For many photographers, even professionals, there can be a sense of mystery and trepidation about using flash. "Unfortunately, it seems to be a hurdle a lot of people just never get beyond," says professional Canon photographer and flash enthusiast David Newton. "They buy a flash, they use it at all the wrong times, in all the wrong ways, it doesn't give them the results they want and then it languishes in a bag for eternity."
But flash doesn't have to be complicated and can easily be added to a photographer's arsenal, as David knows, having spent years running photography masterclasses across the UK. "The goal of photography is to control light," he says. "Flash is just a very powerful, small, portable light source that gives you control of light in situations where you wouldn't have it otherwise."
To demonstrate why a powerful Speedlite should be in every pro's kitbag, David used the Canon Speedlite EL-5 on a photoshoot with two urban dancers. He wanted to show how flash can be used in a range of setups, from simple to complex, to give photographers complete creative control – even when the light was at its most challenging. Here, David takes us through the shoot, explaining the increasingly intricate lighting setups he used to capture portraits and movement.