Godox Speedlite Glyn Dewis

Why I’m using Speedlites for my Portrait Work

In Kit by Glyn10 Comments

Since sharing Behind the Scenes pictures from some recent photo shoots, and some folks having seen me presenting lately at The Photography Show in Birmingham and Professional Imaging in the Netherlands I’ve been asked quite a few times about my choice of lighting. Now, when I say choice of lighting, I don’t mean my Westcott modifiers (more about them in a moment) but I mean the actual light source which you can see from the pictures below is a Speedlite:

Glyn Dewis Speedlite

Some people seem genuinely surprised to see that I’m using a Speedlite as opposed to a studio kind of light with it’s battery pack or mains power but the reality is that with the portrait work I’m doing at the moment, a Speedlite is more than adequate and has more than enough power.

More often than not, I’m photographing in people’s homes which means that space can be quite limited, it’s a controlled environment because I can close curtains, turn off room lights and so on but it’s also important to me to keep my kit as portable as possible and to a minimum; a Speedlite is the perfect choice.

When I’m taking portraits I very rarely, if ever, close down to anything more than around f/8.0 and this is a piece of cake for the Speedlite I’m using. I’m a Manual shooter and love to use a Light Meter but this past weekend whilst presenting in the Netherlands thought I’d try something different and shoot in TTL Mode; always a good move to try something new for the first time whilst on stage in front of a crowd right?!?! 🙂 Needless to say it worked a treat and was so incredibly fast and easy to set up.

My Speedlite and Transmitter

Godox Speedlite Glyn Dewis

  • Note: Check out the Westcott modifers I use in the My Gear page by CLICKING HERE

I’ve always avoided TTL in favour of Manual Mode because of how the light changes as the environment changes and this didn’t suit my style of shooting. However, the portraits I’m taking are in a consistent environment so gave me consistent results. It just worked and worked well. If I wanted more or less light I simply dialed it in quickly and easily using the transmitter on the camera.

As for my Westcott modifiers, because I use the Switch range, this means I can use the same modifiers with both Speedlite or Studio style lights / heads; all I need to do is flick a switch and change the adaptor / fitting.

So bottom line is YES, I am using Speedlite more these days. Will I use them all the time from now on? … well that just depends on the shoot, the environment, the lighting conditions and so on; it’s great to have choices though right?!?! 🙂

Cheers
Glyn

Comments

  1. Using speedlights like this was a revelation for me. I remember years ago watching Joe McNally doing this back when speedlights were a lot more fiddly. The range of well price godox gear for me has change everything. Portability is king.

    Great article Glyn

    1. Author

      Yeah Gareth…they really do seem a lot less fiddly these days and the prices for these units is fantastic.
      Cheers
      Glyn

  2. Dear Glyn,

    I would suggest you take a look at continues lighting. I use a rotolight neo II and a speedlite from godox. with a neo II you don’t need modifiers, you don’t need to measure your light, it’s small, lightweight, you can use (HSS) flash, you can adjust temperature but most important: it is wysiwyg. I love that.
    However there are 2 negatives. They are expensive (there are cheaper options than rotolight) and they are not so powerfull. So you can not overpower the sun. And for a complete adult body is also not enough. Therefore I use the speedlite.
    Yesterday I had a shoot and I had to light a full male body standing up. The neo II whas not enough so I used the speedlite. I am sooo done with setting up a speedlite, lightmeters, modifiers and I just started a year ago.
    The rotolight neo II is not enough to light a complete adult body standing up but for headshots it is more than capable. Maybe it’s bigger brother or another brand can be interesting for you.
    Btw… loved both your presentations on PI.

    Greetings from holland

    Marijn

    1. Author

      Hi Marjin

      I do have some continuous light from Westcott; the Solux which I absolutely love. I do however also prefer the Rapid Box Switch Medium or Large Octa and use them with the speedlights or studio light. With TTL I’m pretty much ‘spot on’ with the light from the first frame and I’m loving that.

      Great to have options though huh 🙂

      Cheers for stopping by
      Glyn

  3. I just recently got into off camera flash photography and purchased a Flashpoint Speedlite (US version of Godox and Adorama’s store brand) as my first light. Also picked up a Westcott 43″ Apollo Orb Octabox, and a Westcott 26″ Rapid Box Switch Octabox. For the light, trigger, both modifiers, and a Westcott X-drop background kit I think I spent around $600 (give or take).

    For now I’m just using a Canon Rebel T5i which has been awesome teaching me photography without spending thousands of dollars. Eventually, I will follow in your footsteps and move on over to the Sony Mirrorless world. It’s awesome to see someone on the “pro” level using similar gear to me. It just goes to show that you don’t need an insane budget to create beautiful photos.

    Thanks for sharing and continuing to be a source of inspiration 😉

    1. Author

      Cheers Brian and yeah exactly what Zack Arias said in a recent podcast episode about kit mate
      Cheers
      Glyn

  4. i have the canon vers of this kit. I love using the light, but man do i hate setting up the softbox or octabox. I try to break them down as little as possible so i can travel with them, but sometimes it still seems like a bit of effort getting them mounted and ready to shoot. Good read, sir.

    1. Author

      That’s why I use the Westcott stuff mate; the Rapid Box is literally out of the bag and ready in seconds 🙂

  5. I came here immediately I saw your post on Instagram. I’m starting out and setting up my own shooting space and for now, I’m using speedlites in softboxes. It bothered me because I’ve always wondered the differences between speedlites and strobes, apart from power and cost. Somehow, I’ve had this conception that strobes give better quality of light. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Author

      Love the speedlights mate. Combined with a good quality modifier they’re hard to beat.
      Cheers for stopping by
      Glyn

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