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Archive for the ‘Seminars & Workshops’ Category

Back to the Desert

Feb 10

In Seminars & Workshops at 6:03am


Heading back to the perennially wonderful GPP, and the company of photogs from all over the world, not to mention some of the best instructor/photographers on the planet. It’s a visual festival, not only in the classes and the locations where we go to shoot, but just in the fact of Dubai itself, this odd erector set of glass and steel improbably springing from the eternal sands.

Hosted by dear friends Mohamed Somji and Hala Salhi, we convene first for Photo Friday, a non-stop swirl of short classes, with quick hits of information and discussion in bite sized dollops all day long. Then, the longer classes begin. Everything from Photoshop to wedding to fashion to editorial to lighting to night shooting, day shooting, and you name it kind of shooting. It is a huge week of instruction and camaraderie, pictures and tall tales, and of course, a beer at the end of the day with the favorite photo legend of your choice. David Hobby and I discussed a couple years ago that we would walk around in T-shirts that simply said, “It’s okay, I’m just here to meet Heisler, too.” This year the talent amassed is staggering, and makes me wish I could forgo teaching and just go to the classes.

This year, once again I concentrate on lighting, both a bit on the basic side and then on the decidedly advanced side. In my Fast Flash, Bodies in Flight class we concentrate on the problem of lighting athletic prowess effectively, both when the athlete in question is in motion, or repose. Last year we used a splash to good effect with a bicyclist.


We also take a day and try to do something truly aggressive, win, lose or draw, based on multiple flash pops, and motion.


We will take a day to investigate techniques involved in creating a picture like the below.


Also teaching a class that looks under the hood of simple, small flash, with the emphasis on speed and quality. Portraiture nicely done, but done fast, with small amounts of gear. Called Exploring Small Lights, we go after wringing the most quality we can out of the small flash in your bag.


And then, in between, while I’ve been there, I’ve managed to take a picture of my worn out boots which found their way to an unusual place. I’m still wearing them.


More tk….

Shaping Light in Shanghai!

Sep 19

In Lighting, Seminars & Workshops at 8:18am

Very happy to report I’ll be going back to an amazing city, Shanghai, this fall, and working once again with peerless wedding shooter Louis Pang. The two of us have always taught well together, taking different paths to a picture, and using skill sets that complement each other well. Louis of course is the master of the wedding, orchestrating and posing people in wonderful fashion. Me? Well, I’ll be engaging once again in a bit of hopefully creative mayhem with speed lights.

I’ve always loved shooting in Shanghai, which is one of the most vibrant places on earth. Louis and I will be teaching there from November 19th through the 23rd.  Here’s the schedule and links to the workshops and seminars offered..



Here’s just a few shots I’ve done in Shanghai over the years, and I’m excited to head back to teach!

More tk….


Studio Lighting in NYC!

Sep 8

In Seminars & Workshops at 8:30am

The week of PhotoPlus Expo, which just happens to fall during Halloween this year, promises to be busy. I’m collaborating with long time colleagues at Adorama to stage two straight days of studio lighting workshops, immediately prior to the PPE blowout at the Javits Center.

Here’s the link. We’ll amass a lot of resources, showing off Profoto studio and location systems, as well as speed lights. We’ll have models, manufacturers, demos, and hands on experience shooting for all participants. Gonna be a hoot, and a very rich, busy couple of days investigating lighting strategies and techniques. Any questions you might have you can email, or

We’ve rented the gorgeous spaces of Tribeca Skyline Studios–the whole joint is ours to play with. There will be multiple setups, with expert staff at each one to guide participants through the thicket of both the technical aspects of the lights and shapers, but also the staging and working of a shot.

So again, here’s the link. It just got announced on the Adorama site last week and half the spaces are already gone, so if you are interested in this, best to make the call sooner rather than later. Can’t wait…lighting in my home town.


More tk….

#PSW 14!

Sep 3

In Seminars & Workshops at 8:33am

We did our “Characters On Location” pre-con yesterday in Vegas at #PSW14. Always fun. We had great participants and the usual array of fantastical performers from the Vegas world of Cirque du Soleil and other shows. Great people, such as Manu, above, are a wonder in front of the camera, and very giving of their skills to the class.

Shot on black, with two Profoto B 1 units, fitted with large strips, governed by egg crates. Above Manu is an SB 910, fitted with a gridded Flashpoint beauty dish.  (There is a new version out. Contact The SB unit is running on a manual slave eye, and I’m pushing the B 1’s with the very reliable Profoto air remote. Shot about four frames of this as an example and then the class went back to work. Next step, if you choose, could be another speed light up front and low, to light his chest and interior forearms. Thankfully, I get to work with Manu again, later this week.

One of the reasons it’s wonderful to work with dancers and performers of this caliber, as I always note, is they can physicalize your imagination. Many thanks to Vegas shooter Adam Silversmith who puts together these adventures for us. More tk….

Knocking Around With Flash

Aug 11

In Lighting, Seminars & Workshops at 5:48am

It’s been a busy year, so much so, I didn’t get around to doing a KelbyOne live seminar until late June. They are fun to do, and it looks like I’ll do a few more as the year progresses. The Kelby folks actually changed the name of the tour in the middle of things (thanks guys:-) so it is now called “The Power of One Flash.” Good example below. A very patient lady helped me out by coming out of the audience in San Jose for this one flash snap.

It’s a one flash deal, but the flash is ping ponged off a white foam core board. It faces away from the subject, hits that board, enlarges and softens dramatically, and then hits a 3×3 Lastolite Skylite Rapid Diffuser, which is very, very close to her face. When the already bounced light translates through that, it gets really glowy and soft. It’s basically a home made soft box I make on stage.

At the top of the blog, the pic is three flashes, but I don’t get to three until the fourth hour, and only use the that many for about 10 minutes. The rest of the day is pretty much one flash treatments, which I regard as a serious act of restraint on my part.

The gentleman in the hat is lit with two rim lights, off to the sides and behind him. I shot in tungsten white balance, so the white light SB-910 units go blue. With a little underexposure, they get dramatically blue. The front light is a little beauty dish that used to be made by Flashpoint. Sadly, they don’t make it anymore, but I loved the controlled snap of the light, especially when used, as it is here, with a honeycomb grid. It’s tight, and really pops the subject, but let’s the other lights do their thing, as it’s overall field of coverage is really defined and narrow.

Also experimenting with a new style of umbrella. It’s big. (Called a 4 in 1 by the Lastolite folks, it is 51″ so the coverage is excellent.) Used in reflected fashion, it easily drapes Brad and Jan here in rounded, soft light. (This big source gets trotted out in the last hour, where I show some Profoto large flash units, and contrast that approach with multiple speed lights into one shaper.)

Then, with the addition of a tri-grip silver reflector, and some banter, we ended up here. These lovely folks have been together a long time, over 20 years, as I remember. Many thanks to them for coming onstage.

But turn the umbrella into a shoot through, firing only through the center port, you can make it a character driven light, such as the treatment here of Chet, also a wonderful volunteer from the audience.

The above pix are shot with the exact same light source, the 4 in 1, but configured in a different way, which yields decidedly different results.

Next one of these stops is Cleveland! Having fun doing these, and many, many thanks for all the gracious folks who come up onstage and help me out during the day. Most people don’t imagine at the beginning of the day that they will end up with a photo session in front of 300 plus people, but for a few, it works out that way. Hey, I get a great subject to work with, and they get a new Facebook profile picture. All good……more tk…..