wow tony! thanks for starting this thread and sharing your info. i have been shooting w/o a flash for quite a long time, (trying out the old school method of using only natural light), but it's pretty apparent that with a flash the pics come out much better.
i am actually planning on trying these sorta shots (OCF), and 'overpowering the sun'. the idea was to get a speedlite mounted on a monopod, using the ST-e2 (no PWs yet :cry and getting an assistant to hold it up, moving around while i take the shots.
just wondering if you have ever encountered a midday shoot with the bare sun directly above the subjects, where do u usually place or face the flash? sorta like a standard studio shot (ie just off camera right and slightly higher than the subject?)