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Paparazzi! TTL!

Mar 14

In Tours at 10:56am

Rolling down the west coast. Just finished the first three stops, all sold out. In SF, we triggered about 30 flashes, TTL, right from the commander on the camera. This is lighting, to be sure, but it’s also fun. Flashbus has been a hoot.

What’s even more fun has been watching David Hobby teach. He elucidates the lighting approach to a scene with such clarity and precision, it is truly amazing. I have learned a lot from him, just in these first stops, and there are still a bunch to go. He does the morning session with calm, cool direction and planning, and in the afternoon, I throw all the flashes in the air and see where they land. Someone the other day tweeted a description of my teaching style–faith in chaos. Pretty close, that.

Folks who attend are having a blast as well….from Twitter….

Big thank you 2 @theflashbus crew for the great day. @strobist + @joemcnallyphoto were brilliant! wish you all the best for the next stops!

From fakechuckwestfall:-) Ask McNally to shoot with some 580 EX II’s, and take pictures of that. We need it for Canon marketing

@strobist @JoeMcNallyPhoto thank you for an awesome show today! #flashbustour

@JoeMcNallyPhoto Thank you guys for coming out! It was a hell of a good time! Great info and great experience!

And Ron Martinsen up in the Northwest posted a review….

Anyway, San Jose today, LA tomorrow, and then we head for San Diego…..more tk….

Lou Wheeler says:

on March 14, 2011 at 11:18 am

Thanks again Joe & Dave!! Yesterday was definitely an amazingly fun and informative day, I had a blast!

Ash says:

on March 14, 2011 at 11:29 am

I was one of those “paparazzi” in that shot…the seminar was a complete ball. I loved the presentations; the entire day was both educational and entertaining. It was a birthday present from my wife and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Except for maybe a Nikon D3…

Don Lupo says:

on March 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

Awesome! Can’t wait to attend the L.A. stop tomorrow.

Ed says:

on March 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Joe, Great event by you and David. I was in the SF workshop and you suggestion to set your camera back to zero is a lesson that can be learned the hard way!

You gave the example of shooting in a coal mine one day and then to make sure to zero out the camera before shooting the CEO of Google. Well, I never shot in a coal mine, but I did have the pleasure of being one of the event photographers shooting the CEO of Google last year along with James Cameron at a Silicon Valley event!

Best of luck to the tour as your team rocks down the highway!

Ed Jay

Edward says:

on March 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

It’s a great opportunity to see how the paparazzzzzzi~~~ picture shooting! Learn a lot!!

morozgrafix says:

on March 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Thank you so much for posting it! It was cool to participate in this shot. (I’m a “half cut-off head” guy on the the very right)

SF event was great! Enjoy the rest of your tour.

Tim Woodard says:

on March 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Looking forward to SLC on Sunday! Thought about wearing my old Mormon Missionary Uniform…

Surly says:

on March 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Can’t wait to see you in Indy!

Sean says:

on March 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I don’t have the new fangled Twitter like the cool kids. :-)

But I wanted to say BIG THANK YOU to you, Strobist and all the Flashubus crew for an amazing day. I left the convention center Saturday buzzing with new ideas. I can’t wait to put what I learned into practice.

Thank you all again, and I hope the Bus rides again next year. :-)


KevinH says:

on March 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I was at the Seattle Flashbus event. Really enjoyed it. DH and JM are both great teachers. I like the contrast – not just in how they use their stobes, but the presentation style too. Funny, lots of energy, and very informative. An it was nice to see how high Joe could jump with a guitar in his hand. If you have tickets, look forward to it. If you don’t, bummer!

Alan Morris says:

on March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Great day on Sunday. Interesting contrasting personalities/styles. Really fun and we all felt the enthusiasm for this passion we have. Even the Canonistas had a great time. Thanks Joe and David !!

Alex Zyuzikov says:

on March 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Amazing work Joe, loved the workshop, lots and lots of great information! Good luck on the rest of the tour!

Jonathan Fleming says:

on March 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Thanks for coming to San Francisco Joe. It was great meeting you and watching you and David in action!

Rich Cave says:

on March 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I want to come and play, its not fair you should come to the UK,


Tim Skipper says:

on March 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Looking forward to Atlanta!

Justin Suyama says:

on March 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Hey Joe! That was me explaining how I felt you and David differ in teaching. Twitter doesn’t allow me to elucidate but I wanted to let any others know that if you can see the flashbus tour it is well worth it. As I said in twitter, David’s approach is very methodical and Joe’s is more of a faith in chaos. David kind of builds things up one by one (in layers!) where Joe throws a bunch of things in the air and at first, or perhaps to someone who hasn’t spent 35 years in the field you’re not quite sure where he is going. Then before you know it you see it all come full circle and the lights go on in your head and you say, “there is a method to his madness, genius.” Both teachers expand your way of thinking and if you can think out of the box, you will be different from the other 10 million photographers.

Thank you for the very fun day in Seattle!!

Tim Engle says:

on March 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm

That 30 flashes shot is so amazing! I got so much from the day.
Time to start shooting…
Thanks to all.
Safe travels.

Jim says:

on March 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm

“elucidates” What in the Hell is that? sockpuppet!

Irjohn Junus says:

on March 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Wish I was there. Stay safe on the road! Best.

Ron Martinsen says:

on March 15, 2011 at 12:47 am

Thanks a billion for the mention on the blog Joe!

Rick WIlliams says:

on March 15, 2011 at 2:52 am

Had a great time learning! Both of you are amazing in your own way!!! Worth every penny I paid to see you!

Adam H says:

on March 15, 2011 at 3:25 am

Apart from the absolutely beautiful crisp tones in this picture, can I say it’s refreshing to see a “setup” paparazzi group where the photographers in the picture actually know how to hold a damn camera. Every time I see a media scrum in a movie/tv show – the photographers are either still shooting with FM2’s and Metz potato mashers, or they hold a digital camera like it’s their $40 point and shoot. I’d love to do a day at an acting school and show them how real photographers hold their camera – the efforts now are hopelessly ridiculous.

BasM says:

on March 15, 2011 at 6:33 am

Joe, I´ve asked before and I´m just repeating: any chance to add floating devices :) to that bus? People over the Atlantic would come by the thousands or more to your (and David’s) presentation. Sure, we have a ton of workshops in Europe, but nothing that could come close to this. If you´d only come to the capital cities in the European Union, you´d have 27 stops, each and every one guaranteed to have anywhere between 1000 to >5000 attendees.
And do remember, the entry fee would be only a fraction of what endorsers could come up with; at the very least, Nikon Europe is much more active than what one hears about their equivalent in the USA. And that’d be only the beginning.

Ivan says:

on March 15, 2011 at 8:14 am

Woa, that’s a lot of speedlights!

Nik says:

on March 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

I love this picture! Does the master/camera combo account for all of those flashes?! Still blows my mind that it can expose for so many light sources and come out with a great picture like that.

Amal Zerrouki says:

on March 16, 2011 at 1:36 am

I attended the SF edition and I witnessed that paparazzi session….That was indeed a lot of flashes. I’ll always remember when Joe said: “Now close your eyes, trust me, really I mean close you eyes!” for that part of the lesson, he had all the flashes go off at max…. from where I sat (not that far), it felt like a jolt….what a lesson!

David is a methodical teacher, who walks you thru the steps to controlling light. I loved it. Joe, is somehow less controlled, at least in that what he wants you to think!. He knows where he wants to get you, yet he’ll give you the feeling that you’re controlling. He goes with “let’s try this, what do you think?” The one thing I’ll remember is how Joe was able to work with his models from the audience…Granted he selected those, but I was really impressed by his ability to select the faces and bodies he needed to get the message across. It resulted in not only great pictures, but resonating messages.
Thanks Joe & David. Hope to see you soon!!!

Erika Plummer says:

on March 16, 2011 at 2:03 am

Joe – Thanks to you and Dave. I attended Portland and I could seriously become a Flashbus Groupie! And those “Assistants” were adorable. Would do it again in a heartbeat!

