Wireless Flash Usage With the Canon 7D On a Photoshoot

One of the great things about the Canon 7D is the wireless flash control. It can really help you out when shooting subjects in challenging lighting and when you need the shot to be perfect. A client shot with me last week for his album cover and the 430 EX II used off camera and in the hands of my assistant helped to really compensate for the sometimes challenging lighting. Here are some details.

The Gig

Semi, an underground hip-hop artist in NYC needed a photoshoot for his album cover. On top of this, he also wanted a coupled of other photos. The original idea was to just shoot in a classroom to give him a young and real look. When his subjects weren’t on time, we started to get creative.

If you’d like to book me, check out my rates here and shoot me an email at chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer.com.


Canon 7D

50mm F1.8

24-105mm F4 L IS

430 EX II

Gary Fong Lightsphere

Technical Usage

Most of these photos were shot with the camera flash on and the 430 EX II to the side with the Gary Fong Lightsphere attached to give off that barebulb effect.

For the outside shots, the sun was behind Semi for most of the time. Most photographers would never, ever fire into the sun because of exposure problems. Those get fixed once you use your flash effectively. There were situations where just a little bit of flash was really needed coming from two different directions in order to effectively light the subject. This is where powering the flash down a bit came in use combined with effective ISO and aperture control.

In contrast, shooting with the sun behind you can cause your subjects to squint. For good measure, the sun was behind Semi.

For the lead photo in this posting, the sun was behind Semi and I was on the ground laying down with the 24-105mm attached. Christina, my assistant pictured in some of the photos, had the flash to the northeast corner of Semi and myself.

For the photos with the blue background, there was another blue wall to the Semi’s left, the sun behind him to his northeast and me right in front of him. To get the photos correct, I needed to really observe how the light was hitting him. There was some light bouncing off of the wall next to him so we just needed some fill for his front. Christina was to my left this time and held the flash up high and at an angle. Combined with my on camera flash, I was able to illuminate his whole face. Anything left in the dark was easily fixed in Lightroom.

All photos shot inside were with the 430 EX II used on camera and with the lightsphere pointed in different directions to get the shot. For some of them, the lightsphere came off.

At the end of the day, the 7D’s wireless flash control capabilities came in real handy. My 5D Mk II would not have been able to do this although I would’ve probably been able to just use my 85mm on the camera the entire time.

More shoots to come!

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.