Earlier this week was the first of this years Speedlites for beginners workshops. I was working with new model Tilly, for this one, and so I made sure to get a few photos myself. 

Tilly Smith modelling at my Speedlite workshop for EOS Magazine

All the shots in the post were taken with E-TTL flash. Some are possible with the camera set to aperture priority so that the camera will manage the balance between ambient and flash, though I myself will often use manual exposure for the ambient with E-TTL automatic flash. The picture above is using a copy of EOS Magazine as a fill card to help put a little more light in to Tilly’s jumper and under her chin.

Tilly Smith modelling at my Speedlite workshop for EOS Magazine

For this photo a Lastolite pop-up background (April showers I think) was placed behind Tilly and a Lastolite Ezybox Pro medium octa was the light source on the camera left. To Tilly’ right there’s a black tri-grip to stop light bouncing off the white wall that is to the right of the photo.

Tilly Smith modelling at my Speedlite workshop for EOS Magazine

This is still the Lastolite octa, angled down from the camera right side and somewhat in front of Tilly. The warm cotswold stone background is lit with ambient light from a window just above Tilly’s head. So this is a mix of ambient and automatic flash. The window also adds the white highlight on the back of the sofa.

Part of the reason for using off-camera light is that it is much more attractive on the model than on-camera flash. Though I do start out with getting the attendees to try some bounce flash, bouncing light off the walls to the side of the model. Additionally the Lastolite Ezybox Pro modifiers can accommodate two or four Speedlites so I can have optical and radio wireless working at the same time. Attendees were using the pop-up flash on their cameras, or a suitable radio or optical master, though for this course always with E-TTL.

Lastolite Hotrod Stripbox

Tilly Smith modelling at my Speedlite workshop for EOS Magazine

At the end of the workshop I took a few photos with the Lastolite hotrod strip box, angled slightly off horizontal as shown above. There’s a sunlite tri-grip hanging off the magnetic background bracket on the camera left for a bit of fill. Actually this pull back shot I used manual exposure, since with the softbox in the shot the E-TTL system underexposed a lot.

I don’t often use the strip box for workshops, as it can only take one Speedlite, which makes it more challenging when you need to have both optical and radio flash systems working at the same time. Some of the attendees are using optical wireless and some using radio on these workshops.

Tilly Smith modelling at my Speedlite workshop for EOS Magazine

The strip box sure has a special quality, it’s lighting Tilly and the background behind her for this shot, yet it still wraps well around the right side of her face.

All pictures taken with my EOS 5D Mark IV fitted with an EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens.



More Speedlite workshops

Don’t forget I have more workshops, including this one and an advanced multi-flash workshop for EOS Magazine through out this year. I certainly hope that I can align Tilly and the workshop schedules to work with her again.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter as I’m planning some more workshops focusing on lighting with flash for folks with all kinds of cameras, not just Canon. Newsletter folks will hear about these first.