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Author Topic: Speedlite Tutorials?  (Read 26373 times)

Jim Saunders

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2014, 04:44:19 AM »


I agree.  So here is my first example:

I know the composition is awful and the background is fussy (but the subject is somewhat dear to me).  I used the 24-70mm in Av mode (with the Camera set to keep the shutter between 1/60 and 1/200) and had the flash in simple ETTL mode, mounted on the camera and pointed straight ahead - i.e. in simple mode!  I'm pretty happy with the result - it has had no post-processing beyond that which Aperture does on import.

Good shot, first time or not!  I don't know if you tried different settings to get the flash and the background roughly even there, but that is one thing to try.  You can do it with an object with a sunset behind it, mess around and see what gets you the detail in the sky and the fill on your subject.

Jim
A good image might fit entirely into the histogram, might not.

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2014, 04:44:19 AM »

StephenC

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2014, 05:14:38 AM »
All shots of my son are good shots, then again I am biased!  Essentially I achieved what I set out to do, which was work out the basic controls of the flash and how to get it and the camera to work together with minimal fuss.  For now I am content to stick with this 'a bit beyond point and shoot' mentality, but as I digest the various resources mentioned here I have a camera and flash that will let me work up to more sophisticated scenarios.
Canon EOS 5D mkIII
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM, Canon EF 70-200mm f4L IS USM, Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT + ST-E3-RT, Canon GP-E2, Eye-Fi Card

Jim Saunders

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2014, 05:35:35 AM »
All shots of my son are good shots, then again I am biased!  Essentially I achieved what I set out to do, which was work out the basic controls of the flash and how to get it and the camera to work together with minimal fuss.  For now I am content to stick with this 'a bit beyond point and shoot' mentality, but as I digest the various resources mentioned here I have a camera and flash that will let me work up to more sophisticated scenarios.

In that case I'm curious to see how it comes together for you!

Jim
A good image might fit entirely into the histogram, might not.

PaulTopol

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2014, 05:50:46 AM »
Shutter Speed controls ambient light and Aperture controls flash.

It disturbs me when people say that, especially to the inexperienced. Whilst it has some truth in that shutter speed does not affect flash power when below max sync, it is misleading in that aperture does affect ambient and flash (if the flash is in M and you don't change the power level).

Don't be disturbed.
Play with all the variables until you find what works for you. Don't poopoo what the experts teach.
One has to have some basics to build on otherwise it is the blind leading the blind.

There really is only one rule:
make sure enough light hits the sensor to give you the pic you want.
3 basic variables: iso, f-stop, shutter speed.
If you don't have a foundation to build on then you cannot make any intelligent changes to how you use your tools i.e. your camera and lights/lighting.
So: Given your chosen iso then Shutter speed controls ambient and f-stop controls flash. See what happens when you try to control flash with your shutter speed. Not much effect!
Sure you can control ambient with f-stop, but it also controls flash.
The man is a beginner with flash. Has a long and fun road to learn. Give him some basics to start with instead of knocking what experts say.

Have a great day

Paul

StephenC

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2014, 06:12:31 AM »
I'm not sure if I haven't expressed myself poorly. 

It is not that I am unwilling to learn from the experts here. Far from it, everybody has been so helpful.  It is more that I don't use my camera every day, or even every week, so want to pace myself and learn to 'walk before I run'.  My initial goal was to just get the flash working for me to get a respectable shutter speed for indoor shots.  I think I am pretty much there so now need to practice this and put it into action. 

If I seem reluctant to jump to doing all the things recommended here it is partly that I want to get to grips with each before I try the next and partly that I want to keep things relatively simple so I can continue to enjoy photography, rather than make it a chore.  My reluctance to switch to M mode partly stems from my cock-up that caused me to buy a flash in the first place, namely somehow switching my camera to a fixed ISO of 100 and then wondering why all my shutter speeds were so long!  For now, I am happy to let the little camera brain do some of the thinking, as mine can't do it all!

I have already learnt a lot from this forum thread and I now have links to a whole pile of resources, which I will gradually digest and try to use to advance my photography.  This will be a slow process though as I have other pressures on my time. 

I really appreciate the help I have received here.
Canon EOS 5D mkIII
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM, Canon EF 70-200mm f4L IS USM, Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT + ST-E3-RT, Canon GP-E2, Eye-Fi Card

PaulTopol

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2014, 08:14:22 AM »
Go take pictures. have fun. make mistakes. we all do. all part of the learning.

ask questions.

not even the professionals take perfect pics with every shot.

flash is a great tool. just needs practice.

Paul

privatebydesign

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2014, 08:26:34 AM »
This is CR forum at its best. I'm learning slot from this thread being a light beginner also.

