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Santa Fe Photographic Workshops

I've just returned from my 4 days teaching at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Santa Fe, NM.  I had a wonderful time and I want to thank all those attending the workshop and the fine staff at the SFPW's.  I look forward to teaching there again soon.... DT

Dallas PPA Speaking Engagement & Workshop


I'll be in Dallas May 11th speaking to the Dallas chapter of the PPA and holding a special SSBR seminar & workshop on May 12th. If your in the Dallas area I would love to meet you and hope that you will have the opportunity to come to both events. For more information regarding my speaking engagement visit the PPA web site. To register for either the 1/2 day seminar or for the full day workshop click HERE.

Doorway Softbox

If you've attended a Small Strobes, Big Results workshop, you know that I carry a light modifier which is "light weight" and "inexpensive"and one that I feel is indispensable. It is a simple piece of ripstop nylon material that I can use in all sorts of cleaver ways.

I can tape this material on to a wall to achieve a more color neutral bounce, or I can place this nylon material over a window where RAW sunlight is pouring through a window, turning it into a soft light source. Another way I use this material is to tape it to a doorway and shoot a light through it.

I like using long hallway settings for shooting portraits, it allow me to throw the background out of focus which give a nice sense of depth to the photograph. A lot of times however, the hallways are to narrow to place a light modifier on a stand or perhaps placing an effective bounce for the lighting your subject. By taping my nylon sheet into the doorway and placing a strobe be hind it, I effectively have made a Doorway Softbox measuring 3 foot by 7 foot.

I bought my ripstop nylon at a local fabric store for less than $12 dollars, pretty cheap modifier if you ask me. Here is the final image shot for my client.

I wanted to draw you attention to a few up coming events I'll be attending. On May 11th, I'll be speaking to the Dallas Chapter of the Profession Photographers Association, and than follow up with a one day Small Strobes, Big Results Workshop on May 12th in Dallas, TX.

On May 14th & 15th, I'll be in the Bay Area, Oakland to be exact, teach a two day lighting workshop for the Nikonian's Organization. This workshop is for all those Nikon users that want to get the most of their CLS system. We'll be shooting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Union City, CA.

Nice To Be Home

To sleep in your own bed and to take a shower in your own shower is heavenly! I've had several days to relax and re-introduce myself to my family. I'm also very happy to be blogging once again, kinda missed it. Since January 27th, I've slept in my own bed 13 days. I have a lot of catching up to do, one thing is to clean my basement/studio. It seems every time I get home, I drop things on the floor, re-pack and head out again.

I want to revisit my Saudi Arabian workshop experience in this post. I going to discuss the set up and the execution of the following photo.

This photograph was taken in the late afternoon, but by no means was it even the slightest bit dark. This photograph was taken at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon in open shade. My intent was to create a "day of night" type feel to the photography.

At the Safwa sports facility where my workshops were held, there is a large soccer field with stadium seating. I used the stadium seats which were in the shade, to demonstrate this technique. Let's take a look at the progression of photographs below.

The first image on the left was my base exposure, basically doing exactly what my camera told me to do. My exposure was 1/250th @ f/4.5. and my color temperature was set to daylight. In the second image, I set my color temperature to a custom kelvin temperature of 3030*k. with the same exposure settings. The third and final image above is a deliberate under exposure
in order to place my shadow value. 1/250th @ f/9.0. Remember, any daylight contained in the photo will turn cool when the WB on the camera is set to a lower kelvin temperature than the actual source.

Next, I bring in my voice activated light stand (VALS). I used a single SB-800 with a full cut CTO (color temperature orange) gel on the flash. This CTO gel will render a neutral "normal" color light. I simply set the flash power to give me the f/9.0 that I had set on my camera.

I teach this and many other techniques at my workshops, whether it's a Small Strobes, Big Results workshop or teaching for other organizations.

I'll be teaching a two day workshop in the Bay Area for the Nikonian's Organization on May 14th & 15th. This workshop is designed for the Nikon user, I'll be teaching advanced lighting techniques using the Nikon CLS system. The workshop is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Union City/Oakland, CA. More more information about the workshop and reserving your spot to attend, contact Nikonian's.

I think I'm going to take another well deserved nap! DT

I'm Back, Sort Of

I can't tell you how happy I am to be sleeping in my own bed once again. The lack of recent posts here at my blog should be a good indication how busy I've been. I've been on the road for about a month now, first Costa Rica than Saudi Arabia and finally, The Santa Fe Workshops.

Over the next several weeks I will be posting images from my adventures as well as lighting demonstrations and thoughts on my approach to making several of these up coming images.

Let's start with an image made during one of my workshop earlier this month. While conducting my Saudi Arabian workshop I produced the following image. I selected the location for two reasons. First, I liked the repeated pattern of the metal fence as well as the receding lines it offered. The second reason was to illustrate location assessment and the choice of lighting this scene.

When we look at the photo below, you will notice that sunlight is coming from the right side of the frame, you can see the shadow of the fence projected on the ground. In my mind, it would make sense to light our subject from the same direction where the sun is coming from.

I first made an exposure to place the background value where I wanted it, this in turn puts my subject in silhouette. We than added a single SB-800 shot through a Lastolite Tri-Grip diffusion panel.


It's very important that you think about your location and from where the existing light is coming from. I chose to light from the right side to duplicate the direction of the existing light. I think it would be unnatural to have my light coming from the opposite direction.

I'm headed out to Columbus, Ohio for The Arnold Sports Festival this weekend where I'll be conducting a shorten SSBR lighting workshop. If your in the area, I hope you can attend.

I'll try not to take so long in posting, sorry about that..... DT