Recently purchased a Nikon D3300. Works great except that the flash is causing a shadow along the top of the frame. I swapped out lenses, played with modes, played with the flash and photographed indoor and outdoor and narrowed it down to the flash. I've seen posts where there's a shadow along the bottom because of a long lens and I've seen posts with pure black blocks across the top because of shutter speed, but I haven't come across this. Any help is appreciated.


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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hint: play with the shutter speed. \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Feb 6, 2016 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are we talking the pop-up flash? It looks like it's being physically blocked/shadowed by something. Do you have some kind of modifier attached? \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Feb 7, 2016 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes it was the pop up flash. Nothing was blocking it. Exchanged it yesterday and the new one works like a dream. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Booker
    Feb 8, 2016 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


It could still be your shutter speed (since you didn't say you tried different shutter speeds). To test this, take at the exact same exposure settings but without flash. If the top of your picture looks the same as the top of this one (in the shadow) then it's still your shutter speed being too fast.

Or another test is to just put your shutter speed lower... something like 1/125 should be ample.

The reason would be because your shutter is closing off halfway when the flash is popped (similar to the black bars that you see in other pictures) but because your normal lighting without flash is bright enough, you see it as a "shadow".

  • \$\begingroup\$ Playing with the shutter speed changed the darkness of the shadow, but it persisted. Nice tip though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Booker
    Feb 6, 2016 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm... so is the black bar always the same thickness regardless of focal length? If it varies then it looks like your flash is just not able to fire wide enough (vertically). Otherwise, it's likely an issue with your shutter. Give that a try? \$\endgroup\$
    – Wizongod
    Feb 6, 2016 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ same thickness regardless of focal length and distance, however it gets darker as i'm closer or as i shorten the focal length \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Booker
    Feb 6, 2016 at 21:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ So that suggests the problem is actually with your camera itself... Googling "nikon black bar flash" gives results with black bars at the BOTTOM instead of top, so either, your mirror is not swinging out of the way fast enough, or your shutter isn't opening fast enough. Might need to get it serviced. Try doing a long exposure and popping a flash manually. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wizongod
    Feb 6, 2016 at 21:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's what I was afraid of. I just bought it Thursday. I'll just take it back. Thanks for your help! \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Booker
    Feb 6, 2016 at 21:15

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