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Archive for the ‘Tours’ Category

Cyber Monday Whereabouts….

Nov 26

In Tours at 5:05am

Still in Stockholm, and winding down after FotoMassan Sweden. Back home, it’s Cyber Monday. Probably best I’m not there, as there are specials on all matter of computer stuff I’m completely incompetent at using. One thing to note that is close to home–the last ride of the Flashbus. There’s a small number of Flashbus DVDs left in stock at Adorama, and they are throwing them on a special Cyber Monday deal, at $50. (I always knew David and I would be available at a discount:-)

The DVD is the whole Flashbus day, from DH’s incredibly articulate parsing out of the management of flash, ratios and light levels, to my sort of madcap afternoon session where I fly by TTL wire and pull folks out of the audience for multiple portrait sessions. We rolled through 29 cities and about 14,000 or so miles all told, and this DVD is a terrific encapsulation of the all the flash lessons taught, as well as scenes from the road and a tour of the bus. (For a full description of the DVD, hit this link.) I’m glad we did the filming, as it’s a neat thing to have from the tour, as the Flashbus rolls into dusty sunset of memory.

Having a wonderful time in Sweden, where the passion for photography is incredibly high. FotoMassan was a non-stop gathering of photographers from all over Scandinavia. Was very honored to speak there, and hang a show.

Many, many thanks to Per Rosenlund and the staff at Stockholmsmassan, and to Ann Charlotte Eriksson (aka ACE), Peter Brodin and the whole gang at Nikon Sweden, for collaborating to pull this off. And of course to Markus Marcetic, who supervised and printed the entire show. The print quality was extraordinary.

It was great to hang with my bud, the wild and talented music shooter, Morten Rygaard. He does this thing where he takes incredibly forbearing and patient models on stage with him and combines them, one speed light and about 10 pounds of flour, syrup, water and yoghurt into an eye popping display of photographic enthusiasm from which the crowd emerges powdered and dazed from Morten’s boundless energy.

There was no greater evidence of photographic ardor than at the Pagina book booth, where traffic was dense, and all manner of photo books were being offered, from PhotoShop instructionals to David LaChapelle. Tobias Richardson orchestrated the wonderful mix of tomes on display, and in my case, pulled together a two book deal which was noted on the placard as “The McNally Package for Sale.” Hmmmm….

As always, wonderful to be part of the photographic community. Home tomorrow, on location on Wednesday. More tk…

Heading to Miami

Aug 17

In Tours at 6:30am

Haven’t been in Miami in a long time, so really looking forward to this Kelby Tour Stop. It’ll be this coming Monday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. One or two (maybe three) lights, all day long.

It’ll be even more fun for me, personally, because Annie will be there with me, along with the man himself, Jeff Snyder, from Adorama Camera. Just did something for Adorama TV, playing around with TTL transmission at a distance on the streets of Hong Kong.

Miami is just as exotic as Hong Kong, in its own way, and we fly tomorrow. Drew and Cali are already down there. They googled “hottest poolside scene in Miami Beach,” and came up with the Perry Hotel, below. Needless to say, I’m not staying there, which they’re very thankful for, fearing, methinks, that I’ll walk up to whatever group of young things they are chatting up wearing Bermuda shorts, black socks and my Jesus sandals. I would also of course have a floppy hat (for the sun) and a pair of flip down shades (handy!) and a D800 with my extra wide paisley strap around my neck. They would have to try to explain me away as a crazy uncle who’s “interested in photography.”

Hmmm….from the look of this place Annie and I better get down there to do some chaperoning, or perhaps refereeing, or by Monday I might have no assistants at all and I’ll be having to ask folks in the crowd to move light stands and such. Strange stuff can happen in Miami!

Have a great weekend everybody! More tk….

Coupla Lights Up North

Jul 4

In Tours at 10:55am

Had a great crowd in Vancouver yesterday. In Calgary now, and we keeping heading back east on the One Light Two Light Tour.

Shazmin is standing under an Elinchrom Deep Octa soft box, fitted with a Quadra flash head and pack. An SB900, zoomed to 200mm, set up on SU-4 mode (manual slave operation) is pushing light through a small cucoloris, and splashing some irregular highlights and shadows on the seamless. One light, two light….more tk….

Heading to Canada, with a Couple of Lights….

Jun 25

In Tours at 5:12am

Heading to Canada for a Kelby Tour!

