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Syl Arena


SYL | 'sill'

1. short for 'Sylvester'
2. rhymes with 'Bill', 'Phil' and 'Will'
3. not pronounced 'Sile' or 'Sly'

Syl Arena freely admits that he is obsessed with light—seeing it, creating it, and sharing it. Second only to his iconic red hair, Syl is most widely known for his manta “To create interesting light, you have to create interesting shadows.”

Through his passion for lighting, Syl has become the voice for Speedliters around the globe. His innovative Speedlite techniques, such as high-speed sync and gang lighting, have enabled photographers far and wide to create dramatic light with small flash on location and in the studio.

Fortunately, Syl is not one to keep secrets. His best-selling Speedliter’s Handbook is nearly 400-pages of how-to and why-to on small flash techniques. Syl blogs about small flash on Speedliting.com and about the photo world in general on PixSylated.com. He has written articles about lighting for GPP, EOS Magazine, and the Canon Pro Network. Syl is also the author of LIDLIPS: Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School—a collection of 100 micro-essays on photography.

A life-long shooter, Syl pursues his obsession with light as both professional photographer and cinematographer from his home in California’s central-coast wine district.