Alistair Grant - Freelance Photographer Cambridge | Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 50 - Those Blinking Speedlites

Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 50 - Those Blinking Speedlites

March 02, 2018
Freelance Photographer in St Ives Cambridgeshire: Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, St Neots, St Ives and London. Professional Photography Services in St Ives, St Neots, Huntingdon, Bedford, Peterborough & Cambridge.    
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   Alistair Grant 

Freelance Photographer Cambridge & London

     
     

bokeh photographic: Blog No: 50

 Freelance Photographer Cambridge Blog Image | Blog 50 | Those Blinking Speedlites (Canon 1DX with Canon 580Ex II Speedlite Flash showing wide panel to expand flash coverage when shooting with 14 to 21mm wide-angle lenses). © bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Freelance Photographer; Food & Drink Photographer; Commercial Photographer, Product Photographer & Packshot Photographer; Event Photographer; Portrait Photographer; Corporate Photographer & PR Photographer; Engagement Photographer & Wedding Photographer and Photography Training Courses, St Ives, Cambridge.Blog 50 – Those Blinking Speedlites (Canon 1DX with Canon 580Ex II Speedlite Flash showing wide panel to expand flash coverage when shooting with 14 to 21mm wide-angle lenses) | bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, St Neots, St Ives and London.Blog 50 – Those Blinking Speedlites (Canon 1DX with Canon 580Ex II Speedlite Flash showing wide panel to expand flash coverage when shooting with 14 to 21mm wide-angle lenses) by Alistair Grant. Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.

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Those Blinking Speedlites

Amongst the flurry of new product announcements from Canon this week was the 470EX AI (Auto Intelligent) Speedlite whose USP is that the head automatically and continuously adjusts position to provide ‘optimal’ bounce flash on the basis of the difference between forward and upward test fires. If you are a regular reader of the bokeh photographic Blog you’ll be aware that I rarely get excited about supposed 'revolutionary' products. Consequently, I don’t write reviews. Although it’s interesting I’ve no plans for an appraisal of the 470EX AI. However, keep an eye out for a future post on the pros & cons of Artificial Intelligence in photography prompted in part by the fact that the latest release of Lightroom incorporates AI in the form of Adobe’s Sensei platform which compares user images with thousands of professionally edited library images and then uses machine learning to make the user’s photograph ‘better’. Narrowly avoiding the need for a spoiler alert the punctuation of press release keywords (i.e. ‘optimal’, 'revolutionary' & ‘better’) is my own.

Although not a review this post is definitely a big-up for Speedlites or Speedlights if you shoot Nikon. I am regularly asked what single piece of kit would facilitate a step-up in photography. In my experience you can’t go wrong with a Speedlite. Although perhaps unfavourably associated with press paparazzi Speedlite flash is a great addition to any kitbag. Although I own several sets of studio strobes I find my Speedlites just as versatile – for small to moderate lighting situations – with the significant advantage of portability and battery power. On the latter point it helps that a neighbour works for a major battery manufacturer! I often ask people when flash should be used and most fall into the trap and answer ‘when it’s dark’. This is a common misconception and highlights a lack of understanding of the unique way shutter speed and aperture are manipulated in a flash exposure: although flash may illuminate the foreground no single flash unit (or studio strobe) can illuminate the whole of a scene where there is zero ambient light. So if flash isn’t suitable when it’s completely dark (excepting when fired at the end of long-exposures) what is flash for? It has multiple uses including lifting shadow detail (i.e. fill-flash), freezing action, separating backgrounds, adding depth, drama & dimension, highlighting texture & colour and in Portrait Photography placing catchlights in eyes. Compared to bulky plug-in flash Speedlites are a convenient option when working on location at a fast pace. Like studio strobes it isn’t necessarily a case of most powerful is best; invariably some kind of modifier will be utilised to soften and reduce light output. I would argue that the ability to modify intensity in small increments is probably more important that the maximum power output of a Speedlite. Other useful features are high speed flash, second curtain sync and autofocus assistance. Not all third-party Speedlites offer full camera compatibility although if, like me, you shoot manual flash with a light meter that’s not a problem.

I should point out that I am referring to external flash units that attach to the camera hot shoe (although best results are obtained when triggered off-camera) and not ‘pop-up’ flash. Professional camera bodies do not have built-in flash which probably tells you all you need to know about pop-up flash. Finally, as well as running dedicated Flash Essentials training I cover Speedlites on my Introduction to Photography course. For Canon users I highlight one point that drives those unaware of the cause crazy: a blinking LCD display signifies that the either the wide panel (visible on this shot of my Canon 580Ex II) hasn’t been pushed all the way down when folded away or that the flash head is at the wrong bounce angle bearing in mind that the wide panel is designed to be used at 90 degrees to expand flash coverage when shooting with 14 to 21mm wide-angle lenses.

   
     

Call Alistair Grant on 07775 365507, Email alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk or click Booking Enquiries if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.

   
     

bokeh: "the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens"


Freelance Photographer offering Food & Drink Photography Cambridge; Commercial Photography Cambridge, Product Photography Cambridge & Packshot Photography Cambridge; Event Photography Cambridge; Portrait Photography Cambridge; Corporate Photography Cambridge & PR Photography Cambridge; Engagement Photography Cambridge & Wedding Photography Cambridge and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge. Also covering: Huntingdon, St. Ives, Ramsey, St. Neots, Peterborough, Bedford, Stamford, Newmarket, Sawtry, Alconbury Weston, Brampton, Hartford, Warboys, Houghton, Wyton, Godmanchester, Hilton, Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots, Fenstanton, Whittesley, Yaxley, Needingworth, Somersham, Chatteris, Ely, Bar Hill, Grafham and Buckden.

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bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer | Cambridge, London, UK

Food & Drink Photography | Commercial Photography & Product Photography | Corporate Photography & PR Photography | Portrait Photography (inc. 'Active Portraiture') | Event Photography | Wedding Photography | Photography Training Courses & Camera Tuition

Tel: 07775 365507 | Email: alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk