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Archive for December, 2008


Dec 5

In Lighting, Links, News, Seminars & Workshops at 2:05am

So what if it rains all the time. (It actually doesn’t. We had a killer sunset last night.) Its a great town and the photo community is like strobist-style crazy. I mean enthusiasm. Creativity. Energy. And easy going to boot. Did a lecture the other night at the Planetarium (oddly appropriate, considering my style of public speaking) and had a great crowd of folks who came out to hunker down around photography on a night when they could have bought Metallica tickets.

We ended up with about 250 or so folks cramming in to see some pix and do a quick lighting demo. I think half of them were in the Vancouver Strobist Group. Its daunting you know, David? I mean, everybody, and I mean everybody, came up afterwards and asked, “Hey do you know David Hobby? Could you tell him to  come here?”

Like DH said in his blog yesterday, free beers-he’s there. Think about it guys.

We did big lights and small lights.

The big lights, as you can see, are courtesy of Elinchrom, which in Canada, means they are courtesy of Ron at Vistek in Toronto. They are the Elinchrom/Lastolite suppliers to the Great North country. They stepped up big time, and made the workshop happen. Bogen USA, my good buds, stepped up too, sending the William Holden of flash photography, none other than Mark Astman, all the way from New Jersey to Van, BC. As always, he was a huge hit with the participants, explaining all things Elinchrom and Skyport, and making his usual giant tacos out of oversized Lastolite twisty, bendy, light shaping tools. I have never seen anybody wrap up a light shaping tool twice their size into a bag smaller than a Subway half foot plastic sandwich bag with the dispatch and aplomb of Mark.

In the above photo, courtesy of Marc Koegel, the instigator of all this stuff by being the creator of the Vancouver Photo Workshops, the diffuser panel is being held by Pooya Nabei, local fashion shooter and one of the most gracious assistants I have ever worked with. He brings coffee with him, fer chrissakes, in the am. He will look at me and ask if everything’s alright, and when I ask him back he will say everything’s groovy, and he really means it. As he said tonight, he simply can’t believe how lucky we are to be photographers. Even after getting sandblasted, fried, deep sixed, nailed to the wall, kicked in the ass, run out of town, stomped in the head, run through the mill, hung up wet, and generally being read the riot act for the last 35 years, I couldn’t agree more.

SPEAKING OF GRACIOUS,  LOCAL AND TALENTED FOLKS…..CONGRATS TO SYX AND TARYN ON THEIR COMING BABY!  They will know if its a boy or girl on Christmas day. they came today and posed for a lighting demo for my class…..

Syx is a local shooter who does a mix of commercial and intensely personal work….which is how he met Taryn.

Also worked today with Zara Durrani, a local model who poses for the workshops. Late in the day, put a red and blue gelled light out in the street and a strip light overhead, and made a few frames as a class demo.

This was pretty much the first frame…shocked the shit outta me, I tell ya. Sometimes you just fall in the right direction. Finished the night tonight having a bite with Martin Prihoda who does this workshop called Big Lights Far Away, where he artistically nukes a daylight scene with generators and big lights, basically wrestling the sun to the ground and stepping on its throat. Cool…Thanks for dinner, Martin.

More tk…..

Again, Thanks

Dec 2

In Seminars & Workshops at 9:52am



In Vancouver, teaching at the Vancouver Workshops, run by Marc Koegel and his wife Xenija. News flash. Its December in Vancouver. Its raining.

I love it here. Even the rain and the mist. The workshop is always populated with gracious and easygoing people, and the whole place is, well, relaxed. Now compared to Manhattan, which is a city that has the toothpick chewing, maalox guzzling, fast twitch fiber mentality of an air traffic controller, just about anyplace might seem relaxed, but Van is you know, really, really, easygoing, eh?

Always like working here. The dance community is wonderful, and I was able to work again with Alison Denham, a truly wonderful modern dancer who freelances here. She just choreographed and danced her own creation in a sold out show this past weekend called Exchanges, and she is gracious enough to pose for us at the workshop.

Shot these Sunday after meeting with the Vancouver Strobist group and playing with some SB 900 units out in the street. Quickly created a couple looks with hard and soft light, and the shadows of the doors and lettering. Great group. I got pinged on email by Andrew Strain, a local strobist, and was able to stop by for a couple of hours before heading over to the workshop. Its hard to overestimate the reach of David Hobby and the international community he has created via his teachings and blog. Pretty amazing.

The studio was given over to the group by Pacifica Photography, which does alot of shooting and community, grassroots organizing and benefit work in the Vancouver community, as well as internationally. Good folks.

Sorry if I confused some folks last post or so by referring to the land inside the yellow border. Whenever I am on assignment for the National Geographic, I just always refer to it as that mysterious looking glass place beyond the yellow border. And we were definitely out there. No cell service, no internet. I think where we were didn’t even have a frikkin zip code. Never can say much about what is being worked on. Have to wait for publication, usually some six months out.

I can say it was a bit nutty. Out in the desert. Vehicles getting stuck in sugar like sand. No RV could get in there, so we just made do throughout the day by working our ass off and then staying awake to light large immovable objects from the backs of pickup trucks in the dead of night. Many thanks to my good friend Rob Stephen, who has worked with me many times and runs Photo Monkey out of San Diego. He’s a great producer, shooter and grip, and it was his sense of preparedness that saved our butts throughout 4 freezing nights in the desert.

It was still nasty though. Crew of six guys in the desert. No facilities. One crockpot. No women. It was amazing to see how fast we regressed to caveman status. Dinnertime was right outta Blazing Saddles, I tell ya….

More tk….