Using One or More Accessory Speedlites

With one or more accessory flash units, a new level of lighting options opens up, ranging from simple techniques such as bounce flash and fill flash to controlled lighting ratios with up to three groups of accessory flash units. With E-TTL II metering, you have the option of using one or more flash units as either the main or an auxiliary light source to balance ambient light with flash to provide even and natural illumination and balance among light sources.

7.5 For this image, I bounced a Canon Speedlite 580EX off the wall to the right of the apples. I also held a silver reflector next to the Speedlite and tilted it down slightly to direct the light a bit. Exposure: ISO 100, f/11, 1/3 second.

One or more Speedlites provide an excellent portable studio for portraits and still-life shooting. And you can add light stands and light modifiers such as umbrellas and/or softboxes, and use a variety of reflectors to produce images that either replicate studio lighting results or enhance existing light.

I encourage you to explore the options that multiple Speedlites offer. For detailed information on using Canon Speedlites, be sure to check out the Canon Speedlite System Digital Field Guide by J. Dennis Thomas (Wiley, 2007).

7.6 Here I used two EX-series Speedlites, a 580 EX Speedlite mounted on the camera and bounced off a white reflector held above the flash, and a 550 EX Speedlite to the left of the apples to light the background. The 550 was fired wirelessly from the 580. Exposure: ISO 100, f/11, 1/3 second.

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