Working with Speedlites: Multiple Flash Photography, with Syl Arena

In this class, Syl takes you through the how and the why you should take the Speedlite off the top of your camera and explore off-camera flash starting with one Speedlite and moving to multiple flash scenarios.

The Canon Speedlite learning continues! Avowed “Canonista” and author of the Speedliter’s Handbook, Syl Arena kicks up the action with more advanced lighting techniques using multiple flashes. In this class, Syl takes you through the how and the why you should take the Speedlite off the top of your camera and explore off-camera flash starting with one Speedlite and moving to multiple flash scenarios.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 01:01)

To make interesting light, you need to make interesting shadows.

Lesson 2: Manual Flash and Gear (Duration 10:56)

Syl goes over the gear needed to trigger your Speedlites in Manual mode - Good for when your subject-to-flash distance doesn't change - starting at the lower price range and going up to give you an idea of what will work for your camera and flash needs.

Lesson 3: ETTL Flash and Gear (Duration 12:24)

ETTL is Canon's proprietary automatic flash mode. This is good for when your subject-to-flash distance constantly changes. Learn about ETTL flash and the gear needed.

Lesson 4: One-Light Portraits (Duration 14:22)

Syl demos how taking your Speedlite off camera and changing the flash's zoom will dramatically change the light quality of your portrait with even one flash. Plus, learn one way to create soft light.

Lesson 5: More Soft Light Techniques (Duration 10:56)

In addition to the diffuser disc, learn two more ways to create soft light with an umbrella and a soft box. Plus, learn where to position your equipment to create different light.

Lesson 6: Triggering a One-Light Outdoor Portrait (Duration 04:06)

Syl creates an outdoor set up in golden light and adds more golden fill light by using his master Speedlight to trigger the slave Speedlight nearby.

Lesson 7: Setting the Master Speedlite (Duration 10:06)

Learn how to set up your master light, set your channels, enable or disable the master, and set your ratios from the back of your camera (depending on your model). Speedlite function locations will differ on different cameras. Syl shows you where to find them.

Lesson 8: Setting the Slave Speedlight(s) (Duration 04:11)

Syl goes over the settings for slave lights including groups, channels and zoom settings.

Lesson 9: Putting it All Together (Duration 09:30)

Now that the Master and slave lights are set up, Syl puts it all together and shares his camera settings, Speedlite groups and ratios to show you how he gets his shot. Plus, Syl explains what this whole "ratio thing" is all about.

Lesson 10: Creating Beauty Light (Duration 03:31)

Syl demos how to create beauty light inexpensively with a "clamshell" lighting set up.

Lesson 11: Making a Key and Accent Light Set-Up (Duration 08:39)

Syl puts the Master Speedlite in a soft box and uses it to trigger the Slave Speedlight to create a soft-light shot with a rim light accent.

Lesson 12: How to Photograph a Group (Duration 05:16)

It can take a lot of Speedlights for a group shot so call in your Cannonista friends to get this set up right.

Lesson 13: After Dark (Duration 02:39)

Syl creates an outdoor shot at night with three Speedlites and some colored gels.

Meet Your Instructor: Syl Arena

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,…


  1. Syl is a legend. LOved this course. I shoot Nikon and even though he is talking about Canon I learned a lot. Besides useful information about lighting I also learned why Nikon rules. 1/200th max sync, 3 channels, no wireless for cheaper speedlites hehehehehehehe LMFAO! Great stuff Syl, more please

  2. Syl Arena is a very talented teacher. He explains the relevant information clearly and in an organized manner and does not fill the audio with irrelevancies. I have his speed lighting book, which is very good, now I know why. I wish he made more pieces for Kelby. ---- No, I'd keep it between us

  3. Thank you! I enjoyed Syl and just purchased his book after watching this course. I also appreciate Kelby Training putting in a Canon Flash course (I sometimes feel Kelby Training is a little more Nikon oriented). I really, really hope you have Syl back to do a course on the new Canon 600 Speedlite. He already has a few 600 videos on his blog and they are very good. Thanks again!

  4. I have just finished the two courses Syl has, and I'm so thrilled!! From knowing nothing - and understanding even less! - when using my speedlight I suddenly understand what's going on! Thank you so much for making the mystery of flash photography a little bit less mysterious :-) Gry Offernes

  5. It should be noted this course predates the 600 flash with radio. That changes so much of what Syl covers in this course. I'd come back for the update.

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