If you are familiar with my photography you know I am a fan of using the small flashes to illuminate my subjects. Occasionally I will shoot natural light but my true love is a little speedlight with a softbox on a light stand. Well, it takes a bit of practice and knowhow to get that to work. And it helps when you find instructors like Joe McNally and David Hobby of the Strobist.
Both photographers have developed cult followings among photographers. They shot with different styles and methods but the results are always impressive. I guess the best way to learn photography is to photograph for a newspaper or National Geographic. They have YEARS of experience. They have forgotten more of photography than I have ever learned.
So when they had the Flash Bus Tour come through Salt Lake City, Utah I had to attend their seminar. In fact I won a copy of David Hobby’s instructional DVDs. I also bought a copy of Joe McNally’s DVDs. I guess I can’t win everything.
Watching Joe McNally light a screen feels like watching Hollywood. He brings a bunch of gear. He has c-stands, light modifiers, all the Nikon lenses, and enough speedlights to light a Boeing 747 airplane (seriously).
Gear is only the tool. True mastery comes from building your lights one at a time until you have the best photograph. All the rules of photography apply such as composition, creativity, lighting, model’s expression.
Joe brought several people on stage for modeling. We had a dancer as well! Joe has been working on a personal project photographing dancers. They are in amazing shape, they spend years with their craft. They are the perfect human.
And at this time I was sporting a mohawk which is apparently blood in the water for a photographer. I was brought up to be a model and here are some behind the scene photographs and some of the results as Joe would add one light at a time. It was pretty cool.
Probably the coolest photograph of me ever. I wish I had a copy. Oh, well. I guess I can go create my own photography now.
After the seminar I did get my photograph with both Joe McNally and David Hobby. They are definitely my lighting mentors. Thanks for a great class!
It’s always important, no matter your area of expertise, to learn and grow and constantly develop your skills.