I agree.  So here is my first example:


I know the composition is awful and the background is fussy (but the subject is somewhat dear to me).  I used the 24-70mm in Av mode (with the Camera set to keep the shutter between 1/60 and 1/200) and had the flash in simple ETTL mode, mounted on the camera and pointed straight ahead - i.e. in simple mode!  I'm pretty happy with the result - it has had no post-processing beyond that which Aperture does on import.

Excellent, you are not being pushed into running and stumbling before you are happy walking :-) , as I said earlier camera in Av and flash in ETTL really is how this stuff is best used initially.
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2014, 08:26:34 AM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2014, 08:40:58 AM »
Shutter Speed controls ambient light and Aperture controls flash.

It disturbs me when people say that, especially to the inexperienced. Whilst it has some truth in that shutter speed does not affect flash power when below max sync, it is misleading in that aperture does affect ambient and flash (if the flash is in M and you don't change the power level).

Don't be disturbed.
Play with all the variables until you find what works for you. Don't poopoo what the experts teach.
One has to have some basics to build on otherwise it is the blind leading the blind.

There really is only one rule:
make sure enough light hits the sensor to give you the pic you want.
3 basic variables: iso, f-stop, shutter speed.
If you don't have a foundation to build on then you cannot make any intelligent changes to how you use your tools i.e. your camera and lights/lighting.
So: Given your chosen iso then Shutter speed controls ambient and f-stop controls flash. See what happens when you try to control flash with your shutter speed. Not much effect!
Sure you can control ambient with f-stop, but it also controls flash.
The man is a beginner with flash. Has a long and fun road to learn. Give him some basics to start with instead of knocking what experts say.

Have a great day

Paul

You misunderstand my point, besides, it very much depends on the expertise of the expert. The problem with your comment is that it isn't good advice and it isn't true, it is shorthand IF you set your two exposures up in a certain way. If you set your flash exposure first to taste then it is true, if you set your ambient first it is not true.

Think like this, I have my subject at dusk, I want the background to be 2 stops under, I set my background exposure at f8 and 1/30 sec, I now introduce my subject and flash, even at full power I can't get my subject where I need it, so I open my aperture two stops, well my ambient is now not two stops under exposed, your shorthand doesn't help the inexperienced and they don't understand what happened. Conversely, get your subject and flash exposure dialed in to full power and f4, now adjust your shutter speed to 1/125 and you are golden, both exposures are where you wanted them.

Your statement is only accurate if you also say set your flash/subject exposure first.

I agree with building foundations, I don't agree they should have fundamental cracks in them.

 
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

PaulTopol

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2014, 11:38:22 PM »
I am sure you are right in your description but you seem to be experienced and he appears not to be.

I think you are over-complicating it for a beginner.

Have certain basics in your mind and then alter to taste.

With experience comes the realisation that you can vary everything and end up with shots that wow.
But you have to start somewhere.!
Paul

Hjalmarg1

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2014, 05:38:37 AM »
Hi all, I'm a bit of a photography novice so am looking for some advice.  I have just ordered a Speedlite 600EX-RT (and was persuaded to get an ST-E3-RT at the same time!).  The reason for this was that I was having trouble getting non-blurry photos at a recent family gathering.  It tuned out I had accidentally switched the ISO from Auto to 100, but by the time I discovered this I had paid for the flash!  There have been a few occasions when I genuinely needed a flash so I'm not too worried.

From the above, it is clear I don't really know what I am doing.  Can anybody point me to a "flashes for dummies" primer so I can take advantage of my new kit?  I do landscapes (which are unlikely to need a flash), portraits and wildlife mostly (all amateur).  I recently bought the 100mm macro (2.8L), which is probably where the flash will be of most use.  I'm guessing the secret here is to have the flash off camera, which is why I didn't protest too much about getting the ST-E3.

I'm using a 5D mkIII and also have the 24-70 mkII and 70-200 (f4L).
You have very good gear, as others have mentioned, do not spend more money until you learn how to use it.
There is a book call "Canon Speedlite System Digital Field Guide" that I red it and help me a lot in understanding speedlites. The new 600EX-RT is not included but the lighting principles are the same.
Body: Canon 5DIII. Primes: 100mm f2.8L IS, 15mm f2.8 & 50mm f1.8 STM. Zoom: 16-35mm f4L IS, 24-70mm f2.8L II & 70-200mm f2.8L IS II + EF 1.4x III TC.
Travel kit: Fujifilm X-T2+ 6 lenses

StephenC

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2014, 05:59:10 AM »
You have very good gear

I'm compensating for something!  ... A lack of photographic skill.

