Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites

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Getting your Canon Speedlite to produce the light you need can be a real challenge. For those new to fl ash photography?or for anyone who has previously given up out of frustration?Speedliter?s Handbook is a revelation. Photographer Syl Arena takes you on a journey that begins with an exploration of light and color, moves through a comprehensive discussion of the Canon Speedlite family and all of the accessories and equipment available to the Speedliter, then settles down to crafting great light in one photo ...

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Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites

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Getting your Canon Speedlite to produce the light you need can be a real challenge. For those new to fl ash photography—or for anyone who has previously given up out of frustration—Speedliter’s Handbook is a revelation. Photographer Syl Arena takes you on a journey that begins with an exploration of light and color, moves through a comprehensive discussion of the Canon Speedlite family and all of the accessories and equipment available to the Speedliter, then settles down to crafting great light in one photo shoot after another. Whether you want to create a classical portrait, shoot an event, or simply add a little fi ll light to a product shot, Speedliter’s Handbook shows you how.

A fantastic in-depth resource illustrated with over 500 images, Speedliter’s Handbook covers:

  • how to see the various characteristics and properties of light itself, as well as the differences between how your camera sees versus how you see
  • all the buttons and dials of the entire Canon Speedlite family
  • the basics of on-camera fl ash…and the necessity of getting your flash off the camera
  • how to beautifully balance flash with the existing ambient light
  • all the equipment necessary for great Speedlite shots
  • how to get amazing shots with just one Speedlite
  • how and when to use E-TTL versus manual flash
  • the use of color gels to balance color, as well as create dramatic effects
  • how to tame the sun—or any really bright light—with hi-speed sync
  • and much, much more
Whether you’re shooting portraits, events, or sports, Speedliter’s Handbook is an essential resource that teaches you how to craft the light you need for any type of shot you want.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321711052
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press
  • Publication date: 1/2/2011
  • Pages: 391
  • Sales rank: 127,853
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Syl Arena studied commercial photography at Brooks Institute and fine art photography at the University of Arizona. Over the years, Syl has shot for newspapers, magazines, and catalogs. He has been recognized for his expertise on color-critical workflow and his ability to turn noon to night by firing off a dozen Speedlites simultaneously. Syl covers the world of photography on his blogs, PixSylated.com and Speedliting.com, and he serves as the Director of the Paso Robles Workshops.
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Table of Contents

Welcome Speedliter!

chapter Zero Quick Start Guide To Speedliting Why Pop-Up And Hot Shoe Flash Do Not Create Interesting Light Deal With The Ambient Light First Who Is In Charge—You Or Your Speedlite?
More Essential Truths About Speedliting

Before Speedlites, There Was Light chapter one Learn To See Light The Poetry Of Light Character Of Light How You See vs. How Your Camera Sees

chapter TWO Exposure Exposed The Trinity: ISO, Shutter Speed And Aperture Depth Of Field Equivalent Exposures Exposure Modes Metering, Metering Zones, And Metering Modes White Balance Exposure Evaluation For Flash Photography Determining Proper Exposure

chapter THREE Mechanics Of Light Color...Primarily Taking Color’s Temperature Incidence Incidentally Soft Light Proves That Size Is Relative Falling Off, Or How To Love The Inverse Square Law Thinking About Flash-To-Subject Distance As Stops

chapter FOUR Light Of The World The Role Of Ambient Light Controlling Ambient In Flash Exposures Options For Blending Ambient And Flash

chapter FIVE Think Globally, Light Locally The Lighting Compass On-Axis And Off-Axis Light Light From Above... And Below

Speedlites Fundamentally

chapter six Meet The Speedlites Dissecting A Burst Of Flash Speedlite 580EX II Speedlite 430EX II Speedlite 270EX Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2

chapter seven Control Your Speedlite Mode—Deciding How The Power Level Is Set Sync—Deciding When To Fire The Flash Zoom—Deciding Where To Fire, Part 1
Pan and Tilt—Deciding Where To Fire, Part 2

chapter eight Flashing Manually Manual Flash—A Way To Get Started When To Use Manual Flash Setting Power Manually On Canon Speedlites My Workflow: Using One Speedlite In Manual Mode

chapter Nine E Is For Evaluative E Is For Evaluative Mechanics Of E-TTL Limitations Of E-TTL E-TTL And Camera Modes Flash Exposure Compensation Flash Exposure Lock

