Monday, February 22, 2010

Had some GREAT fun with the classes this weekend


Robin and I had a GREAT time with our classes this weekend.
As many of you know we've changed our classes quite a bit and have incorporated flash use in nearly every one. Here are a few from Sunday's three classes — Macro, In Focus III and Fun with the Flash.

This was great fun. We were in the 'Fun with the flash' course and I was teaching them to work from their background forward, paying particular attention the the quality and direction of the light they were adding. With the help of the 'big bounce' we were able to score some rather impressive images!!!

I don't think it gets much prettier than this. This was shot with a simple 18-55 kit lens. The flash was corded and slightly modified with the big bounce. Everything was in manual ... and there was a huge smile on my face. For those who like specifics: I was wearing brown socks, had a burrito for breakfast and left my hat at home. As far as camera settings ... come on guys! Don't you know me by now? Those numbers don't matter since they will change for every picture you envision. You can't use those for references ... it's pointless and will only make things harder. Just have some determination. Picture the image in your head, then do whatever it takes to make it happen. Visualization is key and determination is the door.

This was shot just a few feet from the above photo. The ominous background was created with the use of the 'proper' internal settings along with the 'correct' white balance, shutter speed and aperture settings.

This image was sooooo much fun. We were shooting late in the evening and I wanted to share my passion for flash photography with the class. I set the camera on a bean bag near the water, adjusted the settings according to my vision, asked Robin to model for me and began. The image took about 8 seconds to 'cook' and while it was exposing I ran around the scene 'feathering' the various tiers of graphic information with a flash. I 'splashed' Robin with light twice with the flash (once on each side of her face) as to give her PERFECT LIGHTING (never aiming it directly at her face). Then I quickly ran behind the fountain and 'hit' the water three times in the back with the flash... and then ran to the front and 'feathered' the front of the fountain two more times as well. Pretty cool result!!!

In the macro class I introduced the flash to a handful of eager artists. The above image is nothing compared to what some of the got!!!

I had the chance at the beginning of the flash class to instruct my students on the finer points of feathering a flash off camera — such as 'going with the grain' instead of against it. Robin was awesome and modeled for us.

Again friends remember, it's not about the gear you have ... rather the vision you begin with. Let the artist out and your images will always shine. That's a promise.


If you haven't taken a class in a while, our new schedule just came out!


  1. you guys really know how to hurt me when i am down, was going to take the macro class again and wouldn't you know it, broke my arm again plus the knee, other arm this time. these are to drool for shots.

  2. So sorry about your arm and knee. Hope you are back well soon.

    Rod, your shots are beautiful...the fountain is a wonderful photo...shows your knowledge and skill for sure. Your new classes look so good. Maybe someday I'll be back to normal and can take another class from you and Robin...I've got a way to go for now.


  3. Beautiful! Masters of light and mood creating.

  4. Wow!!! I really need to invest in a decent flash and get into your flash class! Can't wait! So inspiring!!

  5. Thanks gang ... the classes are coming along swimmingly and as usual we are constantly improving, changing and adapting. platscha ... I hope you are back on your feet and shooting at full speed soon. dotcombs ... can't wait to see you back in the classes as well. Mark, thanks so much my friend and crule ... come on, you don't need a 'decent flash' you just need 'a' flash (any flash will work) after all, they just add light. It's not rocket science. It's all in how you handle the tool, how you modify its light and what you do with your background first.

    Thanks again gang ... see you out in the field.


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