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UPDATED! Top Seven Reasons Canon Speedlites Misfire when using RadioPoppers and How to Fix Them

June 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

UPDATED with new information. See Point 1 below.

Have you ever been using your Speedlites in wireless mode and the slave flashes do a full power dump, blowing out your photo in near-pure white (and burning through your batteries)? Or sometimes they just won’t pop at all?

I love my Canon Speedlites and my RadioPopper PX triggers. So much so that I recently sold off my Quantum T5d-Rs, and I’ve almost fully transitioned to using just Speedlites for all aspects of my wedding & portrait photography.

I typically bring 10 Canon Speedlites – all triggered with RadioPoppers – to wedding, engagement and portrait shoots and I use them in wireless mode all day long.

I guess you could call me a #Speedlite #Strobist.

I’m pretty sure I’ve run into (hopefully) every kind of misfire and malfunction one can experience when using Canon Speedlites and RadioPopper PXs, and I’m pretty sure I know what to do to fix them on the spot.

What do I mean by “misfire”? I’m referring to either a total dump (when your flashes fire at full power), or unexpected results (too little light or too much light pouring out of your Speedlites), or where your Speedlites just won’t pop at all.

If your Speedlites and RadioPoppers are misfiring, this is how to fix them, in order of likelihood of source of trouble and ease of fix:

  1. BATTERIES!: change all batteries, in Speedlites and in RadioPoppers. NOTE: I am updating this post to reflect just how important your batteries are, and how likely they are to be the point of failure. Recently I’ve started using expensive Lithium AA and AAA batteries in both my Speedlites and RadioPopper triggers. Not only do I know get lightning fast recharging and availability time from my flashes, but virtually all of the instability (full dumps, no firing) goes away with fresh Lithium batteries. Lithium batteries also last much, much longer than either Alkaline or rechargeable, and they are noticeably lighter. While their two disadvantages are big (expensive and not rechargeable), Lithium batteries in your Speedlites and RadioPoppers offer big enough advantages that I have decided to always use them going forward for any jobs that generate significant revenue, like commercial, wedding, elopement, editorial and headshot jobs. If you’re just starting out or experimenting probably better to stick with rechargeables.
  2. Blocked Infrared Port: check if the foam doughnut has slipped and is blocking the infrared port on the RadioPopper PX receiver.
  3. Reset Poppers: reset all of your RadioPoppers back to factory settings using the following steps from Page 15 of the RadioPopper user manual. For the PX Receiver / PX Transmitter (with the RadioPopper turned on)
  • Press “X” once
  • Press “P” seven times / eight times
  • Hold down “X” for six seconds
  • Power up your RadioPopper PX once, then again. Done! You’ve reset to factory specs.
  1. Loose Hotshoe: wiggle your master flash in the camera body hotshoe to reset it as snugly and tightly as possible.
  2. Broken Hotshoe: hotshoe on either camera body or on master Speedlite is bad, and needs to be repaired. Send to Canon Professional Services :-(.
  3. Slave Speedlite Not In Slave Mode: it’s easy to accidentally knock the slave mode switch off with the 430ex. It’s easy to forget to put canon’s other Speedlites (430exII, 580ex, 580exII) into slave mode.
  4. Master or Slave Speedlite in Wrong Channel: Much harder to accidentally put either the master or slave in the wrong channel, but once you’ve temporarily changed channels (say to divide lights between 1st & 2nd photographers at reception) it’s easy to forget to set them back. I have.

Notice that of these seven causes of misfires only two are the fault of the RadioPoppers. In my experience misfires are usually caused by my batteries, my gear or my error, and the radiopoppers are simply passing on bad information.

NEON-orama! Engagement Elopement Photography at the Neon Museum Boneyard in Las Vegas, The Fremont, The Strip

April 28, 2014 | By | No Comments

Thinking about Neon Signs? What says “Las Vegas” more than a museum full of neon signs from Las Vegas’ past? Did you know that there is also a “mini-neon museum” down on the Fremont Street Experience? And of course, The Strip is chock full-o-neon everywhere you look.

