Did you know that you can use a remote radio Speedlite to control your camera?

Last weekend I was in Iceland to deliver a couple of workshops for Origo, who happen to be the Canon distributor for Iceland. One part of the workshops included the radio Speedlite flash system.


One of the features that I used was the Speedlite modelling flash, to ensure that a light behind my subject would light the correct part of their head. I did this by pressing the modelling flash button on the remote flash behind my subject. At this point there were questions, that you can reduce it to…

What did you just do to see where the light was going to land?

The answer is quite simple, the modelling flash fires a short duration low power continuous pulse of light. You can sue this to see where the light will fall. It’s a bit like the modelling lights found on studio flashes. Normally this is activated by pressing the depth of field button on the camera. My camera was sat on the desk some meters away from me.

Pressing the fourth function button on the Speedlite 600EX-RT, usually labelled MENU 1, changes it to show the display pictured above. Now the function buttons will RELease the shutter, trigger the MODELling light, or trigger a TEST flash, which triggers each group of flashes in sequence.

Since few people in the room where aware that this was possible I’ve written this post to help out.

Iceland – you have to go there

Iceland was brilliant, it’s been 12 years since I last visited, I hope it isn’t so long until the next time.


About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag