Thursday, December 06, 2012

Current Workshop Schedule 2013

I have a few dates booked for workshops in 2013, whether through my own SSBR workshops or through other venues.  I wanted to let you know what I have currently going on and where you can find me teaching.

I am offering a Denver SSBR lighting workshop on Feb. 9, 2013.  This workshop is only open to 12 participants.  For more information and registration click HERE.

On February 21-24, 2013 I'll be is San Antonio, TX teaching a special speedlight workshop with my friend Dave Black and Michael Clark for the Popular Photography/ America PHOTO Mentor Series.  These sell out fast, please check with the Mentor Series for availability.

On March 13-16th, 2013 I'll be teaching at The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.  I have been teaching at The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops for the past 5 years. I love teaching here, by far my favorite venue for teaching.  Please contact them for registration.

On April 5-7th, 2013 I'll be leading a Mentor Series Trek to the beautiful California Coast of the Monterey Bay.  I am really looking forward to photographing the beautiful scenery around the Monterey Peninsula.  I grew up in California and I’ve spent a lot time in this area.  Some of my favorite photographers lived in this area, does Ansel Adams or Edward Weston ring a bell.

I'll be teaching with Michael Schwarz, he's a super guy and great photographer.

On April 13th I am offering a  Denver SSBR lighting workshop.  This workshop is open to only 12 participants. For more information and registration click HERE.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Manila and The Wells Fargo Coach

I've just returned for my trip to the Philippines, I was in Manila for a 3 day Small Strobes, Big Results workshop as well as a speaking engagement for Nikon.  Manila is a fascinating place, busy for sure! Traffic jams the likes I've never seen before, and a metro population of about 11 million people.

While in Manila, my host Tony Tan arranged for me to gain access to a roof top of Metro Bank in central Manila (Makati City).  Here are a few city views from that vantage point.

 Check out the Cemetery between the buildings. This the the South Manila Cemetery, strange site.

Here is one of the photo taken during the SSBR workshop.  I photographed Pamela Tan in this really cool old Wells Fargo Stage Coach.  The lighting was pretty straight forward.  2 Speedlights used, the key light was an SB-800 with barndoors attached and the second was straight flash to fill the inside of the coach.
Here is the final version with a bit of post processing.  Nik Color Efex Pro 2.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shooting is Small Offices

We all have to shoot in small office spaces from time to time.  A small office does not mean you can't create a photograph that has some mood to it.  I was shooting for a large energy company in Denver several years back and made this photo.
I used 3 lights for this shot. I had 2 lights with grids directed on the walls, one on the left wall and the other near the center of the wall behind my subject.  The third light, the main or key light was a small softbox feathered toward the lens. Feathering the light prevented filling the entire room with light and killing the effect of the grided light on the wall.  DT

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Philippines Workshop

I'll be traveling to the Philippines in November for a special 3 day Small Strobes, Big Results workshop.  This workshop will be held at the famous Fernwood Gardens in Quezon City (Manila), Philippines.  This workshop will have plenty of hands on lighting and post production work as well.  The workshop will take place on Nov. 20-22, 2012.  For more information and booking a space, contact Pamela at
I'll also be giving a public presentation in Manila, sponsored by Nikon.  The location has not been announced yet, I'll let you know as soon as I know.  DT

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Mexico, Mentor Series Trek

We have a few more spaces available for this truly wonderful Mentor Series New Mexico Trek.  This 3 day workshop starts on October 5 and will end on the 7th, the weather this time of year in New Mexico is spectacular! We'll be shooting the very famous Balloon Festival with VIP access.  We'll also going to visit the Kasha-Kaluwe Tent Rocks National Monument.  This will truly be a photo opportunity of a lifetime!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


This past weekend was another SSBR workshop in Denver.  My model was a wonderful young lady named Alexa.  In this photo, I placed Alexa right next to an inside window.  I taped a sheet of ripstop nylon to the outside of the window, and shot my SB-800 through the nylon sheet. 

Here Alexa lit using one SB-800 fitted with a full cut CTO gel on the flash head, simulating late afternoon sunlight.  I projected the flash through a acetate I painted with patterned leafs, this produces a nice dapple effect on the wall.

