Add a splash

I recommended recently that you might want to add a  splash of colour every now and then. So here’s an example.

Our Christmas “tree”, lit with just a bounce flash. The background is exposed properly (I used -1.3 stops exposure compensation in Av mode). But still: kinda bland, no?

So let’s add a dash of colour. A pocketwizard connected to the camera, and one behind the tree connected via a hotshoe cable to a 430EX flash. The flash was on manual at 1/16th power, and on the flash I had a Honl Photo speed strap with a Honl Bright Red gel conveniently velcro’d on. Now we’re talking!

If I had had more cables (I am awaiting a shipment of hotshoe cables…) I would have added a green one as well. But this is already much better thwanwhat I had before.

Oh and just to show what the flash alone would have done: if I disable the bounce flash, here’s what that same shot would look like:

Bit overly dramatic, but add some more light and it has potential!

Here’s the setup:

(Small note: I have, I must admit, found the X-sync to Pocketwizard contact unreliable and I am not entirely sure why: Maybe the connector itself? But the hotshoe contact is flawless.)

And finally. I wanted red and green, but had only one working flash I could drive with a pocketwizard.


Which, after a bit of back and forth with manual exposure, flash compensation, and remote flash power, gives me this:

Or, if you prefer a brighter room, this:

You see how much fun playing with colour and light can be?

0 thoughts on “Add a splash

  1. Pingback: Pocketwoes « Michael Willems Daily Photography Blog

  2. Hi Michael,

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hope the holidays have been good to you so far.

    I’ve got a question! Any experience with the Canon ST-E2? Like? Dislike? Thoughts? I came close to getting one for $200 (regular price a little too expensive for what it does, I think), but in the end decided no; the main reason being I find myself very often using my 580 EXII on-camera for a gentle fill (with a GFong, head pointing straight up) and not just for its remote triggering role. The nagging issue for me with this is that my key light ends up always being my lower powered 430 EXII (I’m thinking I may just have to bite the bullet and get another pricey 580 EXII – ouch). Also, from what I understand, the 580 EXII uses ‘white’ light from the flash head to communicate with slave the flash(es), whereas the ST-E2 uses the infrared signal. I’m guessing this would make the 580EXII a ‘stronger’ communicator and more flexible too since you could potentially rotate the head to better communicate with a slave flash off to the right or left. I’m thinking this could be especially important outdoors. There’s also the added minor group ‘C’ capability via the 580 EXII. Is there an advantage to using the ST-E2 that I’m missing (other than being cheaper & much lighter on top of the camera)?

    Best wishes for the New Year.

    Papa Jorgio

    • Hey Jorge – same to you: and best wishes for the new year also.

      You are all correct with regard to the ST-E2. Yes the ST-E2 is OK and small, but the IR does not go as far as the brighter flash light in my experience, and it will not turn; and the lack of the “C” (background) light is an issue. So when using wireless TTL I use the 580 as master – and the 430 is fine as a slave.

      Look at this – the second shot. September broad daylight and I am nuking the sun with a 430 in an umbrella:

      And as far what you now add: An additional 430 is cheaper than an additional 580, and two 430s gives you much more power than a 580…

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