My First Photograph With The Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite

Croton-on-Hudson painter Eddi Flemming. Photographed © Rick Sammon
In gearing up for my Master Your Flash workshop here in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, I upgraded my speedlites to the new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. I also upgraded to the new Canon 5D Mark III.

To test the new gear, I set out to make a photograph of a person with a very discerning eye: local painter Eddi Flemming. Yes, I wanted to test and get familiar with my new camera and speedlites, but I also wanted Eddie to be 100 percent happy with the environmental portrait - a picture of the artist in her environment.

Hey! Did you notice how I framed Eddi in the red canvas in the background . . . just as a painter would frame his or her subject.

Above is the result of the shoot. Eddi not only loved the color, but she also commented on the sharpness of the image. I had the same comments. But for you photographers out there, I'll add that the new speedlites and transmitter are super easy to use - and the ETTL is super accurate.

I used two speedlites for the shoot - one set on channel A and the other on B. Both were set on ETTL.

My main speedlite, positioned to camera left in a Westscott Apollo Orb soft box, was set, via the on-camear transmitter, to 0EV exposure compensation.

My fill light, hand-held by my wife, Susan, was positioned to camera right and was set, via the transmitter, to -2EV for just a touch of fill light.

Adjusting the power output of the speedlites is a fast and easy, "touch-of-a-buttons and twirl-of-a-dial process."

I know a lot of pros who set their speedlites on the Manual mode. However, I have found that ETTL works perfectly for me. As my dad used to say, "To each his own."

Above is a behind-the-scenes shot taken by Susan. She was using a 5D Mark III and Canon 14mm lens. For my shot, I used my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 17-40mm lens.

My camera was tethered to my MacBook Pro with a Tether Tools kit.

One of my favorite Eddi Flemming paintings.
I think Eddi is having a good effect on my photography. Now, when I make a picture, I try to think like a painter - which is something I cover on all my workshops. I think more about shadows, and how important they are in a photograph. See the image below.

You'll find lots of lighting tips in my apps.

Explore the light,

P.S. Believe it or not, Rick "Raw Rules" Sammon shot at the RAW+ Large JPEG setting. The image you see here was from the Large JPEG settings. I'll process my RAW file when I get the ACR plug-in.