PP220 Portable Lighting with Speedlights

Course Description

In the words of photojournalist Joe McNally, a speedlight is just like any other form of available light- “if it’s in your camera bag, it’s available.” Today’s small, camera-mounted flash units made by both Canon and Nikon pack a lot of power and advanced electronic versatility, but they also provide an important opportunity to supplement, shape and enhance the quality as well as the quantity of light in almost any photograph imaginable.

This Photography class introduces the speedlight first as a manually-operated device not unlike larger professional lighting tools, but then quickly shifts to TTL and balanced flash exposure, remote off-camera triggering and multiple light setups. A variety of light modifiers and wireless triggering systems will also be demonstrated and available for student use. Deliverables for the Photography certificate course emphasize speedlights as invaluable tools for portrait, commercial location and event photographers.

Learning Outcomes/Topics

  • Emphasis on Nikon and Canon speedlight systems
  • Review exposure concepts related to flash
  • Exposure variables (volume of light, ISO, aperture, shutter speed)
  • Flash-specific exposure concepts
  • Synch speed
  • Balanced ambient-flash exposure
  • Speedlight exposure modes and methods: M. A, TTL
  • Exposure Compensation; on camera and on speedlight
  • Comparison between studio flash unit (Prophoto. etc) and speedlight using M exposure mode
  • Button-pushing: configuring Nikon and Canon speedlights for manual operation
  • Indirect (bounced) manual speedlight function
  • Light painting with single and multiple manual flash units fired during bulb exposure
  • TTL Flash photography
  • How TTL speedlight works with ambient exposure meter in camera
  • TTL speedlights for event photography
  • Button pushing: configuring Nikon and Canon speedlights for TTL operation
  • Front/rear curtain synch
  • High speed synch
  • Stroboscopic effects with repeating flash
  • Light modifiers and grip equipment for speedlights
  • Methods of synchronizing remote speedlights
  • TTL flash cable
  • Nikon/Canon master/remote infrared
  • Pocket Wizard
  • Radio remote control
  • Radio Popper
  • Optical slaves
  • Synch cord
  • Single and multiple remote speedlights, infrared triggering and a simple translucent white umbrella