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Archive for September, 2013

GPP, London, This Weekend

Sep 25

In Fun at 4:40am

Over in the UK right now, and actually taking a couple days off, though I was on location yesterday, and made this little Iphone snap of the idyllic countryside where we shot. Once again, the UK reminds me that it is one of my favorite places on the planet.

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The Company of Photogs

Sep 18

In Lighting at 7:21am

I have always enjoyed the company of photographers, and last week, in a couple teaching stints, I was definitely in the mix with hundreds of funny, gregarious, passionate shooters. Some of whom, as you see below, helped me out by becoming extroverted, unabashed subjects for my camera.

These impromptu modeling sessions have become a staple when I teach, and my search of the audience for faces alternately produces groans, rueful smiles, outright enthusiasm, and sheer unadulterated dread. As a people photog, though, I enjoy the very haphazard search for faces. It has been a search I’ve conducted, literally, my whole career.

The lighting above is dead bang simple. The basic light shaper is a piece of xerox paper, taped to the computer screen. Done deal. You can control the sideways spill of it, if you wish, with a few strips of gaffer tape.

Background is a light on the floor, and the red hair light is a third SB unit, suspended overhead. You can send them signals to behave as TTL lights, or manual lights, and maneuver the exposure at camera to achieve a decently saturated look and feel. One of these days, I’ll take the time to craft a fancy spot light for the front of the computer, but when moving through demos, I don’t take that extra time. This is just a fun few minutes with gels, colors, simple light techniques, and some folks who obviously have some pretty good acting skills.

Have a few more teaching stints this year, mostly for the Kelby group down in Tampa. Here’s link for places and dates.  Also head to Mexico twice. First up, San Miguel, with the Santa Fe Workshops.  Then, in December, I return to Mexico for the PhotoXperience, in beautiful Guanajuato. 

Head to the UK today. Some vacation, and then, GPP PopUP.  All the best, to everyone! More tk….

Today’s Blog

Sep 11

In Links, Memories, Thanks at 4:28am

Is over at Scott Kelby’s PhotoShop Insider blog. It is, hopefully, a worthwhile read. All best, Joe

Traveling Light to Mexico!

Sep 10

In Seminars & Workshops at 4:31am

This fall, I head to Mexico twice. First stop is San Miguel, an idyllic place to learn about and experience light. Staged by the Santa Fe Photo Workshops, this will be one of those weeks, working on the fly, unencumbered by lots of gear. Beautiful place, beautiful models, shot with small flash. It’s called Traveling Light, Lighting Well, and the dates are Oct. 13-18, 2013, coming up soon.

More tk…. Read the rest of this entry »

Scenes from a Pre-Con

Sep 7

In News, Seminars & Workshops at 11:56am

First off, many thanks to the Kelby clan for inviting me to Vegas to teach at PhotoShop World. It was a hoot of a week. I’ve been doing my own “pre-con,” during the last couple of gatherings of the PhotoShop tribes, and they, too, have been fun, and hopefully, informative.

This one was special, in the sense we had several astonishing performers who regularly appear in Cirque du Soleil shows in LV as our subjects. These supremely gifted artists are a magnet for the camera and the imagination. We also had the amazing Drew Moore, a character actor out of LA, who offered his considerable presence and baleful “tough guy” stare to the proceedings.

In the above, I purposely chose a tough backdrop in bright sun, with a blaring Budget Rental truck in the parking lot. In bright sun, at f16, the truck is especially obnoxious, so I showed the class how to minimize that distraction via the technique of high speed sync flash, with one SB-910, a D4 and a fast 28, shot at 1/8000th at f1.4. With that combo, the truck recedes in importance.

Performers flipped, flew and leaped for us all day long. Much of the arranging was thanks to Adam Silversmith, a Vegas based shooter, who works with the Cirque folks a great deal. Kudos to Adam for lining up spectacular subjects!

We also had a huge assist from Jan Lederman, and Jason Friedman of MacGroup USA, who charged down to Vegas with new developments in flash photography to show the class. On a couple of sets, we used Bowens flash units, which have amazing electronics, and we had a steady light set going with Limelight, the Bowens line of constant light sources. Both sets were hugely popular, and the cast and crew had access to the latest innovations in different styles of lights.

The heavy lifting of building all the sets and the light fell to Cali, and Jon Cospito in our studio, ably supported by my friend and fellow photog, MD Welch, the magnificent madman of Reno. He threw a tank of gas in his truck and bombed down out of the desert (“on the roads it was a white line nightmare”) to help us out. The pix in this blog are courtesy of the aforementioned gentlemen.

Add to the mix the great location of Shine Alternative Fitness in LV, and we had an amazing day. Thanks to all the performers, participants and crew! More tk….