On a bright cloudy day today, I looked like this:
Wait. A bright day?
Yes, and that is the point of dramatic flash photos. I taught a workshop today, a hands on workshop, on the three basic modes of flash: “party”, “studio” and “outdoors”. This takes time, and “doing it” is the only way to learn. Today’s two students really learned.
Yes, in a few hours you can master flash. You still, of course, have to practice and refine, but you will do that yourself after the course. Contact me if you are interested in a private “Dutch Masters” course. A few hours and you are master: see http://learning.photography for more details.
In the mean time: one tip to my readers. If you want to be extra dramatic as in the image above, and it is bright, you need a lot of flash to “nuke the sun”. To achieve that, remove the modifiers (e.g. the softbox or umbrella) and use direct flash.
Just one of the things you learn from me, my books, and my courses.
And with that, go outside and bring your flash!
You can learn from me this coming Monday, in Burlington. It promises to be great weather. Or you can learn in Brantford on Sunday, even earlier.
Either way: learn how to use a flash in outside light. To do that, buy my flash book, come to these courses, and in all cases, start here:
- 100 ISO
- 1/250 sec (or 1/200)
Then check background, and adjust only aperture. If flash is not bright enough, turn up power, remove modifiers, or bring it closer.
And have fun.
Here’s an example of outdoors on a sunny day:
Benefits: You get no annoying sunlight, and you avoid those horrible overexposed backgrounds. And you can direct the light. Control is everything!
So I just taught part three of a flash course in Ajax, Ontario.
In an excellent day, Ajax Photography Club creative Director Ron Pereux had arranged five of these:
And with very simple equipment we did some fun, creative shots using gels, snoots, softboxes (the excellent Honlphoto gear – use checkout code “Willems” for 10% off), umbrellas, and grids.
Some of the work needs some post-finishing when conditions are not right. Look at the backdrop:
And look at the finished product. Yup, a slightly more traditional photo:
And a more edgy photo, the type young brides are more likely to love, full of feeling:
Or even edgier:
Shooting brides is fun, and today I was able to help the Ajax club with a lot of very practical easy to put into practice tips and techniques. Flash photography is so easy once you know it, and so rewarding once you know how to do it well. Take a course – if not from me (http://learning.photography), then from someone else who knows his or her business!
So tonight I did a great workshop in North Toronto. Great because the six participants were very enthusiastic and they really, really got it. That’s how it goes when you:
- Hear it a second or third time
- Practice it yourself rather than just listen.
And that is what tonight was about.
You can have a lot of fun with one flash. In this case, one flash with a grid. Off-camera and fired with Pocketwizards.
Two flashes, one with an umbrella on me, and one with a chocolate Honlphoto gel on the background, gives us yours sincerely:
You like that? Then learn some flash techniques from me, any time. It’s all just technique, as Peter West once told me. True say!
A good knowledge of flash lighting is the key to artistic and other professional photography. Good news: I have two new opportunities for Flash learning!
Outdoors flash: essential for artistic photos
Both of these hands-on courses will be held in (or as the case may be, outside of) my Brantford studio.
Sunday May 1, 11AM: Studio Shooting
Sunday May 22, 11AM: Mastering Outdoors Flash
Both have limited availability: 4 and 7 students maximum, respectively. So sign up, and meet you in Brantford, 20 minutes west of Hamilton.