Speedlites - How many are enough?

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,788
876
119
You're up late Jack! I'm up early and in yet another airport

Anyway. At your distances I don't believe another flash on camera would make much difference, especially in HSS, though with a better Beamer it might lift shadows slightly

Generally I'd say get an extra flash over the ST-E2-RT, it just gives you more choices. Also i find it much easier to use a flash on camera due to the screen and button orientation
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,213
398
Jack - Glenn Bartley has several e-books on his site and one is about using flash for bird photography.
I have just bought it myself and as a new comer to flash photography myself it is looking pretty good.

http://www.glennbartley.com/FlashEbook.html
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,093
1,031
Alberta, Canada
Thanks guys. Mike, update me on the book after you've spent a little more time with it and I'll probably get it.

I understand a flash is more useful than just a transmitter but it's more bulky, right?

Jack
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,093
1,031
Alberta, Canada
Mikehit said:
Jack - Glenn Bartley has several e-books on his site and one is about using flash for bird photography.
I have just bought it myself and as a new comer to flash photography myself it is looking pretty good.

http://www.glennbartley.com/FlashEbook.html
By the way, how did the rental go?

Jack
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,213
398
I'm still checking out the files - I hope to do that this weekend. Ain't it a bitch when work gets in the way of photography.
 

Besisika

How can you stand out, if you do like evrybdy else
Mar 25, 2014
638
26
Montreal
geekpower said:
can anybody comment on the practicality of using multiple lights in amateur settings? not people coming to you for portraits, but you whipping out the camera and lights to take pics of family and friends. will they hold still long enough to get set up?
No, they won't hold still. The essential of these photos are not technicality (correct) but to capture the moment. If you have a wedding photographer friend he will have better explanation for you.
My approach is based on color temperature and a two lighting setup, at max 3 but that is (I consider) an exaggeration.
For a two lighting setup, I always use the strongest available light, and I use a flash to kill the other one; the purpose is to remove color cast.
If window light is strong enough then I expose for it (main light) and use a flash to compensate. By this I mean, if time permits I would have a flash on a stick (lightstand and a receiver) and I put it on the opposite side of window light; I have it in TTL and I regulate its power via exposure compensation. The first shoot is a test, the second is the right one. If time doesn't permit then I would have it on camera and bounce it of ceiling or wall.
If window light is weak, then I gel my flash to match room light color. I use the flash as main light and room light as fill/hair.
Sometimes, the room is too big, then I might end up using a strobe and a lot of calculation based on distance (and most of the time I have to fix it in post). I know that some strobes have TTL nowadays but mine are still manual.

In 3 lighting set up, I use a second flash as a background or hair light; but again I use this very rarely.
Hope that helps to start with.
 

geekpower

EOS 80D
Feb 22, 2015
187
0
Besisika said:
geekpower said:
can anybody comment on the practicality of using multiple lights in amateur settings? not people coming to you for portraits, but you whipping out the camera and lights to take pics of family and friends. will they hold still long enough to get set up?
No, they won't hold still. The essential of these photos are not technicality (correct) but to capture the moment. If you have a wedding photographer friend he will have better explanation for you.
My approach is based on color temperature and a two lighting setup, at max 3 but that is (I consider) an exaggeration.
For a two lighting setup, I always use the strongest available light, and I use a flash to kill the other one; the purpose is to remove color cast.
If window light is strong enough then I expose for it (main light) and use a flash to compensate. By this I mean, if time permits I would have a flash on a stick (lightstand and a receiver) and I put it on the opposite side of window light; I have it in TTL and I regulate its power via exposure compensation. The first shoot is a test, the second is the right one. If time doesn't permit then I would have it on camera and bounce it of ceiling or wall.
If window light is weak, then I gel my flash to match room light color. I use the flash as main light and room light as fill/hair.
Sometimes, the room is too big, then I might end up using a strobe and a lot of calculation based on distance (and most of the time I have to fix it in post). I know that some strobes have TTL nowadays but mine are still manual.

In 3 lighting set up, I use a second flash as a background or hair light; but again I use this very rarely.
Hope that helps to start with.
thanks. kindof what i thought.

currently using a single 430iii on camera for fill outdoors, and bounce indoors, usually with the orange gel that came with it. it's already making a big difference, but when the walls are too close or too far to get the bounce i want, or direct is crushing the detail too much, it makes me want to get the flash off camera. i figure that whether i do that with a stand and a cable, or a stand and a 2nd flash to use as a transmitter, i'm going to have the same frustration of people not being patient with me. perfectionism is a curse. ;)
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
3,968
1,530
Irving, Texas
geekpower said:
Besisika said:
geekpower said:
can anybody comment on the practicality of using multiple lights in amateur settings? not people coming to you for portraits, but you whipping out the camera and lights to take pics of family and friends. will they hold still long enough to get set up?
No, they won't hold still. The essential of these photos are not technicality (correct) but to capture the moment. If you have a wedding photographer friend he will have better explanation for you.
My approach is based on color temperature and a two lighting setup, at max 3 but that is (I consider) an exaggeration.
For a two lighting setup, I always use the strongest available light, and I use a flash to kill the other one; the purpose is to remove color cast.
If window light is strong enough then I expose for it (main light) and use a flash to compensate. By this I mean, if time permits I would have a flash on a stick (lightstand and a receiver) and I put it on the opposite side of window light; I have it in TTL and I regulate its power via exposure compensation. The first shoot is a test, the second is the right one. If time doesn't permit then I would have it on camera and bounce it of ceiling or wall.
If window light is weak, then I gel my flash to match room light color. I use the flash as main light and room light as fill/hair.
Sometimes, the room is too big, then I might end up using a strobe and a lot of calculation based on distance (and most of the time I have to fix it in post). I know that some strobes have TTL nowadays but mine are still manual.

