I want to make a portrait with the sun to the side or behind the model. I have set the shutter speed to 1/4000. If I take the photo without flash, the model's face won't be bright. But the built in flash is not firing over 1/250.

How can I take my shot with both the sun and the model visible?

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    Firstly please turn of the Caps lock. What are the rest of the settings you are using? You could for instance step down the Aperture to for some thing smaller, for example f/16 or f/22, another value that can be lowered are ISO set it for example 100. After done these 2 settings I'm not sure if you still need a shutter speed of 1/4000. If this is not enough you could look into ND filters that steps down the amount of light. – Yao Bo Lu Jan 31 '14 at 11:12
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    Respectfully, you're going to need a bigger flash. Oh, and a couple of reflectors wouldn't hurt either. – Michael C Jan 31 '14 at 11:27
  • @MichaelClark I agree on reflectors, but not sure if a bigger flash would help on the shutter speed/flash sync speed – Yao Bo Lu Jan 31 '14 at 11:42
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    @YaoBoLu It would allow the use of ND filters, narrower apertures, lower ISOs, etc. which reduce the power of the flash by the same factor as they reduce the power of the sun. Ultimately it is about the power ratio of one light source to the other. – Michael C Jan 31 '14 at 11:46
  • @MichaelClark in that case the comment made more sense – Yao Bo Lu Jan 31 '14 at 11:53

This it's not very difficult to do, and you don't need necessarily to set a shutter speed so fast (1/4000 or less) if you can accept closing very much diaphragm.

In this photo photo of mines you can see what I'm talking about.

You need to use as a stopped down diaphragm as possible to obtain a background (with the sun in it) correctly exposed, than you'll use a flash (at least) to light your subject, that will be strongly under exposed. The sample photo was taken at 1/250 f16 iso100. The flash was a not too much powerful nikon sb28 speedlight fired with a radio control, inmanual mode, at full power and put as possible near the subject model, to get it's max light. To try and andjust it's more easy than describing all this :) If you want to use bigger apertures of lens diaphragm you can consider using an ND filter on the lens to help too. Or use reflectors and flashes that can be used in 'High Speed Sync' mode to be able to use faster than 1/200 - 1/250 aperture times.

  • many many thanks for the answer i was trying exactly this kind of portrait. and now i am going to try this way hopefully i will be successful. actually i have done this with p&s camera Sony hx1 but couldn't find how to do this with SLR. THANKS AGAIN – user25740 Feb 8 '14 at 11:04

You may wish to consider doing a high-dynamic-range shot. Shooting at multiple exposures and then combining in software.

You can find tutorials on the web for how to do that with your specific camera (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drwDPG2uNCk).

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