P.S. Sorry about the tri-grip. My husband is still laughing because unbeknownst to you that whole lassoing incident is a constant source of humor to him. It befuddles me. Every stinking time.

K.C. says:

on March 16, 2011 at 4:50 am

Im totally ‘lime green jello’ right now…


And I live in Pismo, right smak dab in between San Jo and Los Ang.

Couldn’t go to either.

Can you just come to my house please?

Bring extra 580’s as my tt1 and flex 5 FRIED my flash this weekend when practicing high speed synch. (guess it’s a known issue)…

Anyways, I wished I could have been there for all the high falooten hootenannies.

Jonathan says:

on March 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

Just attended the LA show yesterday, it was great! Faith in chaos certainly seems right. My brain aligns with Hobby’s much more than yours, but it was awesome to see both styles – I learned so much! Hope the rest of the tour rocks.

William Chinn says:

on March 16, 2011 at 11:37 am

I made the Los Angeles event yesterday. Fantastic! Lots of info (a headache worth trying to retain), great stories, and how to work one step at a time. Seeing the bus was worth the travel. Seeing the equipment and stuff in use was interesting. Hint: bring your Nikon flash and make sure you know how to change TTL channels before getting there.

Hint for other LA folks: the peachpit URL was not avaliable until today.

Jack says:

on March 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Big thanks to the whole Flash Bus team for a sensational day of learning and laughter in L.A. To anyone who is still on the fence about signing up for a session in your town, let me put it this way: The Oscars would be a hell of lot more interesting and funny if Joe and David were hosting.

Whether you shoot Nikon, Canon, or something else, you’ll come away happy. The instruction is rarely gear-specific. It’s all about light — how to see it, corral it, knock it down, build it up, tweak it and shape it. These guys take you from basic concepts in the morning to elaborate multi-light setups by day’s end. They field questions, crack jokes, share great stories from decades of experience, hand out freebies, and impart enough insights to fill a notebook. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

John Martin says:

on March 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I was really hoping you were going to post this exact picture. I learned so much and honestly could have listened to you and David for another 10 hours or so. Laughed and learned my ass off.

Rick Dickinson says:

on March 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm

As I mentioned to both you and David yesterday, I had an absolute blast, and picked up a lot of great information, as well. Your teaching styles complement each other well, as do your flash control styles. I think I got a lot more out of having the two of you there together than I would have out of each of you, individually. The whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

As for the speedlight cluster-bombing of the audience, all I can say is “Wow!” 40+ full-power pops really pack a wallop! Close your eyes, indeed….

Why am I dreaming of having you come out onto the pitcher’s mound at Dodger Stadium during a night game, and walk the assembled multitude through setting their flashes all to Group “B” channel “1”?

Chuck Pepper says:

on March 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I was so hoping you would do this in Portland! Even though you didn’t it was a great day and really inspired me to work on my flashes. Great time!

Paolo says:

on March 17, 2011 at 1:10 am

Joe, it was good to meet you and the gang in LA! Good stuff and great teachers. I wish you guys could do something like this more often.
Keep the bus rolling!
Thank you for inspiring all of us!

fotografia erotica says:

on March 17, 2011 at 4:42 am

Sounds like you are on the hop! I enjoy reading about all thats happening, as well as the photobuff stuff….

Erik Rucker says:

on March 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Glad to hear you enjoyed Seattle and as a lifelong native, save for a couple of years in London which is really just the same town but with better beer and crap coffee, I think your weather theory is right on the money. Same with the sacramental coffee. I’m glad that I can now get a decent espresso in NY at least 1/2 the time. But coming from out here, seems like coffee is the last thing most of the natives need. More like a lumpy hand-rolled spliff and a wet towel under the door.

Sad to say, though, that I missed the bus. Also, the flash tour thingee. You gonna send ’round a short version for those of us who couldn’t get it together to attend in the mainstream classroom?

karl bratby says:

on March 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

sounds like you are having an amazing time, are you gonna bring the tour to the UK?

Bugi says:

on March 21, 2011 at 1:57 am

I saw one speedlight that didn’t pop……

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