In this last photo, Alexa put on a football uniform and I did a 4 light sports look.  The key light is a FourSquare™ with one SB-800, 2 SB-800's with grids fitted with a full CTO giving me some warmth on the kicker.  I have one last SB-800 directed on the wall just behind her.  DT

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Available light can be so beautiful!  My son Chris asked if I could take some photos of his girlfriend for her senior photos.  This is Lauren. I spent a few hours with the two of them shooting in various location close to home.  Her parents wanted a few shots around their home and I had a few locations in mind as well.

I took the above photo of Lauren on an enclosed patio at the Highlands Ranch Mansion which is close to my home.  There was an open arch on camera left and another to the rear and right.  Look like it was studio lit to me, sometimes you get really lucky with a location.

The photo above was shot under threatening skies, periodic showers would interrupt our scheduled shoot by my pond.  I placed an SB-800 back by the fence fitted with a full CTO gel on it to simulate late afternoon light. Lauren is lit by a FourSquare with a few SB-800's inside.

Here I placed Lauren on the shady side of a tree at the H.R. Mansion, Chris is holding the FourSquare on camera right.  My exposure is based on the ambient and then under exposed. The flash is used to pull the subject out of silhouette.

This last photo was taken with available light at her parents house.  An older daughter was photographed in the backyard and Lauren's mother wanted one shot there as well.  This is only the second Senior photo I've taken, both as favors.  I had a wonderful time photographing Lauren, Chris really like it as well.

I have a few more spaces available for my August 18th, Small Strobes, Big Results workshop.  For information in registration follow the following LINK.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


A few weeks back, I was shooting for a client at a location in Summit County, near Winter Park Ski Resort.  After the shoot, I took a few extra hours with my assistant John and photographed some moving water on a local stream.  My exposure was f/20 at 2 seconds. 

We had an opportunity to move around the stream a bit and managed to get a few additional images. Let's take a look at a few of them.

I cooled down the color temp of the water portion of the photo, Perhaps a bit to much... Your thoughts?  The exposure was f/16 at 1/4 second.

Here's another view of the same stream.  The exposure on this one is f/22 at 1 second.

Here is the last image of the same stream just a bit further down stream.  The exposure here was f/22 at 1/4 second.  I love slow exposures when shooting moving water.  I carry a few ND (neutral density) filters in my bag just in case I need to reduce the exposure for a longer shutter speed.  DT

Friday, July 06, 2012

First Friday Gallery Walk

Today is the first Friday of the month and in Denver, that means Gallery Night.   For many years now, Denver has had this event called First Friday.  Each month on the first Friday in the art district on Santa Fe Drive, galleries open their doors to crowds ranging between 3500- 5000 people.  Apparently, it is quite the social thing, I say apparently because I have never been to one of these events.

I decided to participant in my first First Friday, and tonight is that night.  I have put together a collection of my personal work for sale at Studio One at 802 Santa Fe Drive in Denver.  These images include cell phone photos as well as DSLR, personal work created on assignment or during my personal travels.

My wall consists of 31 images, framed in a 10.5 inch square frame.  These are Epson prints produced from my Epson 3800.  I'm looking forward to this evening and I hope that my personal work resonates with the viewer.

I might also mention that I still have a few spaces available for the Denver Small Strobe, Big Results Workshop on August 18th.  For more information and registration click HERE.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bed Sheet or Ripstop Nylon

There is one modifier that I do not leave home without, I always carry a large sheet of Ripstop Nylon.  You would also carry a large bed sheet, I just think a sheet has to much weight. 

With a large diffusion sheet be it a bed sheet or nylon fabric, you can shoot your strobes through it or even bounce you light off of it.  In  the photo above, I simply taped the nylon sheet to a window and shot my SB-800 through it.  Soft beautiful light.

If your shooting inside where direct sunlight is streaming through a window, you can use this same sheet to diffuse that harsh light.  I will often in narrow hallways, tape this sheet to the door frame of an office.  Here is an older post regarding that use.

