Monday, April 04, 2011

Quick Hit Monday: PSW Wrap Up; Flash Bus Tour A Hit; Lighting; Lightroom; DIY Lightning Trigger; and More

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Road Trip - Fotolia_879728_Subscription_XL[1] I'm a little slow out of the gate today but after our non-stop two weeks, I’m planning to take a little easier today.  We finally landed safe and sound back in Kentucky around nine o'clock last evening. It's been a very busy two weeks for LaDawn and I. We had a great visit in Atlanta with my good friend Denis Reggie both on the way down to Florida and on the return trip back.

The wedding of LaDawn’s son Joshua and now wife Kristen, went fabulously well. Even though I wasn't the chief photographer I still captured some beautiful images. Also, at the wedding I tried a portable lighting technique that worked out quite well. You'll probably see tomorrow for Technique Tuesday.

Scott's new book From Sarasota we made the trip over to Orlando for Photoshop World. As usual, we had a great time there too -- even though it's our busiest convention we do throughout the year. Check out Scott Kelby's complete recap of Photoshop World right here. His new book on retouching just came out and was available at the Peachpit booth.

He even gives a nice shout out to Terry White and I for wireless shooting during the convention. By the way, Damien and I are working on formalizing the process and how we made that happen. It's quite complicated but I think we should get all the details organized for Technique Tuesday next week. Stay tuned.

We left Photoshop World on Friday and headed back to Atlanta. We had tickets for The Flash Bus tour featuring Joe McNally and David Hobby -- more on that later. We spent another evening with my friend Denis and then headed home around three o'clock yesterday.  With the exception of my FUSION webcast on Thursday [link] the week is fairly light.  My Master Class starts first thing next Monday morning. I hope I can catch my breath this week because next week will again be a crazy, not-enough-time-in-the- day kind of week.

Canadian Imaging - 100dpi After my Master Class wraps on Friday April 15.  we had to Banff, Alberta, Canada for the Canadian Professional Photographers National Convention.  I have several responsibilities at that convention as well. I'm doing a day long platform program, an early bird program, and two tradeshow programs.  Yes, were on the move quite a bit these next few weeks. But it will be fun and I'm looking forward to it.

How about we get on with quick hit Monday --

Stormy Weather Shooting

I had to smile a little bit upon our return. We spent two weeks in Florida under mostly blue skies and white clouds. The word from the home front was that they were being bombarded with snow, thunderstorms, and mostly bad weather while we were gone. Our timing was right to be in Florida during all the bad weather.

Lightning Trigger Now the word on the street today here in Kentucky is that we are in for one heck of a thunderstorm yet again. That's why I thought this link would be appropriate. which is quite a nice site for finding interesting articles on photography and many other things, posted a link for a do-it-yourself lightning flash trigger. It's a pretty geeky read but if you really want to roll up your shirtsleeves and give it a try I think it would be quite fun. Lightning triggers cost around $200-$300 so if you can make one yourself for $20 bucks that's quite a savings. Anyway, if you're into the geek read you can find the link right here.

The Flash Bus Tour A Hit!

We left Photoshop World right after my Manfrotto booth presentation a bit earlier than usual on Friday.  We had tickets to the Joe McNally/David Hobby Flash Bus Tour on Saturday in Atlanta. 

DAZ, Joe, DAvid Saturday morning we were up bright and early and headed to the World Congress Center for the program. Joe and David had a great crowd of approximately 400 in the room.  It was about 5 minutes to show time when Joe spotted us and asked us to join the Flash Bus crew in the front row. These were definitely the best seats in the house.  Thanks Joe!

David Hobby, a.k.a. the Strobist, kicked off the program promptly at 10 AM. Many of us have read David's blog numerous times -- my gosh it's about the largest photography blog out there. Turns out that David is not just a great blogger but a great photographer as well.

He moved through his presentation showing how each light added to and affected the final image. He showed us his "mess ups" along the way and how he was able to correct those mistakes. It was a great learning experience to sit there for those few hours to see how he built his photographs into beautiful finished masterpieces.

