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Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography, 2nd Edition

Book Description

In this updated, second edition of the authoritative, bestselling Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography, photographer NK Guy brings the book fully up to date, with coverage of all the newest Canon gear that has hit the market since the first edition published in 2010. This includes coverage of the radio-enabled Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT and Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT, as well as the other Speedlites that have released since the first edition’s publication: Canon Speedlite 90EX, 270EX II, 320EX, and 600EX.  

Digital cameras and flash technology have truly revolutionized photography in the 21st century. Originally seen simply as a practical way to illuminate dark scenes with portable light, flash today is used for a host of creative and nuanced applications, including supplementing daylight, designing complex scenes lit by multiple light sources, and simply creating beautiful, controllable light for portraiture. With LCD screens on DSLRs, the ability to get instant feedback on lighting setups is a great help in advancing one’s lighting capabilities and encouraging experimentation.

However, flash photography can still be a difficult artistic and technical challenge. It’s simple to get that harsh deer-in-the-headlights look from built-in automatic flash, but it is a far cry from beautiful light. Creating natural-looking images is not nearly as straightforward. Mastering the properties of light and the ability to manipulate, craft, and direct it is a lifelong endeavor. Those diving into Speedlights need some help. Manuals are terse and the terminology is confusing—this is where Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography comes in. 

This is the complete book on the subject, guiding you through Canon’s Speedlite system, from off-camera portable flash to professional studio lighting. It covers the fundamentals of flash metering technology, discusses key lighting concepts, and documents a wide range of Canon and third-party equipment. Universal flash accessories, studio gear, and radio triggers are all thoroughly covered. 

The book is lavishly illustrated with diagrams that demonstrate important functions and lighting arrangements, and inspiring photos that show sophisticated flash techniques. Though tailored for users of Canon EOS cameras, owners of other camera systems will find much valuable information as well.

So, whether you’re just getting started with flash, or you’ve picked up the bug for off-camera lighting from such popular websites as Strobist.com, or you’re making the leap into advanced studio work, Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography is your in-depth resource.

