El Carro

Car pictures. Always fun. Including snaps:


That’s my Camaro ZL1, at 400 ISO, 1/400 sec, f/16.

Does anything occur to you when you see those numbers?

Yes, it’s the Sunny Sixteen rule.

Anyway, the car has a lot of detail, like the badges:

20170328-MW5D3456-900 20170328-MW5D3455-900

So here is my all-new Camaro. Flash TTL, flash bounced behind me,


That is right, a little toy. And it’s my car’s exact colours, too. And that toy has surprising detail. The same badges, for a start.


Note: Over the next while, long term that is, I plan to use this toy as a prop in pictures all over the place, so stand by!

Always carry a camera dept: drinks in the above restaurant, and they looked pretty enough to take a snap:


(35mm lens, manual mode, 1/320 sec, 1000 ISO, f/2.2.)

More Toronto Workshops

There will be more Toronto workshops: See www.cameraworkshops.ca. Tomorrow, there will be links to the e-store, so you can book (if you want to pre-book, text me). 

There will be more, and the subjects will vary. Please let me know any subjects you would like to see covered.

There will also be more Brantford work.shops, and the subjects will vary there, too. Please let me know any subjects you would like to see covered.

It’s exciting, when you get organized, isn’t it.

The simplest…

Sometimes, when you are immersed in a profession, you forget that not everyone is even familiar with the language used in that profession, let alone with some of its principles and practices. As an engineer who teaches, I try never to fall victim to that thinking. But sometimes even I do. So in the next series of blog posts, I will briefly define some of the basics. Just in case.

Starting, today, with flash modes.

Your small, camera mounted, flash has a “mode” button. That button gives you access to some of the following modes:

  • TTL (also, “E-TTL”, or “TTL-BL”, etc). This means “automatic flash power”. The camera and the flash together sort out how much power is needed for every photo. They do that with a mechanism that I explain in my courses, books, and workshops. That mechanism is called “TTL”. You do not have to worry about your subject’s brightness, at least in theory: the camera and flash sort it out.
  • MANUAL (Also called “M” or “MAN).  In that mode, you set the flash power. You can, for instance, set it to 1/1, or 100% power: the brightest power level. Or 1/2 (half power), 1/4 (one quarter of its top power), 1/8, and so on. On some cameras, you can go as low as 1/128 power, a very low flash level. So in this mode, if your flash is too bright, you would turn it down to a lower level (or move back from what you are lighting); if it is too dim, you would turn it up (or move closer).
  • Repeating flash, or stroboscopic flash. In this mode, the flash will flash not once, but a defined number of times, with a defined interval. You need to define the number of flashes, the interval, and the power level. (E.g. “5 flashes, at a frequency of 10 flashes per second, at 1/16 power”). That allows you to make photos of, say, a runner against a dark background, where you see not one, but ten images of that runner as she moves through your photo.

There may even be modes additional to this. Depending on the flash you use, there may also be a setting that tells the flash that it is a remote flash, and there may be a setting that allows the flash to be used at fast shutter speeds, but at a reduced power level (“High Speed Flash”, or “FP Flash”). There could be other settings as well, like a “dumb slave setting” (Nikon calls this the “SU-4” setting).

All those additional settings are not modes, but they are what I called them: additional settings. I know, that may be confusing to you (“what is a mode and what is an additional setting?”), but if so, don’t worry about it. It’s what the engineers decided to do. The reasons for not calling these settings “modes” are not important right now.

So there you have it. Some flash “basic basics”.

In my flash courses, I explain al this in detail, of course.

Want to learn more: buy the pro flash manual, and if you are in Toronto, sign up right now for the 25 March portrait and model lighting workshop.  See you there?

25 March workshop in Toronto

Portrait and Model Lighting – 25 March 2017, Toronto
12 noon–4pm
At CSI, Daniel Spectrum Building,
585 Dundas St East,

This workshop introduces you to all the ins and outs of photographing simple studio portraits. From posing techniques to people skills to party shots, you will learn many essential camera, lighting and composition techniques. From light meters to multiple flashes to umbrellas and other modifiers. Learn positioning, lighting and other techniques so you can start to take your own professional portrait pictures.

All you need to bring is a camera with a standard hotshoe connection (i.e. not most Sony cameras). Your previous level of knowledge is not important, but knowing how to operate your camera in manual mode and knowing how to focus are recommended.

This small hands-on course, with a model supplied, teaches:

  • Getting your flashes off camera: Why and how to use Radio Triggers.
  • Modifiers: Umbrella, softbox, reflector, gobo, snoot, and grid.
  • Camera settings and metering.
  • Reflectors. Light stands. Brackets. Gels. And so on: all the things you need to know.
  • Using small flashes for split, rim, loop, broad and short, and Rembrandt lighting.
  • Working with your model: mood, positioning, interacting, putting at ease, and getting the most out of your model.
  • Make-up: Important notes.
  • Gels for correction, and gels for creativity.
  • “Post”-work for maximum success with minimum effort.
  • Black and white: why and when?

You will leave with the ability to do great work in your own home studio, using simple equipment that gives you professional results.

Click here to reserve your space now. Limited to 10 people.