Canon Speedlite Portrait Video

I shot a Canon speedlite portrait video just so you could see how simple the lighting set-up was.

I gave myself a challenge to create professional studio lighting by using just one Canon speedlite.  I set-up the mannequin, camera, tripod and speedlite in my basement to avoid any stray light from affecting my lighting.

Canon 270EX II Speedlite Basement Portrait-no Fill Light

The portrait shown here was shot with a single Canon Speedlite 270EX II.

A Canon G11 camera was turned sideways to get a Portrait orientation.

The tilting head on the 270EX II was in the in the 90 degree position.

Monica the Mannequin was placed about 3 feet in front of the wall.

The camera and flash were 6 feet from Monica.

The Canon Speedlite 270EX II is a very small shoe mounted flash.

When aimed at the white cinder block wall it becomes a large light source.

I did a slight modification to my first lighting set-up by adding another surface to bounce light onto my subject.

I set-up a large piece of white Foam-Core to the left of my subject to fill in the shadow just a bit.


Canon-270EX-ii-speedlite-basement-portrait-with-fill-light.jpg

The resulting speedlite portrait has a nice natural-looking soft feel to it.  I agree it's not dramatic.

It's simple and achievable if you are in a situation where you can bounce a single speedlite against a large surface.

You can add a little fill light with any portable light-reflecting surface that doesn't have too much of a color cast to it.

The ceiling is 8 feet high and painted white so it provides a nice mount of light to give good hair detail as well. 

I have used color walls to bounce off of, but it can be tricky to color correct afterwards if you bounce light from a highly saturated wall.

It was dark in my basement so the video quality is not so good.

You can at least see how the speedlite is mounted on top of the camera and faces sideways.

I shot the video vertically, so you may want to hit the full-screen option to see it better.


Here is the Canon Speedlite Portrait Video:


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I shot this Canon speedlite portrait video with my latest and greatest toy, the Canon 5D Mark III.

I forgot to mention in the Canon speedlite portrait video that the "foam-core" used as a reflector is a very lightweight cardboard-type of material available at your local art or hobby store.

I use it  a lot when I am shooting portraits.  It is rigid and very lightweight.  I can use it with Speedlites, my studio lights as well as with outdoor portraits and natural fill. 

It is my hope that you find useful information on this web site.  It is completely free for your use.  If you gain some insight or knowledge about a specific Canon camera or speedlite or other accessory, please consider this. 

If you are going to buy some equipment from an on line retailer, here is a suggestion.  I get a little kick back from Amazon if you go to the amazon site from CanonCameraGeek.  

For 8 consecutive years now (as of 2012), they lead the world in customer satisfaction.

That doesn't mean they are perfect.  Neither am I.  Perhaps you are not either.  They just do a great job most of the time for most of their clients-better than other retailers.  Their return policy is super.

It is my hope that you find useful information on this web site.  It is completely free for your use.  If you gain some insight or knowledge about a specific Canon camera or speedlite or other accessory, please consider this. 

If you are going to buy some equipment from an on line retailer, here is a suggestion.  I get a little kick back from Amazon if you go to the amazon site from CanonCameraGeek.  

For 8 consecutive years now (as of 2012), they lead the world in customer satisfaction.

That doesn't mean they are perfect.  Neither am I.  Perhaps you are not either.  They just do a great job most of the time for most of their clients-better than other retailers. Their return policy is super.


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Written by Bruce Lovelace



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This is the only source of light in these portraits, a Canon 270EX II Speedlite

Simple portrait lighting with a Canon Speedlite 270EX-II


You can also combine bounced light upward with a small "catch-light" forward with a home-made reflector.