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Friday, February 6, 2015

Using Speedlite or not!

 For this selfie I used the flash on manual full power, exposure compensation plus 2, added a blue gel in  front of it, the flash was on a tripod, inside the bathroom flashing at me.

My experience with and without my Canon Speedlites 600EX-RT , I have two of them that I use from time to time, I also have a radio transmitter  ST-E3-RT  that triggers them , it’s a great wireless flash setup system,  with radio controlled, two-way wireless transmission up to 98.4'  the transmitter is very compact  and lightweight only 3.9 ounces. Using flash is not the same than using studio strobe, flashes are a lot smaller, and are a lot less powerful, but they can be a real asset to photography, in and outdoors.

For this selfie I used 2 wireless radio transmission flashes, I had to use f14 cause I wanted everything in focus and didn't have a lot of space to play, I would of prefer to have more space in the back for the second flash that this time was turn to flash the background. The result no more flare, I put both flash on ettl exposure compensation plus one and after I decreased the back flash by 1 stop.

I have been using my flashes to do portrait, food photography, still etc…, I don’t think I ever needed more than 2 flashes and when I need more lights I use a small LCD panel, reflectors or a window!
I like to travel light, and I use umbrellas, small Lastolite soft boxes, I have the Lastolite Beautybox Softbox 38cm and the mini 22cm. I have 3 reflectors the easy folding ones,  small 12cm white and silver, medium 50cm white and gold, and the last one the large  95cm is my favorite as it is 5 in one, white, silver, sunfire and gold reflectors and can also be use as a diffuser, this is a Cameron 5 in one, it is more economical, more compact.

For this one I used Ettl and the flash Reflected from an umbrella, umbrella light modifier are great as they are inexpensive and easy to carry. I use one that is shoot-through and reflective. I also add a small with reflector under his chin.

If I have to cover an event where I have to be on the move all the time, I attached a LumiQuest Quik Bounce LQ-122 it’s very small and easy to installed on the flash head, I have a lot of LumiQuest  gadgets but this is by far my favorite even if it’s very expensive for what it is, I should say extremely expensive for a small piece of vinyl! "the product description “Designed for use with or without a ceiling to soften the light. Enables photographer to transition from horizontal to vertical format effortlessly without having to adjust the Quick Bounce on the flash. Unique design has doors that can be opened to allow 80% ceiling bounce while allowing 20% of the lights to bounce off the remaining surface area to provide fill light. When there is no ceiling to bounce the light (or the ceiling is too high or colored) the doors would remain closed and 100% of the light would bounce off this surface area. Soften shadows and reduces red eye. Ideal for event and wedding photographers, and it works well for me.

For event, I don't use the flash on manual as I have to capture the moment very fast, for this one I put my flash on Ettl, and my favorite light modifier for this kind of situation the LumiQuest Quik Bounce LQ-122, I put my camera on manual mode, f5, 1/100sec, ISO 800 to get more ambient light.

During event I also use walls and ceilings if it’s not too high or colored, a note on colored walls and ceilings it can be used in a creative way, photographer add gel in front of their flashes for creative effects, I do too, but colored wall or ceiling can be interesting too. Bouncing flash to walls and ceilings or on someone wearing a white shirt is a great way to get soft light when you have no other options.

For this one, I bounce the flash to the wall, walls and ceiling can be great light modifier, especially for family gathering, when you are part of the festivity and don't want to bring all your equipment with you. When I shoot my family and use a flash I normally put my camera on manual at f4 to f5.6, 1/100 to 1/125, and ISO 200 to 800 depending of the ambient light.
If I cannot use a flash, if it is prohibited during shows or inside public buildings,  I put my aperture to f4 and my shutter speed between 1/100 to 1/200 depending of what I am shooting, and crank the ISO till I get the perfect exposure, I try not to go over ISO 4000, but if needed I will go up to 6400, it’s very high and the result will be very noisy, noise can be corrected in post processing. Also noise are not always bad, it give this vantage feel to the photo especially in black and white, depending on the subject. 

 Shooting event or show without a flash, the best way is camera on manual, fast enough shutter speed, for ballet like this even I put my shutter to 1/200 at f4 and play with the ISO to get the perfect exposure for this one it was ISO 1600, I found changing the ISO works faster, for that even my ISO was between 1200 and 4000.

Family gathering no flash, same as covering an event or show, but with more time to take action, when I have time I play with both my ISO and shutter speed, this one was done at 1/25 sec. f4.5 ISO 2000
If I have my tripod and do still, landscape or have a subject that can stay still I pick my aperture and my ISO and  change the shutter speed till I get perfect exposure, like I did for the image of the pie.

No flash commercial food photography on location, the best way is to put the camera on a tripod, I wanted a lot of detail and with my camera on manual I picked f14 I knew that was going to give me the deep of field I was looking for, after I picked ISO 200 as I didn't want any noise, the last thing to adjust was the shutter speed, to get the perfect exposure it was 2.5sec.
When using flashgun, it's a good idea to use lens hoods, I don’t really do it but I should, the reason I don’t do it is because I use polarizer filter in front of most of my lenses to get reflection out and it's not easy to adjust with a hood on, I also don’t mind flaring, flaring can also add to the final result.

Selfie, using 2 wireless radio transmission flashes, I had to use f14 cause I wanted everything in focus and didn't have a lot of space to play, I would of prefer to have more space in the back for the second flash that was also pointing at me. The result some flare, that in my opinion add to the shot!!! I put both flash on ettl +1 and after decreased the power of the back flash by 1 stop
If I cover an event and have to be on the move I put my flash on ETTL, it means that flash will f Evaluative-Through The Lens) is a Canon EOS flash exposure system that uses a brief pre-flash before the main flash in order to obtain a more correct exposure  or the more advance E-TTL II incorporates lens-to-subject distance information in its calculation, where available, to assist in determining an approximate guide number for flash output. The flash metering system is also no longer linked to the AF system, whereas in the old E-TTL metering, bias is given to the selected AF point. Rather, E-TTL II compares the ambient and the pre-flash light levels of the scene to determine where the subject lies, in conjunction with subject distance information if available. This gives the photographer the flexibility to lock focus and recompose the scene without fooling the flash metering system. 'Hotspots' (areas of high reflectance) that would normally throw off the flash metering system are also ignored in the calculation.
This is a lot of info, and really I don’t see the difference in the result between ETTL and ETTL II, but both are automatic and when running around covering an event it’s works well, if I bounce the flash to a wall or ceiling I change my exposure compensation from 0 to +1 or + 2 depending how far I am from the bouncing area.  With the digital era, it’s easy to have a quick look at the result and change the exposure compensation on the flash to get a better exposure.
When I have the time to set my flash for a portrait, food or still photography I prefer to use the flash on manual mode to get the same light for each shots, I always do a test shot to adjust the flash power to get the perfect exposure.

Selfies again, nobody to play with! I used gel (cyan) to add mood to the story, I put the flash just over my head in a soft box, manual full power exp comm plus 3, that's a lot of power, the room was very dark, and for this one I didn't wanted to crank the ISO. F4.5, 1/6sec, ISO 200

Using flash with my LumiQuest Quik Bounce LQ-122, to fill the shadows, the flash was on ETTL, f4, 1/25 sec, ISO 125, I picked this manual setting because I didn't want noise and I wanted a lot of the ambient light in the background.

This time again using the flash with my LumiQuest Quik Bounce LQ-122 to fill the shadow, F4.5, 1/200 sec, at ISO 200.


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