chapter TEN Move Your Speedlite Off-Camera Your Camera Is A Lousy Place To Put A Speedlite Options For Controlling Off-Camera Speedlites E-TTL Cords Canon Built-In Wireless E-TTL Radio Triggers Sync Cords And Hotshoe Adapters Optical Slaves And Infrared Triggers Manual Radio Triggers

chapter Eleven Wireless Speedliting, The Canon Way Canon’s Built-In Wireless System The Master: One Speedlite Has To Be In Charge To Fire Or Not To Fire: The Master Wants To Know The Slave: The Worker Bee Of Wireless Flash Channels: Everyone Has To Be The Same Groups: Assigning Specific Jobs To Specific Speedlites Getting Rational About Ratios A:B Ratios: Splitting Up The Load Between Two Groups A:B C Ratios: Three-Group E-TTL Wireless Speedliting In Manual Only Free-Agent Wireless: Firing Speedlites In E-TTL & Manual Together Moving Your Master Off-Camera—Way Off Camera Radio Options For Wireless E-TTL

Chapter Twelve Mixing Canon Speedlites With Other Lights Third-Party Speedlights Getting Speedlites To Play With Other Small Flash Speedlites, Monolights, And Studio Packs Not Getting Burned—Speedlites With Hot Lights Managing The Glow—Speedlites With Fluorescent

Gear For Speedliting

chapter Thirteen Go Ahead, Mod Your Speedlite Why Mod?
Built-In Modifiers Options For Mounting Mods Dome Diffusers Bounce Reflectors Softboxes That Attach To Speedlites Ring Light Adapters Snoots Grids Gobos And Flags Random Essentials Deciding Which Mods Are Right For You

chapter Fourteen Those Big Modifiers Always Get In The Way Why Mod In A Big Way Umbrellas Softboxes Made For Speedlites Converting A Studio Softbox For Speedlite Use Beauty Dishes Scrims And Diffusion Panels Reflectors Flags And Solids

chapter Fifteen Get A Grip Mounting A Speedlite Anywhere Sometimes You Have To Take A Stand Reaching Out: Poles, Booms, And Boom Stands Rails And Other Multi-Lite Mounts Staying Flexible: Bungies, Straps, And Gaff

chapter sixteen Keeping The Energy Up Batteries Basically Single-Use Batteries Rechargeable Batteries Best AA Batteries Battery Strategies CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack Charging Batteries Carrying Batteries

Speedliting In Action

chapter Seventeen Lighting Portraits Classically One More Time Around The Lighting Compass Broad Lighting DMV Lighting On The Nose Lighting Butterfly/Paramount Lighting Copy Lighting Short Lighting Loop Lighting Rembrandt Lighting Split & Hatchet Lighting Horror Lighting

chapter Eighteen Portraits With One Speedlite Back To Basics, Quickly Shoot: One Speedlite With Fill Reflector Shoot: Reflecting On The World Of Umbrellas Shoot: Think Of The Shutter As A Light Modifier Shoot: Speedliting A Silhouette Shoot: Sun As Rimlight, Gelled Speedlite As Fill Shoot: Trying All The Ezyboxes On For Size Shoot: Through An Umbrella Softly Shoot: Candlelight Through A Disk Diffuser Shoot: Gridding A Speedlite For Drama

chapter Nineteen Portraits With Two And Three Speedlites Opening Horizons With Multiple Speedlites Shoot: Classic Three-Light Setup Shoot: Clamshell Lighting, Top To Bottom Shoot: Ring That Light With Small Hatchets Shoot: Color Creates Mood Shoot: Trio Of Speedlites Into A Big Silver Umbrella Shoot: Dance With The Softbox Shoot: Shade That Speedlite Shoot: Mixing Speedlites With Water Shoot: Multi-Lite, Second-Curtain Sync Shoot: Two Heads Can Be Better Than One

chapter Twenty Gelling For Effect Gels Quickly If Color Correction Is Needed, Did Something Go Wrong?
Getting Dramatic With Color My Favorite Gels Mounting Gels Mixing White Balance And Gels Creatively Shoot: Golden Hour Anytime Shoot: The Blue World Shoot: Coloring The Night

