Light is what you make it

Night time? No.I took this shot in open daylight, last Saturday during the Advanced Flash course Joseph and I taught at Mono, Ontario:

Scary Drive (Photo Michael Willems)

Scary Drive (Photo Michael Willems)

The lesson here is not how that is done (it is involved, and needs speedlites, pocketwizards, reflectors, light stands, and my SUV), but it is that it can be done. Daylight can look like a scary stormy night.

On the advanced light course we teach you the details – but even before that, you can start playing with flash. Right now. Using one or more external flashes (not the pop-up).

And you should. Because flash can:

  • Make flat surfaces round;
  • Separate subjects from backgrounds;
  • Make dull subjects sharp;
  • Make wrinkled surfaces flat;
  • Make cold surfaces warm;
  • Make blurry motion sharp;
  • Make day into night;
  • Direct the eyes where they otherwise would not go;
  • Give you nice catchlights in the eyes;
  • …even create cars where there aren’t any.

That’s why this blog is called “Speedlighter” – speedlights and other flashes can be the most useful tool a photographer has, after the camera.

So my advice:

  • Get yourself one or more speedlites;
  • Find a way to fire them off-camera: TTL, flash cable, or pocketwizards;
  • Get some modifiers;
  • Stay tuned here, take a course: learn how they all work;
  • And above all, keep shooting.

And your photos will go up to the next level of professionalism and creativity.

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