Your eyes room a window to your soul, however can flash damages that window?

Three factors Flash is Safe

Length that Exposure

Several sources stated that you’d have to be staring at the sun for a while, 15 to 30 seconds, before starting to gain permanent damage in your eyes. Long prior to that, the brightness would be painful sufficient you’d likely close her eyes anyway. The newspaper JAMA Opthamologyrecently questioned a case where a 12-year-old Florida girl had damaged her retina after ~ staring at the sun for around one minute.

You are watching: Can shining a flashlight in your eyes make you go blind

While a flash is bright, it regularly only big a tiny portion of a second. Also repeated firings that a flash only sum come a portion of a second. A the majority of speedlights have a flash duration of between 1/200 and 1/20,000 that a second. Numerous studio strobes have actually a expression of 1/200 come 1/5,000 the a 2nd or less. Twenty flashes of a studio strobe at 1/1000 the a 2nd might just amount to 1/50th that a 2nd total exposure.


While it may seem bright, studio strobes and speedlights no all that intense. Light falls off dramatically the minute light pipeline your flash since of the means it diffusion out. It starts to shed intensity according to the train station square law. If her flash illuminates an area that one square foot in ~ a street of one foot, it will certainly illuminate one area of four square feet at two feet, 9 square feet at 3 feet distance and so on. If a flash seems really extreme at a distance of one foot, copy the distance to 2 feet way only one quarter as lot light access time the subject at any kind of one point. Double that again to four feet away and the light will have actually only 1/16th the the intensity it originally had. Move to eight feet away and only 1/64 that the strongness remains.

It’s even less intense if you’re utilizing bounce cards, diffusers, umbrellas, soft boxes and gels.

Not extremely Focused

While speedlights and studio strobes can be bright, they’re not very focused, also if you placed a snood top top them. The light spills and bounces in every directions. The farther the light is indigenous the subject, the more diffuse that is. Because that an exercise, take a laser reminder and suggest it at a wall. See if you can obtain any mix of flash gear and modifiers to emphasis the flash light down that much. Impossible! move the flash ago a bit and it is even more an overwhelming to focus it under to a tiny area.

The Verdict

As you’ve seen, there are several ways light can damage your eyes. Uneven you endure from some specific condition that provides your eyes specifically susceptible come injury native light, speed photography isn’t going to it is in a problem.

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So, fire up those strobes and also warm up your speedlights. Shoot away. Your topic is most likely doing far an ext damage to their eyes during their coast or ski vacation than your flash will ever before do.