Almost two years ago, I did a Kelby Media tour stop in Tampa, Fla. It was a fun day, knocking about, working with flash, and trying to do on the fly problem solving with light. The crowd was great, and Scott Kelby, the man himself, stopped by. After we went to dinner, and I was decompressing from the day by giving mouth to mouth resuscitation to a bottle of Merlot when Scott leaned forward, put his elbows on the table and got kinda serious. (Truth be told, we actually embraced, but that’s for another blog. Joe make joke.)

He looked and me and asked, “Joe, what was the most number of lights you used in any particular setup?” I thought for a minute. “Uh, six,” I replied. He nodded.

“Joe, how many people in that audience have six lights?”

“Uh, well, uh, I guess, you know, there might be a few. Some of those folks looked kinda crazy.”

“Joe, how many people in the audience have five lights?”

“Uh, well, maybe, you know, I would¬† think……uh…”

“Joe, how many people in the audience have four lights?”

“Well, gosh, you know there were some out in the audience who had this wide eyed stare, eyes really bloodshot, you know, twitching a bit. I mean, they coulda either been wards of the state on furlough for the day, or you know, avid speed light users.”

“Joe, how many had three lights?”

“Uh, mumble, mumble…..”

“Two lights, Joe?”

At this point I was in a fetal position, on the floor of the restaurant, feverishly clutching the one speed light I had with me in my bag, hissing, “My precioussssss……”

That didn’t happen, either. But right there, at that table, a couple years ago, the One Light Two Light Tour was born. (Actually, in the literature, I give myself a rabbit hole to run down. I actually say at some point, well, I might use three, maybe once or twice.

The point of the day is keeping it super basic, super simple and super fast. When I did the video that became the template for the five hours of instruction being offered on each tour day, Cali, who was working with me looked over and said, ‘You know dude, you’re in the second hour and you have not used a modifier yet.” I was like, “Oh, yeah, light mods, I forgot about those.” I do use light shapers of all types, some found objects, tiny soft boxes, bigger ones, umbrellas, beauty dishes and the like. With an offering of an apology to all those in the crowd for whom I show and tell that which they already know, I start real, real simple. And pretty much keep it simple right through the day, right up till the last hour, when I create a couple examples of big flash, and then replace them with small flash to see the differences, and the drawbacks, on both sides of the fence. I use a lot of TTL. And a lot of manual. (Please don’t tell Hobby!) And I start with one light. (Please don’t tell Zack!)

Kinda a bit like the shot above. TTL, with a hand held shoot thru umbrella, done in less than five minutes. (Everybody has to help me out and wear a green dress they can throw around a bit.)

It’ll be fun…’s the link for the dates again.¬† More tk…

Some Fun Down Under!

May 10

In Tours at 5:13am

Just having a blast in Australia, meeting with and talking to bunches of folks in the Aussie photo industry. Good bunch, as they say. ( I was going to say “bunch of blokes,” but I’ve also met a lot of terrific female photogs down here, and I haven’t been here long enough to know the female version of “bloke.” If anyone can help me out with that, please chime in.) In the Gold Coast now, doing a seminar, a keynote and a workshop over the weekend, before heading to Tasmania for Tourism Australia. Any questions, thoughts or info on tour stops and where we’ll be next, just hit this link.

Had some great talent to work with in the Sydney versions of the seminar. Below is Greg, shot at min DOF with high speed sync and small flash.

He’s a great guy, though he plays a bad ass biker in an Aussie TV series. He paired up with Leslie, a wonderful model and ballerina during the seminar.

It’s fun, actually, and a bit of a challenge, shooting live onstage in front of a couple hundred people. Everything goes right to the screen, win, lose or draw, and you rarely shoot more than one or two frames of anything. I’m mostly preoccupied with working as hard as I can to present as many solutions, problems (I’m good at creating those) and work arounds as I can during the time we have together. Like, the above, for instance, was the only frame I shot of this scene. It’s done with a Tri-flash and a Lastolite 3×6 Skylite Panel. Thankfully, TTL worked!

We also did a workshop at Vaucluse House, a historic property in Sydney.

What I often do is make a photo with larger flash, and then mimic it with small flash, which gives us all a chance to see the advantages, pitfalls, strengths and weaknesses of one approach over another. (With the full acknowledgement that there is no one, “right,” approach.) It’s all a process of experimentation, and learning as we go. Which is the heart and soul of the fun of it. More tk…