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Shellie 7/2/2005 7:24:37 AM

I love this pic. What lens and settings did you use? #272369

Heather R. Morgan 7/2/2005 7:59:13 AM

Hi Shellie - thanks for the vote of confidence!
This is taken with a 50mm lens at a shutter speed of 1/60, an Aperture Value of 5.0, and an ISO speed 100. There is a single Canon 440 speedlite flash mounted to a tripod and shot into an umbrella that has been placed at a forty-five degree angle to the subject, about a foot higher than the subject's head and about three feet from the subject. The subject is standing against a black backdrop. The flash is set by e-ttl using a 550 speedlite that is set to master but not set to fire.
Hope this helps! #1546690

Jose 8/4/2005 12:06:06 PM

Heather, I think the picture is very well composed and I also like the way you lit up the subject. I do not understand how you set the flash as a master but not to fire. Just curious. #1677093

Heather R. Morgan 8/5/2005 2:40:17 AM

Jose - it is a long set of fiddlings, but it is doable, and makes quite a difference to the 'feel' of the image - helps to recreate a 'natural light' look when its dark and overcast, or nine o'clock at night. On the 580 Speedlite (sorry, there's a typo in my above post) I put it on the camera and turn it on. I then set it to master on the bottom and put it at a 45 degree angle (I don't know why, but it doesn't like it if I put it at 75 degrees, so this seems to work best - you'll have to experiment yourself with it a bit). Then I press 'zoom' on the back of the flash unit two times and the 'light' on the diagram flashes and it says 'on'. I twiddle the dial until it says off and go on with my other adjustments.

Hope that makes sense. Feel free to ask if the rest doesn't make sense. I do use exposure compensation from the 580 as well to allow me to adjust the strength of the flash from the camera as well as from the placement of the off-camera flash unit. #1679213

Laurence Jones 8/8/2005 2:00:25 AM

Heather, I like the lighting you have here. I'm very interested in your use of Speedlites for portraits. In general, do you find they have enough power for the job, especially after reflections from an umbrella or softbox ? I notice the umbrella was only about 3 feet from the subject in this picture. Thanks #1690205

Heather R. Morgan 8/8/2005 12:18:03 PM

Laurence, thanks for your interest. For the size of studio I have (which is small) I find that the speedlites do actually do the job, even when they've been reflected against the umbrella.

I have done shoots where the speedlites were quite a bit further back from the subject - up to eight or ten feet, I think. It tends to produce a more 'all-over' lighting effect, even when its a single flash from just off to the side. I've posted one example below, and I might try to dig out another, wider-shot picture within the week.

I really do like the speedlites for their versatility and especially, as I like to do small children, for their lack of cords! Also, all of the control is right at my fingertips. I'm not sure how well it would work with a film camera, though, as I do use my preview screen a lot to correct the e-ttl compensation from the camera. I find it is usually wrong one way or the other! ;-) #1692695

Heather R. Morgan 8/8/2005 12:21:30 PM

Laurence, thanks for your interest. For the size of studio I have (which is small) I find that the speedlites do actually do the job, even when they've been reflected against the umbrella.

I have done shoots where the speedlites were quite a bit further back from the subject - up to eight or ten feet, I think. It tends to produce a more 'all-over' lighting effect, even when its a single flash from just off to the side. I've posted one example below, and I might try to dig out another, wider-shot picture within the week.

I really do like the speedlites for their versatility and especially, as I like to do small children, for their lack of cords! Also, all of the control is right at my fingertips. I'm not sure how well it would work with a film camera, though, as I do use my preview screen a lot to correct the e-ttl compensation from the camera. I find it is usually wrong one way or the other! ;-) #1692702

Laurence Jones 8/9/2005 2:25:32 AM

Heather, thats really useful info. If you've got any more shots I'd be very interested to see them. I was thinking along the same lines as you - digital pics of children, but in their own homes. Portability and lack of cords then become very important, as you say. It sounds as if the older speedlites (440 etc) synchronize OK on this master/slave thing with the newer ones (550/580)? .. and all on e-ttl, with a bit of trial & error as well.

I imagine you sell these pics OK?

Thanks for all your help #1695117

Heather R. Morgan 8/9/2005 6:32:29 AM

Yes, the whole kit is incredibly portable. Two weeks ago we packed up our whole family and moved overseas for the year, and I managed to pack everything I needed for portraits in a roller-suitcase and a large camera bag - that's four light stands, two umbrellas (I use a curtain rod between two light stands for a backdrop holder, but didn't bring that), five different backdrops, three flash units, camera and three different lenses ('cos I don't just do portraiture). The older speedlites synch fine with the 580, but can't handle the master/slave relationship themselves. And many, many times I've sat there thinking 'this would not be possible without flashes, and it would not be possible with cables all over the floor.

I'll attach two more photos done with the spedlites - they were taken a while ago, so I can't quite remember distances, but they give a feel for what you can do with both dark backgrounds and light backgrounds. When working with light backgrounds I often train one light directly bounced onto the backdrop, so that it is highly illuminated and place the second light so that it lights up the individual's or individuals' faces. When working with dark backgrounds I will often use just one flash or use the flashes on ratio setting (one of the options on the 580 speedlite, which lets you adjust from 8:1 - 1:1 - 1:8 power differences between two different flashes).

In terms of 'sell-ability' people have loved them. You can take a look at my website - www.lifespark.ca if you want to see how I have done my pricing and business model. The pricing is based on the fact that I have only been doing portraiture since November and have never apprenticed. #1696417

Heather R. Morgan 8/9/2005 6:33:05 AM

Yes, the whole kit is incredibly portable. Two weeks ago we packed up our whole family and moved overseas for the year, and I managed to pack everything I needed for portraits in a roller-suitcase and a large camera bag - that's four light stands, two umbrellas (I use a curtain rod between two light stands for a backdrop holder, but didn't bring that), five different backdrops, three flash units, camera and three different lenses ('cos I don't just do portraiture). The older speedlites synch fine with the 580, but can't handle the master/slave relationship themselves. And many, many times I've sat there thinking 'this would not be possible without flashes, and it would not be possible with cables all over the floor.

I'll attach two more photos done with the spedlites - they were taken a while ago, so I can't quite remember distances, but they give a feel for what you can do with both dark backgrounds and light backgrounds. When working with light backgrounds I often train one light directly bounced onto the backdrop, so that it is highly illuminated and place the second light so that it lights up the individual's or individuals' faces. When working with dark backgrounds I will often use just one flash or use the flashes on ratio setting (one of the options on the 580 speedlite, which lets you adjust from 8:1 - 1:1 - 1:8 power differences between two different flashes).

In terms of 'sell-ability' people have loved them. You can take a look at my website - www.lifespark.ca if you want to see how I have done my pricing and business model. The pricing is based on the fact that I have only been doing portraiture since November and have never apprenticed. #1696421


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Uploaded on 7/1/2005 3:12:34 PM


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