The Digital Photo Guy

Flash Workshop Wrapup

by on Nov.14, 2010, under gear, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photos, Workshops

Marvelous Model, Super Students, Fantastic Fun

The flash workshop yesterday was outstanding. Those who have taken my classes know I don’t normally take many photos during workshops because I spend my time teaching. Yesterday was the same except that, of the few photos I made to demonstrate fill flash, one actually came out well enough to display.

The first photo below is a typical snapshot with the subject wearing a hat outdoors. I hated asking Melanie (she’s a psychologist) to cover up her gorgeous hair with her husband’s cap but she was a good sport. The middle photo shows the first attempt at the “By Guess and By Golly” method of flash photography. There’s now a catchlight in her eyes but it’s still too dark.  The last image is after dialing in FEC (flash exposure compensation).


I overdid the last one a bit so the students could easily see the difference on the LCD. The first two are SOOC (straight out of camera) and the last one I added a bit of sharpening. I hope you agree that using fill to soften the shadows and add catchlights really made a dramatic difference.

The first hour was spent just learning what all the various modes and controls do on a Canon 580EX II Speedlite. It was time well spent as the students had very little flash experience. In fact, one had just bought the 580EX II and this was the first time she’d ever used it. We had several “teachable moments” such as when one 580EX II went “wonky” (a technical term) and wouldn’t come out of Manual Zoom mode. After playing with it for a few minutes, we discovered the “kicker” had come loose and the flash thought it was being bounced.

The next Flash in a Flash Workshop is January 2011. Stay tuned for details to master your flash.

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