Saturday, December 15, 2007

G9 and Canon Multiple Flash

Woof-Woof is a bit of a lounge chair potato so why not practice flash photography on him? These two shots were taken at night – it’s a wonder he wasn’t asleep!

Here’s a basic bounce flash photo using the Canon 580EX on the G9. The G9 was set for ISO 80, Program mode. Exposure, selected by the G9, was 1/60 second at f3.5. (I’ve noticed that the G3, G9 and even the 20D seem to head towards max aperture in Program mode when a flash is attached.) Not too bad, although a bit flat, I’d say. Time to try a little directional lighting.

The Canon 580EX can control another compatible Canon flash – in this case, a 420EX. The 580EX was set on “master” and the 420EX on “slave”. The 580EX controls the relative amount of light that each flash emits. The 580EX ratio controls were set for 1:2 so that more light comes from the 420EX. The 420EX was placed on a bookcase and pointed directly at Woof-Woof. The 580EX was on the G9 hotshoe and pointed towards the ceiling; that is, the 580EX provided the (bounced) fill flash – similar to the first shot.

The result is a bit different from the first shot. Instead of flat, the lighting is now directional with fill. The amount of side vs bounce light can be controlled from the 580EX to suite one’s taste. The direction of the light is controlled by the position of the 420EX (slave).

Pretty simple, just don’t try it in Manual mode and expect ETTL or the ratios to work; however, the master will trigger the slave flash with the G9 in Manual mode.

(Both shots from unprocessed in-camera jpg without claiming great lighting or composition.)


Tomer said...

Hello there,
Im new to Flash photography
(see: ) I read your article and I wonder what do I need to buy in order to get a slave on the side just like you did on yours, the flash is enough or should I get a transmitor) thanks for your time and for a great post

Gordon Buck Jr. said...

The general idea here is to illustrate the effects that can be automatically obtaine with two Canon flashes. This approach can be a bit expensive. In a previous post,, I showed an inexpensive way to add in a slave flash -- but beware, this is total manual control. Most recently, I've been using an inexpensive wireless transmitter and receiver.