In 3 lighting set up, I use a second flash as a background or hair light; but again I use this very rarely.
Hope that helps to start with.
thanks. kindof what i thought.

currently using a single 430iii on camera for fill outdoors, and bounce indoors, usually with the orange gel that came with it. it's already making a big difference, but when the walls are too close or too far to get the bounce i want, or direct is crushing the detail too much, it makes me want to get the flash off camera. i figure that whether i do that with a stand and a cable, or a stand and a 2nd flash to use as a transmitter, i'm going to have the same frustration of people not being patient with me. perfectionism is a curse. ;)
I don't know exactly your situation, but why not set up with the flashes at your intended shot location ahead of time and then ask everyone to step up as a group? I've never done a group shot, but that is what I would do.

If the shots are more candid then the flash could still be set up ahead of time.

On another note: I still wish there were a way to stick flashes to the walls, out of harms way.
 

geekpower

EOS 80D
Feb 22, 2015
187
0
CanonFanBoy said:
I don't know exactly your situation, but why not set up with the flashes at your intended shot location ahead of time and then ask everyone to step up as a group? I've never done a group shot, but that is what I would do.

If the shots are more candid then the flash could still be set up ahead of time.

On another note: I still wish there were a way to stick flashes to the walls, out of harms way.
could work. maybe i could get a mannequin head or something for test shots before people show up.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
3,968
1,530
Irving, Texas
geekpower said:
CanonFanBoy said:
I don't know exactly your situation, but why not set up with the flashes at your intended shot location ahead of time and then ask everyone to step up as a group? I've never done a group shot, but that is what I would do.

If the shots are more candid then the flash could still be set up ahead of time.

On another note: I still wish there were a way to stick flashes to the walls, out of harms way.
could work. maybe i could get a mannequin head or something for test shots before people show up.
Funny you should say that: I've even thought of buying a mannequin to proctice portrait lighting.

Actually, I think anything would work just to get the exposure correct.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi CanonFanBoy.
My photography buddies and I sat a teddy bear in the chair to practice with dual flash setting ratios etc sort of working through / with the Strobist 101 book. The cat got peed off after a couple of shots, ??? but she did jump in the chair before we could put the bear in it! ;D

Cheers, Graham.

CanonFanBoy said:
geekpower said:
CanonFanBoy said:
I don't know exactly your situation, but why not set up with the flashes at your intended shot location ahead of time and then ask everyone to step up as a group? I've never done a group shot, but that is what I would do.

If the shots are more candid then the flash could still be set up ahead of time.

On another note: I still wish there were a way to stick flashes to the walls, out of harms way.
could work. maybe i could get a mannequin head or something for test shots before people show up.
Funny you should say that: I've even thought of buying a mannequin to proctice portrait lighting.

Actually, I think anything would work just to get the exposure correct.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
3,968
1,530
Irving, Texas
Valvebounce said:
Hi CanonFanBoy.
My photography buddies and I sat a teddy bear in the chair to practice with dual flash setting ratios etc sort of working through / with the Strobist 101 book. The cat got peed off after a couple of shots, ??? but she did jump in the chair before we could put the bear in it! ;D

Cheers, Graham.

CanonFanBoy said:
geekpower said:
CanonFanBoy said:
I don't know exactly your situation, but why not set up with the flashes at your intended shot location ahead of time and then ask everyone to step up as a group? I've never done a group shot, but that is what I would do.

If the shots are more candid then the flash could still be set up ahead of time.

On another note: I still wish there were a way to stick flashes to the walls, out of harms way.
could work. maybe i could get a mannequin head or something for test shots before people show up.
Funny you should say that: I've even thought of buying a mannequin to proctice portrait lighting.

Actually, I think anything would work just to get the exposure correct.
LOL! Great idea that bear.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,129
1,646
Canada
neuroanatomist said:
CanonFanBoy said:
Funny you should say that: I've even thought of buying a mannequin to proctice portrait lighting.
Radio-triggered selfies. :)
My technique is impeccable and yields perfect lighting..... Let me explain it to you....

Step 1: call out "Hey Judy.... How do I do this?"
Step 2: stand back and watch.....
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Don.
That is so funny and so true for so many of us.
I think this is today's quote of the day!

Cheers, Graham.

Don Haines said:
neuroanatomist said:
CanonFanBoy said:
Funny you should say that: I've even thought of buying a mannequin to proctice portrait lighting.
Radio-triggered selfies. :)
My technique is impeccable and yields perfect lighting..... Let me explain it to you....

Step 1: call out "Hey Judy.... How do I do this?"
Step 2: stand back and watch.....
 
Dec 13, 2016
1
0
I am an amateur with a 20D, 50D, and 5D. I was getting by ok a 430ex, but got a chance to pick up an old 550ex, 420ex, and 90ex. Tonight at a Christmas dinner I put the 550 diffused on 5d camera and slaved the 430 and 420. Wow was it better!
In the famous words of Larry the Cucumber when asked how many of a certain toy did he need, he replied, " I donno. How many are there? "
Realistically for me these old flashes are enough, but I can certainly see how you pros and serious amateurs could use a bagful.
So I guess I would say the more the merrier
whvick