Saturday, April 7, 2012

My First Photograph With The Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite

Croton-on-Hudson painter Eddi Flemming. Photographed © Rick Sammon
In gearing up for my Master Your Flash workshop here in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, I upgraded my speedlites to the new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. I also upgraded to the new Canon 5D Mark III.

To test the new gear, I set out to make a photograph of a person with a very discerning eye: local painter Eddi Flemming. Yes, I wanted to test and get familiar with my new camera and speedlites, but I also wanted Eddie to be 100 percent happy with the environmental portrait - a picture of the artist in her environment.

Hey! Did you notice how I framed Eddi in the red canvas in the background . . . just as a painter would frame his or her subject.

Above is the result of the shoot. Eddi not only loved the color, but she also commented on the sharpness of the image. I had the same comments. But for you photographers out there, I'll add that the new speedlites and transmitter are super easy to use - and the ETTL is super accurate.

I used two speedlites for the shoot - one set on channel A and the other on B. Both were set on ETTL.

My main speedlite, positioned to camera left in a Westscott Apollo Orb soft box, was set, via the on-camear transmitter, to 0EV exposure compensation.

My fill light, hand-held by my wife, Susan, was positioned to camera right and was set, via the transmitter, to -2EV for just a touch of fill light.

Adjusting the power output of the speedlites is a fast and easy, "touch-of-a-buttons and twirl-of-a-dial process."

I know a lot of pros who set their speedlites on the Manual mode. However, I have found that ETTL works perfectly for me. As my dad used to say, "To each his own."

Above is a behind-the-scenes shot taken by Susan. She was using a 5D Mark III and Canon 14mm lens. For my shot, I used my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 17-40mm lens.

My camera was tethered to my MacBook Pro with a Tether Tools kit.

One of my favorite Eddi Flemming paintings.
I think Eddi is having a good effect on my photography. Now, when I make a picture, I try to think like a painter - which is something I cover on all my workshops. I think more about shadows, and how important they are in a photograph. See the image below.

You'll find lots of lighting tips in my apps.

Explore the light,

P.S. Believe it or not, Rick "Raw Rules" Sammon shot at the RAW+ Large JPEG setting. The image you see here was from the Large JPEG settings. I'll process my RAW file when I get the ACR plug-in.


JennGrover said...

How big was the .CR2 file for that shot, Rick?

Brian Reinke said...

How do you like the Orb softbox? I've been thinking about getting one for my location work. Would it be well suited for shooting groups?

Jocelyne said...

What a great way to show what the equipment can do - and a really interesting link between painting and photography!

Rick Sammon said...

Jenn... I shot L JPEG... see tag line, that I added after your comment :-)

Brian - Love the Orb. Better for groups than the Apollo standard soft box.

Jocelyn.. thanks!