Thanks for the replies
About the sign in #1, of course you are right, I was so absorbed with all those new settings that I forgot to look really good in the whole frame.
On the techniques:
Al shots with the flash off camera, on a stand, flash on manual mode, camera on manual mode, linked through wireless triggers. (No TTL triggers that cost a fortune)
First one on sunset near the sea, flash blasts though a white umbrella with a ¼ CTO gel (filter) on 1/8 power.
Second same as the first only the WB set to tungsten to have a blue background and flash with a full CTO gel to make the flash match tungsten light so the subject is balanced.
Third done with two flashes, one behind the subject slightly warmed with a gel, second with a reflective umbrella to illuminate the subject.
No 4, exercise in shutting down completely ambient light (it was a relatively lit place but a “bad harsh light ” ) shot with a reflective umbrella partially closed to make it more directional.
No 5, flash with a soft box on a voice commanded stand (the instructor) on left and above
Canon PowerShot S100
Canon 50D , SIGMA 10-20 f3.5 ,Canon EF 24-105 L IS USM, Canon EF 100/2.8 macro Canon EF 50/1.4 ,Canon EF 85 f1.8,Canon EF-S17-85 4-5.6 Old Tamron 28-300 inherited from my Canon Rebel G film camera