Category Archives: Strobist

I don’t think I’d seem Lem since college.  And I have only seen Sam once in the last 15 years.  But this weekend the three of us got together in frigid Minneapolis.  A gathering of the fellas to talk about…anything and everything.  Both Lem and Sam were grad students whom I met as a freshman at Northwestern.  They were great role models then and are even better ones now.  Seeing Lem’s family (his wife was actually my freshman Chemistry TA) was especially fun, and you can see from the pics that none of his 3 kids is especially camera shy.


This weekend I attended a lighting workshop with Canon speedliter Syl Arena.  Actually it was much more a seminar than a workshop in that I took exactly zero pictures.  But it was great for reinforcing some of the stuff that I’d picked up about lighting over the past couple of years.  My kit doesnt come close to scratching the surface of what Syl carries in his gearbag.  Probably never will.   But that didn’t stop me from coming home and trying to rig up some relatively elaborate (with my normal lighting scheme as the baseline) setup to get a shot that I had been thinking about since seeing reading Joe McNally’s book The Hot Shoe Diaries.  Both Syl and McNally are lighting savants, and if I ever thought either would come within 100 mouseclicks of my blog, I wouldn’t dare attach his name to this attempt in any way.  The image didn’t live up to the lofty goals I had for it when it was just in my head.  But this is what you get when you have two speedlites with no wireless trigger and have to bounce a pre-flash signal around a corner and down a hallway with the help of reflectors, mirrors, and foamcore.   I definitely had it coming.

  • You captured me at “reflectors, mirrors and foamcore.” The dramatic lighting works for me. I’m still debating with myself who is after who. Sleeping with the lights on tonight for sure.

    BTW, thanks for coming to the Speedliter’s Intensive.

    I’ve always wanted to be called a “savant”… without the obligatory “idiot” in front of it. Thx for that too.

  • Harsh Patel

    Very nice! Now you have to post the setup shot for your signal bounce … reflectors, mirrors and foamcore? That’s commitment. 😉

  • Caren

    Should NOT have read this before going to bed. Please don’t have nightmares, please don’t have nightmares, please don’t … !!!

I know I should delete more photos.  I know it.  Dealing with too many at once slows down my machine, I can’t tag them all before filing them away, and literally 95 out of 100 never get seen more than once.  But every deletion party has its rediscoveries.  Moment’s when I wonder what I was thinking to have passed over a certain shot the first time around.  Maybe I thought another in the series was better.  Or it wasn’t what I thought the client might like.  Or maybe I’m just in a different mood.  While deleting 1200+ images last night, as each called out to be spared for the chance at a future moment of fickle fondness, I was stopped in my tracks by this portrait.  The wall’s textures, the dramatic shadows, the highlights in Lisa’s hair…I love it all.  For some reason, I moved right past it the first time around.  It didn’t even make it to the second round.  Totally unconsidered.  Oh well.  Today, its a winner.  I can’t say that my mood always impacts what I like to look at, but what I just described happens often enough for me to know that it definitely plays a part.  And that’s one of the things that I love about photography…one of its most powerful little secrets.   Like any language, you can learn as much or more about the person behind the camera as the subject if you “talk” to their photos long enough.

  • Akintayo Adewole

    Excellent save.

We were pretty excited about this weekend on the mountain.  Especially when we got upgraded to an awesome 2BR suite upon arrival Friday night.  Of course we made some time to goof around in the suite between long days on the mountain.  The snow was ok too, although there were a few runs in whiteout blizzard conditions (not caught on camera).  On the drive back to Vancouver, we were lucky enough to catch an incredible sunset…just moments before our Avis rental car decided to stop running, stranding us for 2 hours.  A  great weekend overall.   So glad I brought the lighting gear.  And nobody is a more patient and willing subject than Serene.  As you can see, she is always putting up with (and sometimes contributing to) all my crazy ideas and really makes the images better.