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Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites Paperback – Dec 19 2010


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Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites + Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots (Using Flash and Natural Light for Portrait, Still Life, Action, and Product Photography)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (Dec 19 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032171105X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321711052
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2.1 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 880 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover


About the Author

Syl Arena studied commercial photography at Brooks Institute and fine art photography at the University of Arizona. Over the years, Syl has shot for newspapers, magazines, and catalogs. He has been recognized for his expertise on color-critical workflow and his ability to turn noon to night by firing off a dozen Speedlites simultaneously. Syl covers the world of photography on his blogs, PixSylated.com and Speedliting.com, and he serves as the Director of the Paso Robles Workshops.

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Customer Reviews

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sean Stephens TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 2 2011
Format: Paperback
I admit, I had pretty high expectations for this book after hearing Syl Arena speak about it and about various topics of his expertise in the year or so prior to the release of this book.
I wasn't disappointed!
I've been dabbling in [...] work for some time, and a dedicated Canon photographer who'd already dabbled in Speedlites with 2 of my own. Backing all this up I have a Bachelors degree in Theatre Lighting and 12 years working as a entertainment lighting technician. I know a couple things about using light :)
This book is excellently broken up into well thought out chapters and sub headings that don't bury the lead and let readers of any level jump right to what they need to get started with, as well as move through the book in the way that suits them best.

Syl Arena knows lighting, and as importantly, is a master of the Canon flash system. This book is all I could have asked for in him passing on that knowledge to the reader.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jason Hughes on Jan. 6 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been using Canon Speedlite's as an avid amateur for a few years now and I really must say that this book is amazing. It's great for anyone who uses the Canon system (or any other flash system for that matter), from those who just got their first DSLR over the holidays to those who've been shooting for years.
Syl Arena's vast knowledge and easy writing style make this book incredibly easy to read, understand and absorb; all of which helped me apply the content quickly and easily. While reading the book I found that new ideas started taking shape and I suddenly realized that my love of photography had been focused (no pun intended) and intensified. This is not simply a book about the Canon Speedlite system but a book about photography. And a great one at that.

I saw the quality of my lighting improve almost right away. Better understanding and control of light makes better images. Buy this book now.

Thanks Syl!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John H Watson on March 1 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well done! It has been a long time since I've read a book that I have enjoyed more.
Very complete, well organized, easy to read, no self-promotion, full of examples and how-to info. I'm 3 chapters away from finishing and I'm going to be sorry when I am finished.

I'm am an experienced amateur, with lots of ambient light experience. I always hated the flash, because I could never get it to look right. Now I understand why. I am looking forward to applying what I have learned. Thanks for writing such an excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sticknpuck on Feb. 14 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a great reference book with tons of practical information. I'm a beginner and this book will come in very useful for a long time.

The one thing they probably could have left out is the techique that involves the way the cover was shot. Using multiple speedlights Syl is able to capture this great image but really, how many of us are going to have access to a dozen speedlights in order to achieve this kind of shot? That's like $6k in speedlights!! Again, i'm no expert, but I think there are probably better ways to achieve this shot with a lot less.

All in all, totally worth the money. Gives you all you need to get started and get creative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DJBostonlover on Jan. 6 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the last year I have purchased quite a few photography books. This is without a doubt one of the very best. If you are a Canon user and have a Canon Speedlite of the 430 EX 11 or 530 EX 11 variety, this book is for you. Author Syl Arena is not only a great photographer, he is a great teacher. His book is extremely well organized. Every concept he teaches is accompanied by a photograph or diagram. And you never have to turn the page you are reading to look at those photographs or diagrams. They are right there. Also, he provides the camera and flash settings he used. Great diagrams show his lighting setups. The book covers virtually every topic needed to start taking better flash pictures both indoors and out. The book is very current. For any gear that he suggests a person might want to purchase, a photograph is provided. You never have to guess or imagine what he is talking about. Quite honestly, I think I would have had a hard time learning how to use my Speedlite effectively without this book. The manual for the flash unit leaves a lot to be desired.

I know that I will be referring to Mr. Arena's book over and over again. If you are serious about wanting to take better flash pictures, I can highly recommend it to you. It is so comprehensive in its coverage that there is likely no need to purchase any other book on the same topic. This book does it all in a down to earth, easy to understand fashion. And with the exception of some very specialized lighting setups (detailed near the end of the book) which are really fun and interesting, this book talks to those of use who do NOT have professional studios. It is directed mainly at those who have one or two Speedlites and probably won't ever have more than this. Mr. Arena is also very practical when he suggests additional equipment such as stands and light modifiers that we amateurs might like to acquire. Great book. I wish all books were this good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DR. D on Feb. 19 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a superb book!. It covered all the topics I was wanting covered regarding flash photography. Without a doubt, I will be using the thought process, tips and equipment suggestions for the rest of my life. I have Nikon flashes (SB900 + SB600) and the info stream is seamless for them. Let's keep the review clean and simple - superb book - if you are even remotely considering buying it then stop procrastinating and do yourself a big favour - buy it!
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