Sunday, September 21, 2008

Speaking Engagement

I've been asked to provide a presentation of my work to a local camera club here in Colorado.  I'll be speaking to the FOCUS CAMERA CLUB on October 7th, 2008 at 7 PM at the animal hospital located at County Line & Holly.  If your local or visiting the area and would like to attend please let me know, I can provide more information for you.

I really enjoy these opportunities to speak to various clubs and schools about the field of professional photography. I love sharing my knowledge and passion for the art.  Over the years, I have spoken to numerous camera clubs and photography schools around the country.

If you are interested in having me present to your club or organization feel free to contact me.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Arlington, TX Small Strobes, Big Results Workshop

The Arlington, TX "Small Strobes, Big Results" workshop is quickly filling up!  If you've entertained the thought of attending a workshop,  move fast.  This workshop will be special, our host Mark is a veteran firefighter with the Arlington FD.

Mark has arranged for the workshop to be held at their location station house 14 which is attached to the Fire Training Academy.  How cool/hot is that!

Don't wait until all the spaces are full,  contact me regarding registration.  DT

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Subject Driven Lighting

This photograph was taken on my recent trip to Wyoming shooting pipeline work around the Green River & Rock Springs area. Work crews cut out early on the pipeline, anywhere around 4 or 5 PM. During the summer months, this leaves plenty of good light with no workers to photograph.

Before a particular trenching crew took off for the day, I asked to have a backhoe positioned close to the string of pipe. The operator of the backhoe showed us how to turn on the lights on the rig if we wanted them on. Of course we want them on, can we also take it out for a spin?

I order to light this photograph, I placed a Nikon SB-800 in the cab of the backhoe using a Justin Clamp. I placed the strobe above the visor with the diffusion dome attached, and I fired the strobe with a PocketWizard. You can see that the strobe in the cab not only lights the interior, it also provide some nice light on Erik. I positioned the cab door open in order to allow the light to reach Erik on the ground.

Here is the first shot in this series. You will notice as I did, how lifeless the outside front of the backhoe looks without light on it. In order to put more interest in the photo, I positioned a second strobe on the outside of the backhoe to light the front of the cab.

The second strobe, another Nikon SB-800 attached to a Justin Clamp was positioned on the backside of the bucket in order to provide light to the outside of the backhoe. This strobe was also fired via PocketWizard. The diffusion dome was removed and the wide angle plastic extender was placed over the lens of the strobe.

Subject driven lighting is a believable light, one that does not draw attention to the photographers hand. I'm not going for that "Hey, look at my light" style of photography, it's more about "creating light" that's believable.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Justin Clamp To The Rescue

Working on that pipeline job last week provided some tough shooting in mid day sunlight. The welding crew work under a blue canopy along side a tracker which carried the juice to run the welders. This was our first day on site and the welding crew was shut down after just a few minutes of shooting. The welding crew was working without a supervisor on site and because of that, they had to stop working.

Apparently, their where a few welders being trained and the on site supervisor was conducting the training. Who knows, I managed to get a few shots before the work ended.

You can see from the photo below, I have clamped a Nikon SB-800 using a Justin Clamp to the overhead canopy. I was firing this strobe using the CLS method.

By fastening the strobe to the canopy, my flash to subject distance remains the same as the crew move down the pipeline. This set up provided consistent flash exposures shot to shot, it also allowed me the opportunity to concentrate on composition instead of worrying about changing flash exposure.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

VA Workshop, Battle Creek, MI

Today was our first day of a 3 day "Small Strobes, Big Results" workshop at the VA Hospital in Battle Creek, MI We have a total of 8 workshop participants from various VA hospitals in the surrounding region. The majority of the attendees have been using "on camera" flash as their primary light source.

This has been an exciting day of discovery for the participants of the workshop! With the first demo of a "location portrait" shot with off camera flash, we had them hooked. I'm sure you remember, the first time you saw the results of "quality" flash from a hot shoe speed light.

After a full morning of discussing the principles of light and how to control and modify the quality of light from our small strobes, we headed out on location to shoot. Our first subject was a nurse from down the hall who volunteered to be photographed.

In this photo, we bounced one SB-800 off the wall at camera right. I shot this using my 85 mm f/1.4 lens, shot at 1/250 of a second @ f/2.5, ISO 200. The walls of the hallway where off white and it provide a wonderful situation for a bounce technique. Not only does the bounce wall provide a great surface to do so, the return wall provides a wonder fill on the shadow side of the face.

After the photo above, we headed downstairs to a long hallway which connects several of the building together on the VA hospital campus. We photographed Angela, one of our workshop attendees in the hallway using the windows as a design element. The first exposure (below), was shot to illustrate to the workshop the existing light we had to work with. The second photo shows the use of bounced light off the wall at camera left. Bouncing the strobe on the left wall, reinforces the feeling that the light might be coming from another window like those on the left side of the hallway.

After shooting in the long hallway, we headed to a theater they have on campus. Here we photographed two other participants of the workshop demonstrating the use of shoot through umbrellas and snooted light sources.

This photo was shot using a shoot through 42 inch double folding Wescott umbrella, 85 mm f/1.4 lens, 1/4 second @ f/1.4, ISO 200. The choice of an f stop of 1.4 should be obvious, I wanted to drop the background into a soft out of focus area drawing the viewer eye to the subject. The shutter was dragged to a 1/4 of a second in order to record the ambient light striking the back blue wall.

In the photo above, we used daylight coming through a doorway at the top of the stairs to light the stairwell and a snooted SB-800 to light our subject. 1/20 second @ f/3.2, 50 mm lens. I'm looking forward to tomorrows discoveries at the VA.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Small Strobes, Big Results Michigan

Well I'm off to Michigan to teach two Small Strobes, Big Results workshops.  Starting Wednesday I'll be teaching a 3 day intensive lighting workshop for the VA hospital in Battle Creek, MI.  On Saturday the 6th, I'll be in Ferndale, MI (just north of Detroit) teaching a one day SSBR workshop.  I'm looking forward to both workshop and meeting each of you attending!

I just got back this past Saturday shooting pipeline work in Wyoming, you can see some of the work produced on the previous post.  I wanted to add some additional shots we did on the last day on the project.

Look for more posts during the week. DT