The Canon Speedlite system is an effective and powerful flash lighting system that will let you light just about anything with professional results. With that power comes complexity, and getting your flash to create the exact light you need can be a challenge. Many times people just give up in frustration. This is where the Speedliter's Handbook comes in.
In this book photographer Syl Arena will explain in detail everything you need to start taking spectacular photographs using Canon small flashes. He takes you from an exploration of light in general to the creation of spectacular looks using several flash units. The Speedliter's Handbook is 432 pages in length and contains 26 chapters and four appendixes that are divided into five parts.
Before the beginning of the first part there is an introduction that gives you some information on how best to work with this book. Then there is a chapter zero called "Quick start guide to Speedliting" that is for novices to the use of a Canon Speedlite. It talks about why you shouldn't use a pop-up flash, dealing with ambient light and other information on working with your flash.
Part One, "Before Speedlites, There Was Light," begins with the idea that the use of the flash is about first understanding the existing ambient light that is around you, and then using the flash to light with intent. Next you get into the mechanics of exposure and learn about ISO, aperture, and shutter speed as well as depth of field, exposure, metering, white balance, and how to determine the proper exposure.
Then it is on to the mechanics of light. This includes color and color temperature, different kinds of light, how light behaves, and how to think about flash in terms of stops. You will learn more about ambient light and the way it affects the scene, how to control it when working with flash, and how to blend the two. Finally, you will learn about the lighting compass, how to work with both on-axis and off-axis light as well as light from above and below.
Part Two, "Speedlites Fundamentally," begins with breaking down the current Speedlite families including the 580 EX II, 430 EX II, 270EX, and others. Here you will dissect a burst of flash along with looking in detail at these units. From here you will learn how to take control your Speedlite through the use of the various modes, sync, zooming as well as pan and tilt.