Zack Arias has PDN Presentation Online

Yesterday I went to PDN’s Virtual Trade Show. It was pretty good. The technology that made it possible is getting there. I think they have some integration pieces to work on, but it turned out fine.

The highlight of the day (for me anyway) was the creative lighting session done by Zack Arias. But I missed it. I was out, and didn’t get back until just after his part was over, and someone else was talking about lighting toys/models creatively. It was interesting, but I had wanted to hear Zack.

Lucky for me, Zack has posted his presentation in PDF form, and has a Q&A thing going on¬†at his blog. At the end of the second presenter, they also said they would put the presentations online, but I haven’t seen them yet.

20 Giants Of Off-Camera Photographic Lighting

On Seshu’s website there is great list of 20 photographers that are masters of light, and who are willing to pass on the knowledge. These photographers offer worshops, DVD’s, blogs and books. I have seen many of their websites, and have lots of their workshops and materials on my wish list. You should check out this list and see who you don’t know.

Lighting Friday

I have a whole bunch of lighting related stuff to mention today:

starving student kit sx1I got my starving student kit (SX2) from Midwest Photo Exchange. This is a pretty neat kit. If you check out the link you will see all the stuff that is included. The highlights are the stand (fairly compact), a shoot through umbrella, a swivel that connects the stand, the umbrella, the flash, and allows the flash/umbrella to tilt. The umbrella is really compact when folded.

I decided to get the kit to get all the pieces to try it out. They are supportive of the strobist community, and the kit gets a discount. There is some other stuff in the kit that will be fun to play with too. Gells, tape, straws and cinefoil to use to make DIY light shaping tools.

Mpex also has a new all manual flash, the LumoPro LP120  for only $129 that I might look at later.

Photoflex Lightdome

Well, I decided that the umbrella wasn’t enough, I needed to spring for a softbox. We had been using them in the studio lighting class exclusively, and this small LightDome that works on my SB800 was on sale. I head of this gem from Matt Brandon. He¬†posted about¬†using one here and then PhotoFlex was highlighting him.

What makes this kind of funny is that tomorrow I am going to go take pictures of a newborn with this very contraption. Just so happens that friends down the street just had their second baby, and I just happened to get a light box. Coincidence?

This is not the same item, but I will try the same ideas as this strobist post too soon.


I am also finally going to get to use my new light toy. Well, those other things are really my newest light toys, but at one time this was, and I haven’t used it yet. I need to make sure it is changed up. Heading out with some friends to hit a barn with 2 million¬†watts of light. Actually, 8 million watts of light if we all hit the barn with the lights. Might even be too much light! Anyway, that should be fun.

So, lots of new toys, and I am going to try to use them all this weekend. Everyone always says you shouldn’t buy new shoes the day before the big race, and I probably shouldn’t head to take portraits with¬†new equipment¬†I have never tried before, but hey, what the heck. Pictures to follow.

New studio lighting class tonight

TestI am psyched. Today is the second day of my studio lighting class. The class is going to be down at the instructor’s studio. He is bringing in live models, and we will be using his strobes. He has some radio triggers (pocket wizards I think) that he is planning to use. He will have the recievers set up on the lights, and just hand us the transmitter when it is our turn. I will have more about the evening later.

Very Cool Shoot and Post Tutorial

Well, I just stumbled along this guest post on Scott Kelby’s blog. Ok, stumble is not the correct word as I usually stop by every day or two. This is from photographer Dustin Snipes, and a shoot he did of high school basketball stars.

This was just good timing, as I started the studio lighting class yesterday. It is great to see how others have set up their lights, and the effect on the pictures. Even better how he shows how he created the entire look, from the lights to the post processing. I like his use of the “high contrast” look. (Even better that he knows that this is not a look for every pictures.)

I learned a great photoshop tip from this post too. One way to “dodge and burn” is to create a new layer an fill it with 50% grey.¬†Then¬†set the blending mode to Softlight. Now, with a¬†brush opacity¬†of 5% and¬†hardness of¬†0%¬†, you can paint with either white or black. This will accent the highlights or darken the shadows just by switching the brush color on the same layer. Neat.

Cousins Day

I posted about the Cousins Day at the farm last weekend. I finally got to putting the pictures up on Most of them turned out fairly good for unposed candids in pretty harsh light.

I don’t know how I would manage it, but I have been reading about using reflectors and diffusers recently. I have been rereading Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography 2. It is all about lighting. A lot about studio lighting, but there are many things to learn/remember that could be useful. I would just have to buy more gear. There is always something.

Today, David du Chemin talked about just those kinds of things. There are the very expensive studio kind, and the just a little expensive, portable, they work pretty well kind, that maybe I could consider.

Now I just have to figure out how to get Kate to walk around and be my assistant.

Update: Here is another blog entry on using the diffusers.