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Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites Paperback – 19 Dec 2010
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
Syl Arena studied commercial photography at Brooks Institute and fine art photography at the University of Arizona. Over the years, Syl has shot for newspapers, magazines, and catalogs. He has been recognized for his expertise on color-critical workflow and his ability to turn noon to night by firing off a dozen Speedlites simultaneously. Syl covers the world of photography on his blogs, PixSylated.com and Speedliting.com, and he serves as the Director of the Paso Robles Workshops.
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Top Customer Reviews
Syl spells out a really simple 4 step process to take any photo using flash and removes the mystery around the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and flash power balancing act that you can get yourself into. Everything is explained in great detail. Then there are sections of which flashes, diffusers, umbrellas, stands, gels etc to match your budget or ambitions and some great tips on getting to results on a smaller budget. Everything he talks about is current and available on Amazon. I ended up buying the much cheaper YONGNUO 600EX-RT Speedlite + YONGNUO YN-E3-RT Flash Speedlite Transmitter for Canon instead of the genuine Canon equivalent. All of the functionality and menus seem identical.
On top of the technical and product information, he is constantly developing your eye for light placement and a better understanding of different lighting situations, including mixed lighting situations. I really see light very differently after reading the book.
Who the books is not for...If you already know that shutter speed controls your ambient light but has almost no effect on flash up to sync speed of the camera then you probably don't need the book. If you already know that the flash duration at 1/1000 shutter speed in HSS mode is LONGER than the duration in regular mode at 1/200 shutter speed than you don't need the chapter on High Speed Sync.
But this one is different .... Syl Arena's book is a MASTERPIECE! It starts right at the beginning and assumes no knowledge, some of the things in the early chapters I knew, but not everything, so I felt like I was learning straight off. Then as I read on I kept thinking I'd be getting to the complicated bit soon, but the truth is that Syl translates the complicated bit into plain English. It's like waking up and finding you can suddenly speak Spanish! Not only is it clear and simple, but it's a real page turner too, hard to put down.
The book covers everything you could possibly need to know, right down to the types of battery you could use and the pros and cons of each one.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you are only going to buy one photography book this year .... make it this one!
The description of how Canon's amazing E-TTL system actually works is handled very well - very easy to understand yet thorough and detailed enough. Manual control of flashes is also covered in detail together with how to use flashes in both modes, or a mixture of the two, using the built in wireless system.
The creative sections are hugely informative. Arena takes you through each shoot, building the shots from one lit just with ambient light; how he then tweaks the ambient light to his desired effect and then supplements it or overpowers it with flash. You see all the shots along the way and he provides a full list of camera and light settings. There's a mix of images created solely with flash together with those where Speedlites have been used to supplement the ambient.
This is by far the best book I've read on lighting techniques. True, if you own Nikon kit or that of any other manufacturer, it will be of little technical help, but there are other book similarly biased towards them available.
For Canon users, this is a no brainer. Buy it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very impressive book.
I thought I knew a lot, until i started reviewing the technical details of Speedlites in this book. Read more
This book by Syl Arena has totally banished all my fears of flash photography. Excellent bookPublished 12 months ago by Aidan Ryan
Love this book! It's so comprehensive on the subject, covering the basics to far more complicated set ups. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Cat
A good easy read. Well worth the money. And a good reference if you flash is not your main interest.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Without doubt the best photography book I have read. After a few failed attempts at flash photography this book explains in everyday terms not only "how to" through... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alan W
Syl delivers again, great sound advice, a mist read for speedlightingPublished 14 months ago by PVJB
Good for Canon Speedlighters; explains Canon's speedlighting world far better than Canon!Published 17 months ago by Simon V.
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