This post is about neon, neon, neon. In this post I mean to give the newcomer an idea of what sort of neon and neon sign options are available when hiring a Vegas photographer for an elopement, a wedding ceremony, or just ‘cuz you want some neon in your life!

Downtown Vegas Old Vegas Fremont Street Elopement Photography STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTOGRAPHYLas Vegas Elopement Photography STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTOGRAPHY Old Vegas Downtown Vegas Classic Vegas Vintage Vegas Graffiti Street ArtLas Vegas Elopement Photographers Neon Museum STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTO FOGARTYFOTOElopement Photographers Las Vegas STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTOGRAPHY Old Vegas Photo TourIMG_1890-Las-Vegas-Elopement-Photography-Wedding-Photographers-STEVEN-JOSEPH-PHOTOGRAPHERS-Lucy-Ryan NEON! Fremont Street, Old Vegas, Classic Vegas, Downtown Vegas, Las Vegas Elopement Photography, STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTOGRAPHY 2014-4-26-IMG_2411.CR2-Vegas-Elopement-Photography-STEVEN-JOSEPH-PHOTOGRAPHY-Erin-and-NicholasIMG_1538-Las-Vegas-Elopement-Photography-Wedding-Photographers-STEVEN-JOSEPH-PHOTOGRAPHERS-Lucy-Ryan Read More

Las Vegas Photographers Brett & Jizelle Steal Photos

April 9, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

I don’t like that I am again blogging on a fauxtographer (Brett & Jizelle Photography) who steals the photography of other, real photographers, removes their watermark, overlays their own fraudulent watermark, posts that stolen work all over the Internet as their own, yet makes no apologies, no confession, and keeps on presenting themselves as an honest, qualified, skilled photographer. But here we go again.

This happens probably much more than you realize. To see the nearly daily documentation of petty thieves who steal photos like Las Vegas Wedding Photographers Brett & Jizelle Photography, all you need do is read Corey Doyle Balazowich’s excellent and depressing blog “Photo Stealers“, a “wall of shame [that] is dedicated to photographers that feel that it’s okay to steal others work and post it as their own.”

Las Vegas Wedding Photographers Brett & Jizelle ( | Photography) have been very busy promoting themselves all over as the newest Las Vegas Wedding Photographer, Las Vegas Engagement Photographer, Las Vegas Boudoir Photographer, and Las Vegas Headshot Photographer. Here’s an example of where they’ve been busily promoting their fauxtography:


Website 2:



You Tube:


Groupon Deal:


Scoop It:


I have contacted Brett Baughman to let him know that I will advertise his thieving photo stealing until he publicly apologizes and takes responsibility for his actions. Until then, dear reader, please know that one of Las Vegas’ newest and most aggressively self-promoting wedding photographers (“We’re Rock Stars!”) is a fake, fauxtographer, a common unrepentant thief. Caveat emptor.

Water Wars in Las Vegas – How Do You Stand the Heat? Here’s How.

June 28, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

It’s 112º in Vegas as I write this. Folks sometimes ask us, how can you stand the heat? Aside from the fact that the weather is perfect 9 months of the year, we also have pools everywhere. Friends have pools. Community pools & “splash parks” are everywhere. These shots are from a Memorial Day BBQ at our friend’s Rob & Saiko. We had a blast. And our kids LOVED IT. Thanks Saiko & Rob!

Our little boobaloo Lucas. Getting him to wear a life vest takes every trick I know as a parent of 4 boys. He’s even more STUBBORN than he is cute.

The girls holding their own.Cash Dylan in his element.Best buddies, Luke and Cash Dylan, big entrance.Our oldest boy Mason, already 13.Brothers Mason and Andrew.Only 13, already taller than his mom.Walking on water. That’s a pretty special kid you got there Rob & Saiko!Mexican standoff unleashed.

26 Dec



December 26, 2012 | By |

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#6. Ya Gotta Serve Somebody.

June 16, 2010 | By | One Comment

Offer to help those around you with your photography. Venues need good photography of their rooms, their gorgeous landscaping, their events in progress, their food. Friends need headshots. Friends need family shots. Spread the love (i.e., do these things for free) and the love comes back.