I mention here that I have a Small Strobes, Big Result workshop coming up this August 18th in Denver, for more information regarding attending click HERE.  DT

Friday, June 01, 2012

Chris's Portrait

This is my son Chris. Ever so often he allows me to photograph him, allowing me to try out some new lighting techniques.  This portrait was shot using two SB-800's, one in a 22" beautiy dish and the other inside a super large softbox.
The progression of this portrait is shown below.  The first image on the left is with the beautiy dish by it self, the center is with some fill (too much), and the last image is with the amount of fill I settled on.
The fill that used in this portrait was a super large softbox (4' X 6'). In the detail photo below you can see my silhouette in front of the softbox.

Here is a photo of the set up.

It's nice to have some time at home to shoot for myself and practice with my lights. I really think of my small studio space in my home as my laboratory to work out different lighting scenarios. I am constantly telling my workshop participants that you need to practice with your lights, I've been shooting for 30 years and I still practice with my lights when not working.
I'll be at the University of Miami in Ohio later this month conducting 3 workshops for the UPAA. I also have some space available in my August 18th Small Strobes, Big Results workshop in Denver.  For more information regarding this workshop click HERE

Monday, May 21, 2012

In Support Intellectual Property Rights

I received an email from my friend Quest Couch last week, Quest is the CEO of LumiQuest.  LumiQuest as you know, makes all those really cool light modifiers that I and so many of you use on a daily basis.

Quest has created a campaign in support of intellectual property rights.  As a creative individual, I'm in full support of Quests efforts. He has put a website together devoted to this effort, you can learn more about Quest's campaign for the protection of intellectual property rights at QuestForRights.  As creative individuals, we all understand the importance of protecting our creative efforts whether it's our photographs, product we developed or whatever intellectual property you've put forth.

It has been said that "imitation" is a form of flattery.  I'm all for competition in the market place, it creates innovation and improved products for the consumer.  However, the outright theft of intellectual property by lazy individuals or companies is unethical and illegal.  Doing so, only produces cheap unifier products and stifles innovation.  For me, I'm in support of the "Real McCoy"

Please check out  QuestForRights, and add your comments. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tucson Mentor Series Speedlight Trek

Last month I was in Tucson, AZ teaching a Speedlight workshop Popular Photography Magazines "Mentor Series".  I was teaching along with my friends, Dave Black and Lucas Gilman.  It was the first time that the Mentor Series had offered such a specialize workshop dealing with just lighting with speedlights.

Here is one of the photos I took as a demonstration using just a single grid on an SB-800.  I've ben using the Rogue Grid System for about a year now, I just love it.  The grid comes with 2 different grid sizes, a 25 degree and a 45 degree grid, when both are positioned together you get a 16 degree grid.  If your looking for a cool grid system, check them out, I carry two with me.

One of our location photographing was the Pima Air & Space Museum southeast of downtown Tucson.  One of the models which showed up was a gal dressed like the cultural icon Rosie the Riveter from the second world war era.

I position her under in front and below an airplane which was fitting for that time period.  The first exposure shown here is what the camera deemed normal.
I then deliberately underexposed the next frame by about 1 stop before turning on my flash.
If your interested in learn how to get studio quality light using your speedlights, join me for one of my Small Strobes, Big Results workshop.  I have space still available for my August 18th workshop here in Denver.  For more information about my workshops and how to register click HERE

I might also add that I'll be teaching at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops August 5-10, 2012.  I'll be teaching a course titled Corporate Photography and the Annual Report. If your interested in learning about the exciting field of corporate work, don't miss this workshop!  For more information regarding enrollment click HERE.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Back In The Saddle Again

These past 2 months have been crazy for me.  I've been on the road constantly, back and forth to Dubai twice, a two week trip to Ghana as well as Tucson and Salt Lake City.  The way I figure it, I've spent over 107 hours of flight time these past 8 weeks.  I'm slowly getting my legs back under me and re-introducing myself to the family.  I'm looking forward to catching up on blogging and sharing some lighting techniques with you.

Back in March, I was on assignment in the African country of Ghana.  It was my first time visiting Ghana, I found the citizens of Ghana a friendly and proud people. I have never seen so many cell phones in my life, everyone is connected no matter how far out of a city they live.  I was shooting for a mining company doing business there, it was their Ghana division that actually hired me for the photography.

I spent about two weeks shooting, I had a huge shot list, everything from social events to underground mining and helicopter aerials.  Prior to arriving in Ghana, I had spent 10 days in Dubai teaching at the GPP (Gulf Photo Plus), I had 3 days at home before heading back out for my Ghana assignment.  To say the least, I was pooped.

