Timmins, Ontario

I spent Sunday in Timmins as a guest of the Porcupine Photo Club: great team of people, excellent all-day seminar. Yes, I teach courses like my Advanced Flash course in places like London, Rotterdam, Las Vegas, Toronto, and…Timmins. Book me if you want to have a great learning experience.

But I am now back.

This was an hour or two ago, when I was about to leave:

Let’s see a few shots from the “Flash” workshop. Of course I was not there to shoot – I was there to teach – but I still managed to grab a few shots. One flash in an umbrella was used for the first picture; same plus a background flash for the second picture.

I do colour too, of course:

But most of all, I try to get it all right. So today one reminder for you.

To get the background right you may want to start with the camera in manual exposure mode, using the Willems 400/40/4 rule as a starting point. 400 ISO, 1/40th second, f/4.

But if you have one on-camera flash, the most important point to remember is: avoid direct flash. It is not flattering. Look at this bad picture (taken as a demo!) of Aurele Monfils, who kindly arranged the workshop:

Now look when we do it properly: turn the flash behind you, upward; raise ISO if needed to have enough flash power, and go for it:

Wow. See that difference? No double chin. No reflective skin. No shadows behind arms. Much (much!) better, and much more the way the person actually looks. Also, the path to the background is now about as long as the path to the foreground, so the background gets a little flash too.

Advice: Learn one thing at a time. Learn flash in small increments. Practice (irt makes perfect). But whatever you do: LEARN FLASH!

Now off to Sheridan College to teach.


2 thoughts on “Timmins, Ontario

  1. Hi there.
    Been a visitor to your website for sometime now. Have been trying to learn tips and tricks and I must say you have a treasure trove of them. Thanks for sharing. As for myself, consider me a way-too-amateur-photographer. Just wanted to ask a question.. you have been talking about the Rule of the 3rd… does it apply to aeroplanes and buildings too? (inanimate objects of your first and second pic).

    • Hi! Thanks for the compliments!

      Yes, the rule of thirds is usually a good idea, whatever the subject. I say “usually” – there are always exceptions! If you are not sure, just take one where you use the rule oif thirds, and one where you do not. You will know, when you look in peace and quiet, which one you like.

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