Saturday, May 9, 2009

Speedlite Set-Up

Hey All

MajorJD on Twitter had a question about using Canon Speedlites with the Canon ST-E2 wireless controller. Hope this helps... no matter what kind of flash you use.

Here are two behind-the-scenes photos: one showing a basic set-up (top) and one showing a reflector in the bottom of the frame (bottom left), and the end-result image (bottom right).

Basically, we bounced two Speedlites that were mounted on Bogen stands into Westcott reflectors that were held by Westcott stands/brackets. We used one more Speedlite as a hair light. All Speedlites were fired by the ST-E2. The reflector, held by an assistant, filled in some of the shadow area below the model's chin.

If you use a set-up like this, experiment the flash output of each Speedlite. One Speedlite should be set on full power (main light). Reduce the flash output of the other Speedlites - espeically the hair light.

If you have a reflector/diffuser kit, you can also use a similar set-up and fire the Speedlites through the diffusers. You can also mount Speedlites inside some softboxes (Westcott offers a few.).

We will be doing stuff like this on some - some - of my workshops.

If you would like to see more Quick Tips about lighting, let me know.

Happy Shooting,


Bob Rockefeller said...

Since the ST-E2 can only control two groups of slaves (A and B) what did you do to control the output of the hair light?

Rick Sammon said...

All flash units were set on A.... flash output was controlled on the flash units themselves.

Paul Whitlock said...

Thanks for this post. You are scratching the surface of a very interesting topic, which is "How do you get the most out of Canon's flash system?" The documentation is obtuse at best and some of the most prolific folk blogging/writing about using small flash (David Hobby and Joe McNally for instance) are Nikon guys. So there is a real vacuum waiting for an experienced Canon Pro to fill.

Great shot BTW. Why did you choose to bounce the key and fill flashes off of the reflectors instead of using a shoot through umbrella or soft box?

Thanks again.

Rick Sammon said...

Hi Paul

Thanks for your nice note.

To answer your question... I have a similar sequences of shots using diffusers - to show the difference between reflectors and diffusers. Also have soft boxes. All this stuff will be in my next book, Studio Lighting Secrets. Fall pub date.

Paul Whitlock said...

I guess that I will have something to add to my Amazon wish list for Christmas. :-)


majourjd said...

Thanks for the response Rick but one more questions about this, since you set all the speed lights to "A" does that mean you didn't use any type of ratio system and only dialed their output manually? I saw your response to Bob, but I just wanted to go one further.

Rick Sammon said...

Yup... dialed manually. Of course, there are others ways to do this.. but this is the easiest way to explain in a few words. NO one way is correct... just different.

Jim said...

I just did a multi-flash seminar for Idaho Camera a few weeks ago. I used the pop up flash, a single on camera flash and eventually worked up to a
A+B C setup with the hair light.
I also put together a PowerPoint a few months ago for the Marketstar team, but I need to update it.
Make sure you include the ease of using the flash menu found in the 40D, 50D Mark II, 1D Mark III, 1Ds Mark III and the new T1i.
I too will be looking for your book. Some day I'll finish mine.