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Learn to flash like pros do. Use the flash to its full potential.

There are a few slots left for November 8 and 9, my second flash seminar at Camera Cart Studios in Teachers Village. Just click on the Camera Cart link to get in touch with my main man Melvine or call/SMS 0928-7101211 or 0918-9171063. Or email cameracart@gmail.com.

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The 2 day flash class will cater to those who want to understand the confusing inner workings of a DSLR flash gun. From a short history all the way to learning to control light with flash. After all, if there is no light no images can be made.

Below are just a few of the topics we will go over:
1. Demystifying flash terms and buttons on the flash gun.
3. Understanding light fall off.
2. Learn to bounce flash without a wall.
4. Learn to use your flash gun on and off the hot shoe-both with cable and wireless.
5. How to use flash in a variety to shooting scenarios.
6. Learn to use a flash stand and shoot through umbrella.
Etc. etc…

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Image courtesy Camera Cart

Charge the batteries and bring a camera with a hot shoe and a compatible flash gun as we go for a hands on approach in learning. Don’t have a flash gun? Don’t sweat it. Reserve your slot along with Camera Carts flash guns for rent both in Nikon and Canon systems. Pretty sure a discount is there. One last thing, get a slot Camera Cart members get a discount as well.

The Take Out Box

White is not really all white. White is a mix of creams, greys, whites and yellows. The challenge was to shoot a white take out box against a white background. A few head butting sessions later, concept of using many take out boxes as background became a reality. Providing perspective and a harmonious texture to the subject. Through trial and error the Canon Speedlights had the right formula to isolate the single box as hero and background that blends in.

Captured with the Canon EOS 7D and EF 24-70mm with 2 speedlights and shoot through umbrellas.

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PHOTOS CAPTURED WITH CANON EOS 50D+580EX II SPEEDLITE

When on vacation try not to carry so much photography gear. A good point and shoot (Canon S90 or G11) would be more than enough. But, a big family reunion on vacation calls for the gear and then some.

After dinner cultural show where a dslr on ambient light just will not do. The Filipino dancers would just come out a big swirley blur.

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Here an external flash comes in handy. Not the one built into the dslr body but those pricey ones that needs to be purchased separately.

These photographs were captured in an open space at around 8-9 pm with main light source being 2 sets of those four colorful direct lights on stands (second photo, right). Plus the other ambient lighting installed inside the tents and huts. The night sky was pitch black with stars all around and the moon half full not yet entirely visible. In come the handy flash-580EX II to be precise.

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All that’s necessary is mount the external flash on the hot shoe and turn down the power level to -1. With lower power level you’ll be able to capture some motion to get a dynamic photo vs. the frozen shot with the flash on full auto. Almost all Canon dslrs released recently have flash control on the body as well. Just hit menu and look for it under external flash control.

If only a point and shoot is available then just turn on flash manually and turn down the power as well. Use your shutter priority mode for best results. Most importantly, don’t use p&s zoom. Walk up close to the subject and when you think you are close enough to get a good photo take 2 more steps for good measure. The photos below of the fire dancers were shot so close to the subject that heat could be felt and probably some arm hair was singed in the process.

If you have a Canon G series point and shoot then take advantage of the hot shoe. A Canon 270EX or 430EX II Speedlite on a G series would make quite a set up. My personal set up is on a point and shoot is a G7 (2007) with a 430EX II-more on this soon. Research on the web will show that many p&s’s now have a hot shoe for an external flash.

Just make the best of your photo gear. Learn it’s strength and weaknesses for proper experiments and have fun. It might be frustrating at first but don’t let this bog down those photo opportunities. Remember, shooting digital is way cheaper and more convenient than film. Not to mention the instant gratification of seeing the photo on the LCD.

Want to know more? Just email or stick it in the comment box. Thanks for reading.

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YOUR COMMENTS ARE VERY MUCH ENCOURAGED…

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Shot details: Canon EOS 50D, Focal Length: 26mm, Aperture: f/4.5, Shutter speed: 1/30, ISO 200, Speedlite 580 EXII/430 EXII, RAW

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