Million flashes After a late lunch break from 1 PM to 2 PM, Joe kicked off the afternoon session with his razzle-dazzle display of the gear, flashes, reflectors, etc. Joe is a high energy guy who always gives a great presentation.  He wrapped his portion with a synced flash shot – audience participation included – firing 127 strobes for the finished image.  What struck me about both David and Joe was how well spoken and concise they were in communicating their ideas to the audience.

Their entire program flowed easily, and was quite entertaining to boot. I paid very close attention to their presentations, took tons of notes, and was very satisfied that we had a chance to see both of them on the Flash Bus tour. Check out their flash bus tour when it comes to a city near you.  Highly recommended!

A Quick Reminder About Our Free Webcast On Thursday

Fusion 200px - Canon 5D MarkIIa w-video Hey gang, just wanted to give you another heads up about our free webcast on Thursday [link] featuring Ariane Fisher who will be sharing her wealth of knowledge about how to combine the video with your still images. The program will be targeted towards the event shooter -- weddings, bar bat mitzvahs, etc. You know, video is not going to go away. Many of us have been hesitant about acknowledging that this needs to be part of the product and services we provide for our clients. Many of us have also been hesitant about improving our skills in that department.

Ariane will walk us through exactly what you need to do to become much more proficient in both shooting a video and combining it with your still images. I've been on the phone with Ariane many times since the WPPI Convention and I think she brings a lot to the table that can help each and everyone of the attendees to the webcast. Our IBM's is around 400 attendees so we still have plenty of room for people to sign up.  You can register right here.

More Lightroom Freebies Coming Your Way

DigitalPhotoBuzz Since I'm such a Lightroom aficionado this post really caught my eye at Mark Stagi's In this post Mark gives you links to several presets that he's developed for Lightroom. Hey gang, they sure look cool to me -- I'm planning on downloading them right away. Here is the link right here.

I have to tell you Mark has some pretty cool content on his blog. He's covering lots of things from off-camera flash to light room presets, marketing and business. While you're over there downloading free Lightroom presets be sure to check out several of his other posts. A really nice read.

Understanding Basic Light Properties for Photography

Lighting Monk Here is a great article right here by Rob Gray that really gets into the specifics of lighting. His references to lighting are not just in weddings and portraits.  He speaks to lighting is part of the overall composition and impact of the images. It is extremely well written article that I think should be read by all of our DigitalProTalk readers. Check it out right here, I think you really enjoy the read.

At The End Of The Day, You Just Need A Good Laugh

Brain Shot DigitalProTalk reader Bob Miller sent me this link to some pretty funny wedding photographs. Here is the link right here. The images must spend the time frame from the 70s and 80s.  I remember taking some of those same kinds of photographs myself back in the day. My favorite - the brain shot - is featured in this post.

I remember bride came up to me one time at her wedding and she asked me, "Do you do the brain shot?" I asked her what in the world was she talking about? She said, "You know, like he's thinking of me inside his head." I knew what she meant, I obliged by taking the brain shot for her - she was so happy. Hey, a long career spans several changes in styles and industry. This series of images is just kind of fun to look back upon -- I hope you enjoy the giggle.


Hey gang, that's it for me today. I think you got your reading cut out for you with today’s quick hit Monday post. I hope you find the reads diversified, informative, and interesting. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for another episode of Technique Tuesday.

So until then Adios, David


  1. Hi David,
    Speaking of funny wedding shots:

    If you have *LOTS* of time and want to see more funny wedding shots, check out
    While some of the photos are merely silly, many of them are truly hilarious. New uploads are added almost daily, (and sometimes several times a day). It is a pleasant diversion and I subscribe via rss, just like I do for Digital Pro Talk.


  2. David,

    Thanks for the perspective on the changing style of wedding shots. I must confess, my first thought when looking at the wedding photographs was "These are unbelievably bad!"

    But now I have to wonder: in thirty years, which of my photos will people look at and think the same thing? I guess if you want to make the sale, and the bride wants "the brain shot," you've got to give her the brain shot.

    Thanks for teaching us classical posing and lighting, and not brain shots, David.

    Finally, this raises a question: Which of today's popular styles do you think are tomorrow's brain shots?

  3. Thanks for the link David! Appreciate your site and all that you do for the photo industry.