chapter Twenty-one Slicing Time With High-Speed Sync How High-Speed Sync Changed My Career Activating High-Speed Sync Syncing Flash Normally High-Speed Sync Changes The Way Your Speedlite Fires Workflow For Creating Dramatic Light With HSS Alternatives To High-Speed Sync Shoot: Defying Gravity In Broad Daylight Shoot: Freezing Water On A Hot Day Shoot: Flashing Wide Open In Full Sun Shoot: Stray Dog And Stray Light

chapter Twenty-two Dimming The Sun Options For Dimming The Sun How To Dim The Sun With A Fast Shutter Using Zoom As A Light Modifier Shoot: Secret Agent Tony

chapter Twenty-three Smashing Pumpkins With Gang Light Gang Lighting—A New Way To Light Shoot: Smashing Pumpkins Shoot: Lady Of The Opera Shoot: Backyard Soccer Champion Shoot: Flying High After Sunset Shoot: Pushing Back Against The Desert Sun

chapter twenty-four Speedliting Events The Dual Roles Of Event Photography Strategies For Lighting Events With Off-Camera Flash Shoot: Vineyard Wedding Shoot: Paderewski Festival Shoot: Wheels Of Wellness Shoot: Festival Of The Arts

chapter twenty-Five Strobo, Strobo, Strobo Flashing Again And Again Single Speedlite Stroboscopic Multi Speedlite Stroboscopic Other Considerations For Stroboscopic Shoot: Birdman Shoot: Leaps Of Faith Shoot: It’s Outta Here

Appendices Appendix One Gang Slang For Speedliters

Appendix Two Web Resources For Speedliters

Appendix Three Custom Functions

Appendix Four Six-Point Checklist For Speedliting Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 31, 2010

    If you shoot Canon flash you need this book!

    I'm digging into Syl Arena's book on Canon Speedlite's and it is great. If you are a Canonista you want this book!

    It's specific to Canon flashes and cameras, but also covers lighting in general. It starts by covering how light interacts with the thing you are taking a picture of, and how it effects the image you end up with. A big takeaway is that the shadow parts of your picture are just as important as the light parts.

    The book really explains how lighting equipment works, including the specifics of Canon Speedlites along with studio equipment along with specific recommendations. It answers questions like "What's flag?" or "When should I use a CTO?" For me this is great stuff, it's really taking the mystery out of lighting techniques for me.

    Then the book has a ton of example images, each with a description of how the lighting was setup for the image and why the lighting was setup that way. It also shows what happens to the image when you setup the lighting the wrong way. It covers everything from "How do a make a portrait with one Speedlite." to "What do a do when the sun is in front of me." My plan is to use these as a lesson plan to practice using my Speedlites, and I sure can use the practice.

    Love the overall organization. Each chapter starts with a quick overview of what the chapter contains. Hints a sprinkled thoughout the book.

    Super book that covers everything from the aesthetics of lighting to how to use a guide number. Highly recommended.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Well, Finally!

    I have been looking for quite a while for a book on Canon flash photography. Syl's book is just the thing I needed. He uses recent models of Canon cameras and Speedlites to demonstrate techniques. This book is written in a friendly, easily understood style. The procedures and accompanying photographs clearly explain how to use the Canon system of flash photography. Many such instruction books are painful to read, with little knowledge gained in the effort. Reading this book was both informative and fun. Highly recommended. The only reason for my not assigning five stars is the fact that a few of the techniques discussed involve the use of four or more speedlites. So, these did not apply to me. Perhaps in a couple of years I will be able to afford to buy a couple more speedlites. Then I'll submit a five star review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Must read for speedliters!

    This book is like the Bible for speedliters. (Off camera speedliters anyways) It starts off very technical, explaining the mystical ways that the Canon ettl and wireless systems work, and other geeky but vital concepts to effective speedliting. Them it moves through modifiers, accessories, gels, techniques... and it gives opinions on various products available. Easily one of the best and most informative reads on flash photography... especially if you're a Canon shooter. The section that explains speedlite functions is better than the manual from Canon! Highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2014

    If you own a speedlight you need to read this book

    This is the real book you need to apply your speedlight in real life settings. For those of us that are not going to buy studio strobes and want to do everything with speedlights, Syl tells it like it is. Be forewarned once the author is done with the basics, he uses more than one speedlight and introduces you to lots of helpful hardware (but you did not get into photography because it was cheap).

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    best Speedlite book out there!

    Well written and comprehensive - this book is worth every penny
    Covers everything from basic photography like fstops and depth of field to which kind of battery to buy - would highly recommend!

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