I took this shot at f/5.6 using my standard exposure system on the Canon 5D mk2. The light from the single key Speedlite was subtle and believable. It adds clarity and crispness to the shot and could be considered a sort of off camera fill flash. I've also given this shot a quick diffused glow in Photoshop in Markos absence. See the shots below for details and set up.
A 100% crop of the shot above (without the diffused layer) shows a distinctive nose shadow and highlight in Lucy's eye from my Speedlite.
At f/11 the shot becomes more punchy and takes on an unnatural look. It's easy to be seduced by the gritty contrast of dramatically lit shots.
Here are my delegates shooting the above frames into the sun using non firing Speedlites or ST-E2s as master controllers. We all seem to be the wrong side of the fence. How did that happen?
This shot of Ben taken moments earlier about 20m down the line is an f/16 shot.
The same f/16 exposure with the ST-E2 switched off shows how much of the work in the shot above is being done by my 580EX11
The lighting in this shot is the work of an on camera 580EX11 Speedlite zoomed into 105mm. Just being very punchy and having natural vignetting caused by zoomed flash is enough to make this a 'photographers' shot.
Having control of the contrast and punchyness of flashlighting at the shooting stage is one of the key elements I teach on my location lighting workshops. It’s really not that hard once you have been shown how to do it. These pictures were shot by me on a 1:4 shooting workshop arranged by a group of photographers. If you want me to teach you advanced shooting techniques why not get together with some friends and commission me for your very own session.
After lunch we shot a few frames in a cafe. A popular training need for my delegates is balancing the ambient light no matter how bright or dark it is with the output of a Speedlite used off camera. No matter how much 'fear of flash' delegates have I can usually get the knowledge to stick and free up a great potential.
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