Since sharing Behind the Scenes pictures from some recent photo shoots, and some folks having seen me presenting lately at The Photography Show in Birmingham and Professional Imaging in the Netherlands I’ve been asked quite a few times about my choice of lighting. Now, when I say choice of lighting, I don’t mean my Westcott modifiers (more about them in a moment) but I mean the actual light source which you can see from the pictures below is a Speedlite:
Some people seem genuinely surprised to see that I’m using a Speedlite as opposed to a studio kind of light with it’s battery pack or mains power but the reality is that with the portrait work I’m doing at the moment, a Speedlite is more than adequate and has more than enough power.
More often than not, I’m photographing in people’s homes which means that space can be quite limited, it’s a controlled environment because I can close curtains, turn off room lights and so on but it’s also important to me to keep my kit as portable as possible and to a minimum; a Speedlite is the perfect choice.
When I’m taking portraits I very rarely, if ever, close down to anything more than around f/8.0 and this is a piece of cake for the Speedlite I’m using. I’m a Manual shooter and love to use a Light Meter but this past weekend whilst presenting in the Netherlands thought I’d try something different and shoot in TTL Mode; always a good move to try something new for the first time whilst on stage in front of a crowd right?!?! 🙂 Needless to say it worked a treat and was so incredibly fast and easy to set up.
My Speedlite and Transmitter
- Note: Check out the Westcott modifers I use in the My Gear page by CLICKING HERE
I’ve always avoided TTL in favour of Manual Mode because of how the light changes as the environment changes and this didn’t suit my style of shooting. However, the portraits I’m taking are in a consistent environment so gave me consistent results. It just worked and worked well. If I wanted more or less light I simply dialed it in quickly and easily using the transmitter on the camera.
As for my Westcott modifiers, because I use the Switch range, this means I can use the same modifiers with both Speedlite or Studio style lights / heads; all I need to do is flick a switch and change the adaptor / fitting.
So bottom line is YES, I am using Speedlite more these days. Will I use them all the time from now on? … well that just depends on the shoot, the environment, the lighting conditions and so on; it’s great to have choices though right?!?! 🙂