual when I set the shutter speed to more than 200 - flash in TTL / BL / FP mode are the pictures black? On the series, at best, 1 frame is still there.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is no longer a question for me, but to your understanding of what is happening.

  • Volodimir

    Good day. I have Nikon 5100, I want to add a Nikon 50mm F / 1.8D AF lens. What will be the case with my camera - away from solutions for taking portrait photographs? Chi good bude vihoditi rosmittya?

    • Alexander Malyaev

      The most important thing is that autofocus will not work for you. The D5100 does not have a “screwdriver”. That is, you will have to focus manually with a ring. But on the other hand, exposure metering will work without any "dandelions". I advise you to add money and take a Nikon 50mm F / 1.8G, just keep in mind that the D5100 does not have an AF correction function, and all the flaws of a fast lens with its narrow DOF (on an open hole) will be immediately visible - the pictures may seem out of focus (although in fact it is very sharp lens). Check the front / back scale of such a lens carefully when purchasing. I myself had this on the D5100, and the same fixes on the D7100 with AF correction took root very well. Portraits can be shot at 50mm crop to waist, not larger, otherwise geometry distortions will be noticeable. “Blurs” excellent.

  • ProPhoto

    dear newcomers! buy expensive photos with fast sync to get squalid overexposed photos as in the article. the photo is just tin. author of smoke manuals.

  • Marina

    I finally figured out this “fast sync”! Thank you very much!

  • Bogdan

    Set YN 622N-TX + YN 622N, I use in conjunction with nikon d700 + nikon sb900.
    Found a problem, in the aperture priority mode does not work high-speed sync / FP /. In manual mode and shutter priority mode, it works up to 1/8000 sec. Which essentially means - FP-mode only works in the manual. Therefore, I am a little disappointed with the purchase, the Chinese did not finalize. He also talked with a friend for 700, but he synchronizes with Odin, as a result, in TTL mode, high-speed synchronization works without problems for him.
    I see this problem this way, and kenonists have written about this more than once, they have full dubbing of the flash control in the camera menu. On the Nikon d700, the flash control menu has only two submenus: the flash synchronization control menu where you can select 1/320 * (Auto FP) and the flash shutter submenu, in which the fastest shutter speed is 1/60 sec., Which blocks FP, auto unfortunately no. And even if you forehead beat shutter speeds shorter than 1/60 sec. you won’t get in aperture priority mode.
    Who has any thoughts on this issue, write.

    • srsergiy

      I have this one - YN 622N-TX + YN 622N + sb700 + Nikon d610 Kit. FP sync works in all modes - A, S, P, M, (with any flash mode, i.e. both in TTL and in Manual). Synchronizers are great. A new firmware has been released for the YN 622N-TX, I advise you to update and perhaps (if you have configured everything correctly on the synchronizers themselves) your flash will work as needed. Most likely you have configured the synchronizers themselves incorrectly.

    • srsergiy

      By the way, the menu item - Flash Exposure - (1/60) has nothing to do with FP locking, but Synchronization Exposure has, you need to select 1/320 * (Auto FP).

      • Bogdan

        Thanks, figured it out. Everything works perfectly. I tried it indoors. There was little light. If there is enough light, in the aperture priority mode on the synchronizers, high-speed synchronization is automatically turned on =)

  • Hope

    Good day! tell me I have a D3100, a lens of 50 mm 1,8 and a flash of Yongnuo 565, how do I set the values ​​correctly when photographing a portrerer during the day in bright sunshine? there, as far as I remember, shorter than 1/200 exposure is not set (((help advice

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Try to shoot without the flash first, if you like the result, leave it that way. If you need to illuminate the model with a flash, then for the d3100 the easiest way is to use the S mode (shutter priority) with 1/200 s, in which the camera will select the optimal aperture itself (in this case, the blurred background effect may disappear due to the closed aperture). It is best to use ISO 100.

    • BB

      Everything as Arkady + wrote may have to use a neutral filter.

      In general, if there is an assistant, it is better to use a reflector to highlight the shadows - it will give a softer and more natural light than a flash without modifiers.

    • Alexander Smolko

      "Everything is as Arkady wrote + you may have to use a neutral filter."

