Out on location – Speedlite Flash

Today’s shoot was all about shooting with different light settings to see what outcome could be achieved. We split into small groups and carried out a shoot on location in the centre of Coventry.

Firstly we used the Canon Speedlite 580 ex II as our lighting source, to enhance the ambient lighting. These units are small and compact thus making them easily portable. We used two of the units, one attached to the Canon 5D mark II using the camera hotshoe, the second used as a slave unit and was hand-held. The two units “talk” to each other via infra-red sensor and have a range of up to 30m.

I shot my images in a covered car park in Coventry city centre. There is a small amount of natural light that enters the car park but over all it is rather dark and dingy.

All photographs had the same camera set up :

Canon 5D mark II , Lens- EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS , Focal Length 105mm.

Shutter Speed – 1/125 sec

Aperture – f11

ISO 640




This first image was captured without flash and you can see how dark the location is, with only small amounts of natural light hitting the side of Steves neck.





This image had the on camera flash directed towards Steve’s face with the slave flash held directly underneath his face out of shot. Although this gave great shadows, it results in an over exposed look on the face. A solution to this would be to hold the slave flash further away from the head and to use a diffuser to soften the light.





This image gives a far softer result. The on camera flash was angled so that it fired over Steve’s head rather than directly at his face. The slave flash was held down to his right to illuminate that side of his face. You can see the effect that it has by holding it further away. More detail is retained in the features and the shadows to his left have been elongated.




This final image shows the on camera flash being directed upwards with the slave flash being shot towards the left side of his face. Again this gives a different feel to the photograph and alters the way the shadows appear and features are defined.




It is interesting to see how, even with the exact same camera setting being used for each shot and the same position and location, A different look has been achieved in each shot. It shows the importance of light in creating an image and achieving the outcome that you desire.


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