Learn what Canon flash can do for your photographs.

The keys to shooting great images with Canon flash are: (1) know what Speedlites can and cannot do and (2) get the flash off the top of the camera. This workshop focuses on the use of Canon Speedlites for on-location portraits, although the concepts can easily be adapted to product, still life, and many other types of photography.

The week starts with an exploration of one-flash techniques and ends with students firing multiple Speedlites together via Canon’s new built-in wireless system. Along the way, a wide range of modifiers – such as umbrellas, soft-boxes, grids and gels – are incorporated into the shoots. The workshop also goes deep into the mechanics of Canon’s flash system – specifically how and when to use: Mode (E-TTL, Manual, and Multi), Sync (1st-curtain, 2nd-curtain, and High-Speed), Zoom (auto and manual), and the camera’s exposure settings / metering modes. By the end of the week, the mystery of Canon Speedlites is stripped away and students know how to create beautiful light under a wide variety of situations.

Students must bring a Canon DSLR, a 600 or 580 series Canon Speedlite and a laptop with image-processing software (Lightroom, Aperture, or Bridge/Photoshop). Optional gear includes: wide-angle and medium-telephoto lenses, additional Speedlites, basic flash modifiers, tripod and lightweight stands. Students must have a basic awareness of camera operation and how to move images from the camera to a computer.

Suggested reading: Speedliter’s Handbook.


Syl Arena

© Vera FranceschiSYL | 'sill'
1. short for 'Sylvester'
2. rhymes with 'Bill', 'Phil' and 'Will'
3. not pronounced 'Sile' or 'Sly'

Syl Arena has wandered the world of photography for over four decades. Shortly after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, Syl "borrowed" his father's newfangled Polaroid camera, climbed a tree, and made his first photograph. He was in the third grade.

In college, Syl studied commercial photography at Brooks Institute and fine art photography at the University of Arizona (BFA, 1984). Among his more noteworthy accomplishments in school was the construction of a pinhole camera that used 20" x 24" litho film. True to his eclectic style, Syl then printed these giant negatives as cyanotypes, carbon prints, and screen prints—a early indication of Syl's willingness to explore the boundaries of photography.

Jumping forward nearly three decades, Syl continues his exploration of photography through Speedlites. Through his passion for innovation, he has become the voice for such creative flash techniques as high-speed sync, gang light, and moving the wireless master off camera.

Fortunately, Syl is not one to keep secrets. His international best-selling Speedliter’s Handbook is nearly 400-pages of how-to and why-to on Canon flash techniques. Syl blogs frequently on: PixSylated.com. He has written articles about Speedliting for EOS Magazine as Europe’s Canon Pro Network. Syl is also the author of LIDLIPS: Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School—a collection of 100 micro-essays on photography.

Websites: http://sylarena.com/, http://pixsylated.com/blog/



© Syl Arena

Course Dates

Aug 2 to Aug 8




Class Size


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