How did I do this?

This was taken in bright daylight:

Otherworldly leaves

Otherworldly leaves

This looks otherworldly because:

  • I underexposed the background by two stops
  • I used a wide open aperture of f/4
  • I used a flash

How can I do that on a sunny day? 100 ISO and f/4 gives me 1/2000th second. (If you know the “sunny sixteen rule”, you will see that this is basically just another version of that: after all, f/16 at 1/100 means f/11 at 1/200th and hence f/8 at 1/400th, f/5.6 at 1/800th and f/4 at 1/1600th).

So that is what I set. 100 ISO, f/4 and 1/2000th second.

How, when I was using the flash? You know there is a flash sync speed limit of 1/200th second, depending on your camera’s shutter, right? So how was I able to get to 1/2000th?

Here’s how: I used fast flash. High speed flash/FP flash fires a series of pulses, so the light becomes continuous. Turn it on and you will see you can go to any shutter speed (if the subject is close, since with this technique you do lose power).

High-speed flash is among the many subjects I teach at my Advanced workshops, like the David Honl Special Guest “Advanced Flash” special on Saturday in Toronto, for which I believe there are just a couple of spots left.

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