I'm sure a skilled photographer can manage with almost any equipment but, even at my level, I have found some improvement with better equipment. The 5D certainly makes better use of available light than my old 400D and I struggle to fault the 70-200. I've been less impressed with the 24-70 but only in comparison to the white lens.  I do miss the old EF-S 17-55 f2.8 with IS.

My reading continues. Slowly.
Canon EOS 5D mkIII
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Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT + ST-E3-RT, Canon GP-E2, Eye-Fi Card

privatebydesign

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2014, 10:08:28 AM »
I am sure you are right in your description but you seem to be experienced and he appears not to be.

I think you are over-complicating it for a beginner.

Have certain basics in your mind and then alter to taste.

With experience comes the realisation that you can vary everything and end up with shots that wow.
But you have to start somewhere.!
Paul

StephenC has pointed out he is happy to work in Av and ETTL for now, and for beginner flash that is far and away the best thing to do.

I don't believe I am over complicating, I believe your inadequate meme is over simplifying, and so do true experts. If you want to give that advice and it stand up in the field you must also say to get your subject and flash exposure where you want it first, then work the ambient exposure with the shutter speed, that really isn't complicated. However explaining to a beginner why their background is now not two stops under exposed as per my example, when they followed your "rule" is a lot more complicated, un-teaching stuff is a hell of a lot more difficult than teaching it right in the first place.
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

3kramd5

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2014, 05:53:05 PM »
This is CR forum at its best. I'm learning slot from this thread being a light beginner also.

I agree.  So here is my first example:


I know the composition is awful and the background is fussy (but the subject is somewhat dear to me).  I used the 24-70mm in Av mode (with the Camera set to keep the shutter between 1/60 and 1/200) and had the flash in simple ETTL mode, mounted on the camera and pointed straight ahead - i.e. in simple mode!  I'm pretty happy with the result - it has had no post-processing beyond that which Aperture does on import.

Excellent, you are not being pushed into running and stumbling before you are happy walking :-) , as I said earlier camera in Av and flash in ETTL really is how this stuff is best used initially.

I think shooting the flash in manual will flatten the learning curve. With camera AE and automatic flash power, it's very difficult to know why any given image looks a certain way.

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2014, 05:53:05 PM »

StephenC

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2014, 03:12:19 AM »
Here are a few more examples (just the jpgs, as I'm away from home), but no post processing. I'm still in Av - old habits die hard - but I switched the camera shutter speed settings back to normal and switched on the high speed sync instead. They were taken around midday, in partial shade. (Constructive) comments welcome.

70-200 ISO400, f4, SS1/2000:


70-200 ISO400, f4, Ss1/1250:


I'm about half way through Syl's book (some good background but assumes a willingness to carry around giant umbrellas everywhere) and also read through the NK Guy PhotoNotes article. More practice needed.
Canon EOS 5D mkIII
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM, Canon EF 70-200mm f4L IS USM, Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT + ST-E3-RT, Canon GP-E2, Eye-Fi Card

Dylan777

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2014, 10:09:55 AM »
Don't spend another penny until you get, read, and digest, this book. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321832752/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&tag=pasoroblphot-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0321832752

He has another book too, but this one is more appropriate for you. If his rumoured 600 EX RT book comes out I'd recommend that but it hasn't appeared yet and he now has a full time educators job.

Thanks privatebydesign for the link. I just purchased the material and will try to go through this weekend.

I'm interested getting some lighting for home studio. Not sure if I should get some 600ex rt or just regular studio set. I like the ideal of having speedlite so I can take with me if need it. Any suggestions? Thanks

For a home studio I think the Speedlite route is the way to go. They are nowhere near as powerful, but for most people they are way more practical.

Stands: Manfrotto 420, a boom stand should be everyone's first stand, then I really like the stacking Manfrottos at whatever size you like, I have the BAC 1052's.

Umbrella brackets: There are many but the Manfrotto 026 (?) is the industry standard. I'd go for metal ones over the poly and plastic ones.

Modifiers: This is where it gets involved, but I'd suggest a Westcott Apollo 26" softbox, I prefer them to the Lastolite style. A convertible umbrella. A 5-1 reflector around 36" and I really like the collapsible style 78" kits, they give you huge scrims as well as black and white backgrounds.

This gives you enough to play with and to see what kind of light you prefer and the direction you'd like to go in, without committing too much money to something you won't use in the future.

Get a couple of gel sample books from B&H too, they cost $2.50 and are so much fun, they also teach you a huge amount about where your light is going.

Thanks privatebydesign, I'll put my BH rewards to work. Kinda wait for some rebates from Canon.

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Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2014, 10:09:55 AM »