The short video above is a series of individual photos put into iMovie to show you a mining site blast, just one of the fun things to see while shooting for mining companies.
 While in Ghana, I was asked to photograph a groundbreaking ceremony for a new hospital in the community nearest the mine site.  The local chief of the area was on hand to swing the pick.  He was escorted by several helpers including his very own "voice activated Umbrella Holder".
Here is a group shot of the chief with all his friends including his VAUH.  The chief asked me through an interpreter, if I could swing by his palace to photograph him later that evening.  I thought it an honor to have been asked and heck, I wanted to see the palace.

An hour later I was driven to the Chiefs palace... a ranch style home, nicest on the field or lot.  When we arrived at the Chiefs place, the sun was just setting.  Once the Chief was informed of my arrival, we were asked to wait while he dressed into his formal outfit.

His formal chair was located in a large courtyard under a large overhanging roof.  As this opportunity to photograph the Chief was unexpected, I did not have any modifiers with me.  So I took the flashes that I had and bounced them off of a wall in the courtyard.  You can see the two strobes laying on the ground pointed to the wall, I also had one flash on camera directed on the wall as well.  All three flashes were set to full power as I had quite a distance to through the light.
Here you can see the final results.  The Chief seemed to enjoy the opportunity to be photographed, he asked me to wait so he could make a few outfit changes to be photographed in.  Here on of the final images of the Chief.
It was a pleasure photographing him, I can honestly say that I had never photographed a Chief before this time.  What a hoot.  DT

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dubai Workshops

I'm currently in Dubai teaching several workshops.  I arrived here on the 20th of April for the Popular Photography Mentor Series Trek.  We photographed around the Dubai area for about 7 days and I am now teaching 3 days for the Gulf Photo Plus.

The photo above was shot using my new D800, and the lighting was a FourSquare™ softbox on camera right.  We were in open shade and the ambient exposure was one stop under what the camera indicated.  More about the Trek and workshops later, just thought I'd check in.  DT

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's On The Way

During my recent Mentor Series Trek to Tucson with Dave Black and Lucas Gilman, I had an opportunity to take a close look at the new Nikon D800. Dave was shooting with the new D800 and from what I saw of the images taken with that camera, I decided to order one for myself.

I received an email today letting me know that my camera has been sent to my local camera dealer and that I will be receiving it soon. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

I'll be taking it with me to Dubai later this month on the Mentor Series Trek I'm leading. I am going to seriously have to work on my editing skills as these files are huge! DT

Monday, April 09, 2012

My Nikon Videos

I received news today that the videos I shot with Nikon late last year and now up on their site. I did 3 different videos for them, one dealing with a proper bounce technique, another about artificial sunlight and another about turning day into night. Here are the links to those videos.

Artificial Sunlight
Bounce Technique
Day to Night

I had a lot of fun shooting these videos, I hope you like them. DT

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nikon World Article Online

The recent article about me in Nikon World Magazine in now available online.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ballooning Over The Dubai Desert

After a week of conducting workshops at the 2012 Gulf Photo Plus, several instructors including myself went for a balloon ride. It was an early morning for all of us, 4 am wake-up call for a 4;45 am pick-up at the hotel.

I grabbed this photo of David Nightingale snoozing during our drive to the desert.

There were two balloons waiting for us when we arrived at the launching site. The morning temps were cool with a light breeze. I had been in a balloon only once before, a much smaller one. This balloon held a total of 16 people, we sailed to 4000 feet above the ground.

After only a few minutes of heat being added to the balloons, we were off the ground. If you have never been in a hot air balloon before, it surely is a must do. One strange thing you notice right off the bat, as soon as you take flight any breeze you felt on the ground ends. Since you travel with the wind, there is no visible reference of wind other then the ground moving below you.

At an altitude of 4000 feet we could see the Rocky Mountains of Oman. The pilot was very insistent that we not land there....

My friend and fellow instructor Chris Hurtt is seen enjoying the view standing at the edge of the basket. There was no shortage of cameras of the trip.

Here are a few shots of the desert sands which passed slowly beneath us.

I'd like to thank Brenden Jack for arranging this wonderful adventure for us. It was a balloon ride I'll never forget. DT