      And tell me, what are these neutral filters. How to search for them in Amazon, for example, by what keywords. Lens YN 35 2FN. Everything is exactly as in the article. Sunny, but the shadow of the trees. The built-in flash does not come out to lighten the face, because the lens is bright, and the flash cut-out is reduced only to 1/200. Accordingly, overexposure. And I don’t want to close the diaphragm so as not to lose the blur. And even more so, we want to buy an external flash soon, but FP is not in our D3100. Here would be a filter. Here advise. And how to search and which one to choose.

      • B. R. P.

        The pulse power of the built-in flash can be reduced to 1 \ 32, for example.

        • Alexander Smolko

          But doesn’t it in TTL mode reduce power to the minimum possible?

          • Michael

            Reduces. Filters are called neutral gray or ND.

            • Alexander Smolko

              Thanks. Below I already wrote that I found what to buy. We will try.

    • Alexander Smolko

      It seems I already found it myself, sorry. Here or a set of three I'll take (ND2, ND4, ND8) - https://www.amazon.es/58mm-ND2-ND4-ND8-Filtro/dp/B00JL4H6W6/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1507643997&sr=8-6&keywords=filtros+nd+58mm
      Or maybe more expensive, variable - https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B00JL4GYN8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A165PRD624KZFU&psc=1

      It seems they praise these filters (at their price).

  • Vladimir

    Arkady, please tell me, the yangnuo yn460 flash will support high-speed synchronization, if not, then to what shutter speed limit you can shoot

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    I became the proud owner of this outbreak, help me figure out the repair ..
    The d200 camera has a high-speed synchronization of 1 \ 250fp
    There is a maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds.
    The flash is TTL BL FP
    But when I shoot in aperture priority, the shutter speed of the camera itself when focusing as if without a flash ...
    I already broke my head ...
    By the way, in M ​​mode I can set 1/8000 ...
    Tell me fit!

    • BB

      turn off T9, or whatever you have ...
      "Became the owner of this outbreak" - what kind of "given", here is not an overview of the outbreak?

      If I understand your encryption correctly, then you have selected the slow synchronization mode on your camera, you need to choose normal.

  • pumpkin

    Nicon d7100, what is the minimum sun sync with external flashes?

    • brighty

      Menu item e * 1. This is in case you have a camera.
      1 \ 320 in case there is no camera.

      • pumpkin

        I mean, is there a camera no? Of course have. I asked what is the minimum shutter speed in high-speed sync with an external flash? With integrated 1/320, but with external? Won at d80 1/4000 already. And d7100?

        • BB

          FP for that exists - 1/8000, with an external flash that supports this mode.

  • Dmitriy

    “Here is the exact list of Nikon CZKs that support FP mode:”

    7200 is not enough) at the same time and 500tku can be added)

  • anonym

    I have a question for the pros. I have often noticed when photographing during the day that the quality of the photograph is worse and that it is not dark areas on the face. What's the catch?

    • Pastor

      It is necessary to clarify what the deterioration of quality is expressed in, then it will be easier to answer. Sharpness lower contrast, dd, noise?

  • Girl with a paddle

    In the Nikon D7200 camera settings, there are two sync speeds with auto FP - 1/250 and 1/320.
    What does this mean? If I choose 1/250 auto FP, then as soon as the camera reaches this shutter speed (or I myself set the shutter speed to 1/250), the external flash will fire in FP mode, even if it is in manual mode and no FP is set on it? Or should the flash be in TTL mode? Then why also 1/320? Which is better to choose - 250 or 320?
    Something I'm confused, please help. sort out

  • Girl with a paddle

    In the Nikon D7200 camera settings, there are two sync speeds with auto FP - 1/250 and 1/320.
    What does this mean? If I choose 1/250 auto FP, then as soon as the camera reaches this shutter speed (or I myself set the shutter speed to 1/250), the external flash will fire in FP mode, even if it is in manual mode and no FP is set on it? Or should the flash be in TTL mode? Then why also 1/320? Which is better to choose - 250 or 320?
    I’m confused, please help me figure it out ...

  • Katherine

    Andrey, good afternoon. Please advise with a choice of flash. I mainly photograph weddings and hesitate with the choice between sb 910 and sb 700. Which one to buy? It used to be sb 600. Often you have to shoot night and day, and a lot in motion. D7200 kit 18-140 camera and nikonnor 50mm 1/4 G

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