01 June 2019

Overpowering the midday sun with Speedlite Flash

Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT with Diffuser
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT with Diffuser
All three sample images were captured between 12:00 – 13:00 on a bright sunny day earlier in the week. We generally shoot flowers and insects in softer morning light, but this is not always possible for the photographer.

Butterfly and small flowers were captured with my Canon EOS 6D / EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens with a Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT flash (with its proprietary white plastic Stofen-like diffuser covering the flash head).

For overpowering the strong sun light I selected the fastest sync speed of the Canon EOS 6D (1/180s) and small(er) apertures (f/11 - f/16) for providing a relativity dark ambient exposure.

Using High-Speed Sinc (HSS) will provide an even darker ambient exposure. Most Canon DSLRs (and Canon E-TTL / E-TTL II Speedlite flashes) will have HSS for the built-in flash and / or external Speedlite flash.

Speedlite flash head was tilted slightly upwards (for minimising direct flash light on the subjects). Speedlite was used in E-TTL mode.

Camera Exposure Settings
Av Mode: f/11 - f/16 / ISO 400 / 1/180s - the highest shutter flash sync speed not using HSS (on the EOS 6D, some cameras like the EOS 70D / 7D Mark II, HSS is 1/250s).

Images post-processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 8.2

Canon Speedlite Flash Resources

Overpowering the sun with Canon Speedlite Flash - Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Small butterfly with Canon Speedlite Flash - Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers

Overpowering the sun with Canon Speedlite Flash - Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Small flowers with Canon Speedlite Flash - Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers

Overpowering the sun with Canon Speedlite Flash - Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Small butterfly with Canon Speedlite Flash - Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers

Canon Speedlite Flash Training Classes, Milnerton Cape Town View