Includes a foreword by David Hobby, noted photojournalist and founder of Strobist.com.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. 1 Introduction
  7. Part A: Getting Started
    1. 2 Getting Started
      1. 2.1 A beginner’s configuration: Canon Digital Rebel T5/1200D with a 430EX III flash unit
      2. 2.2 Flash exposure compensation (FEC)
      3. 2.3 Bounce flash
      4. 2.4 Daylight fill flash
      5. 2.5 An advanced configuration: two wireless 430EX III-RT flash units
      6. 2.6 A practical example of wireless flash
      7. 2.7 Dragging the shutter
      8. 2.8 Getting the flash off the camera
    2. 3 Top Ten FAQs
    3. 4 Terminology
  8. Part B: Technology
    1. 5 A Brief History of Flash
      1. 5.1 Pyrotechnics
      2. 5.2 Flash bulbs
      3. 5.3 Electronic flash
      4. 5.4 The first challenge: flash synchronization
      5. 5.5 Open flash
      6. 5.6 Flash sync
      7. 5.7 Controlling flash exposure
      8. 5.8 The second challenge: flash metering
    2. 6 Automatic Flash Metering
      1. 6.1 Enabling internal flash and external Speedlites
      2. 6.2 Subject and background in flash photography
      3. 6.3 Ambient light metering versus flash metering
      4. 6.4 Freezing motion
      5. 6.5 Normal flash sync
      6. 6.6 Slow shutter sync
      7. 6.7 EOS flash and icon modes
      8. 6.8 CA (creative auto) mode
      9. 6.9 EOS flash and ambient metering: a source of confusion
      10. 6.10 Program (P) mode
      11. 6.11 Tv (shutter speed priority) mode
      12. 6.12 Av (aperture priority) mode
      13. 6.13 M (metered manual) mode
      14. 6.14 DEP (depth of field), A-DEP (automatic DEP), and B (Bulb) modes
      15. 6.15 Fill flash
      16. 6.16 Fill flash ambient light reduction
      17. 6.17 Flash exposure compensation (FEC)
    3. 7 Technical Topics
      1. 7.1 Canon EOS flash metering
      2. 7.2 TTL flash metering
      3. 7.3 A-TTL flash metering
      4. 7.4 E-TTL flash metering
      5. 7.5 E-TTL II
      6. 7.6 Type A and type B cameras
      7. 7.7 Flash technology availability summary
      8. 7.8 Metering patterns
      9. 7.9 Flash metering patterns
      10. 7.10 How mechanical camera shutters work
      11. 7.11 Maximum X-sync
      12. 7.12 High-speed sync (HSS) / FP (focal plane) flash
      13. 7.13 First and second curtain sync
      14. 7.14 Inverse square law
      15. 7.15 Guide numbers
      16. 7.16 Quantifying flash output
      17. 7.17 Exposure value (EV)
      18. 7.18 Color and shades of white
      19. 7.19 Color filters
      20. 7.20 Infrared (IR)
      21. 7.21 EXIF and flash data
      22. 7.22 Safety and physical properties
  9. Part C: Equipment
    1. 8 Dedicated Flash Units
      1. 8.1 Built-in (popup) flash
      2. 8.2 Canon Speedlites
      3. 8.3 Speedlite naming scheme
      4. 8.4 Older Canon Speedlites
      5. 8.5 Third-party flash units
    2. 9 Canon Speedlites
      1. 9.1 Hotshoes
      2. 9.2 Flash heads
      3. 9.3 LCDs
      4. 9.4 Swivel and tilt for bounce flash
      5. 9.5 Zooming flash heads
      6. 9.6 Flash head diffuser panels
      7. 9.7 Autofocus (AF) assist light
      8. 9.8 Redeye and greeneye
      9. 9.9 Flash exposure compensation (FEC)
      10. 9.10 Flash exposure lock (FE lock or FEL)
      11. 9.11 Fill flash ratios
      12. 9.12 Auto fill reduction
      13. 9.13 Flash exposure bracketing (FEB)
      14. 9.14 High-speed sync (HSS)
      15. 9.15 Enabling second curtain sync
      16. 9.16 Manual flash
      17. 9.17 Optical wireless E-TTL flash
      18. 9.18 Integrated Speedlite transmitter: using built-in flash as master
      19. 9.19 Radio wireless E-TTL flash
      20. 9.20 Advanced M (metered manual) ambient metering
      21. 9.21 Quick Flash/Rapid-fire mode
      22. 9.22 Stroboscopic (MULTI) flash
      23. 9.23 Flash exposure confirmation LED
      24. 9.24 Range warning
      25. 9.25 Modeling flash
      26. 9.26 Auto Power Off/Save Energy (SE) mode
      27. 9.27 Speedlite autoflash/External flash metering
      28. 9.28 Optical slave triggers
      29. 9.29 Custom functions (C.Fn) on flash unit
      30. 9.30 External Speedlite control (ESC)
      31. 9.31 Memory function
      32. 9.32 Test flash (manual firing)
      33. 9.33 Rear control dial
      34. 9.34 Weatherproofing
      35. 9.35 Flash color
      36. 9.36 Live View, silent shooting, and flash
      37. 9.37 Cycle time and high voltage ports
      38. 9.38 Remote shutter release
    3. 10 Manual Flash Metering
      1. 10.1 Manual flash metering
      2. 10.2 Trial and error
      3. 10.3 Flash meters
      4. 10.4 Choosing a manual flash unit
      5. 10.5 Trigger voltages
      6. 10.6 Incompatible shoes
      7. 10.7 Autoflash metering
    4. 11 Off-Camera Flash
      1. 11.1 The Seven Basic Methods for Off-camera Flash Control
      2. 11.2 Off-Camera Method 1—Open flash
      3. 11.3 Off-Camera Methods 2 and 3—Wired cords
      4. 11.4 Off-Camera Method 2—Wired sync-only: PC cords
      5. 11.5 Off-Camera Method 3—Wired with automatic metering: Canon flash cords
      6. 11.6 Off-Camera Methods 4 and 5—Wireless optical control
      7. 11.7 Off-Camera Method 4—Wireless optical, sync-only: optical slaves
      8. 11.8 Off-Camera Method 5—Wireless optical with automatic metering: Canon optical wireless E-TTL
      9. 11.9 Off-Camera Methods 6 and 7—Wireless, radio frequency (RF)
      10. 11.10 Off-Camera Method 6—Radio, sync-only
      11. 11.11 Off-Camera Method 3—Radio with automatic metering
    5. 12 Flash Accessories
      1. 12.1 Flash diffusers
      2. 12.2 Small diffusers
      3. 12.3 Small reflectors
      4. 12.4 Medium-sized reflectors and diffusers
      5. 12.5 Large portable diffusers
      6. 12.6 Other flash accessories
      7. 12.7 Ringflash adapters
      8. 12.8 Filter gels
      9. 12.9 Flash projector
      10. 12.10 Do it yourself!
      11. 12.11 Supports
      12. 12.12 Batteries
      13. 12.13 External battery packs
    6. 13 Studio Flash
      1. 13.1 Types of studio lights
      2. 13.2 Basic flash unit features
      3. 13.3 General studio gear
      4. 13.4 Studio light modifiers
      5. 13.5 Hot lights
      6. 13.6 Cheap vs. expensive
  10. Part D: Technique
    1. 14 Basic Techniques
      1. 14.1 Direction
      2. 14.2 Intensity
      3. 14.3 Quality
      4. 14.4 Color
      5. 14.5 Basic Speedlite portrait photography
      6. 14.6 Building a studio portrait
      7. 14.7 Experimenting with light
    2. 15 Advanced Techniques
      1. 15.1 Slow shutter sync and motion
      2. 15.2 Hard isn’t all bad
      3. 15.3 Narrowing down the light
      4. 15.4 Backlighting and flash in the frame
      5. 15.5 Kill the ambient
      6. 15.6 Cookies
      7. 15.7 Open flash
      8. 15.8 Stroboscopic (MULTI) flash
      9. 15.9 High-speed photography
      10. 15.10 Cross-polarizing
      11. 15.11 Learning from the masters
    3. Conclusion
  11. Appendices
    1. Appendix A: Flash Units for Canon EOS
    2. Appendix B: Choosing a Flash Unit
    3. Appendix C: Features Table
    4. Appendix D: Custom and Personal Functions
    5. Appendix E: Sequence of Operation
    6. Appendix F: Troubleshooting
  12. Credits and Acknowledgements