Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Where to begin?  I’m not an avid blog reader but I suppose that I should start off by stating the intent and subject of the blog.  My intent is to record my personal progress in a series of exercises/ assignments regarding photography lighting techniques.  The idea of doing a blog to accomplish this was simple, I’m inherently lazy and by starting a blog I hope to give myself some motivation to continue this “class” in lighting.

That leads into the question of why.  I’m a photography hobbyist and I want to learn more about lighting techniques.  The subject of this blog is, surprisingly, photography.  More precisely, the subject of this blog is to chart my course through Lighting 102 on strobist.com.  Strobist.com also has a Lighting Boot Camp that I will be investigating and blogging about.  The Lighting Boot Camp was done back in 2006 and the Lighting 102 course was published back in 2007 so instead of trying to participate in courses that were done half a decade ago I thought I’d trek out into the world of blogging to “participate” in my own way.

 As stated above, I’m merely a hobbyist.  I was “into” photography while I was in high school but didn’t really do much in the way of photography since.  (I actually won an award for a photo back in those days that I’m not too ashamed to mention.)  What stopped me back then was quite simple.  I had a film camera that my mother was gracious enough to let me borrow and I broke it.  I was hiking through the woods one day and slipped in a creek while holding on tightly to the camera.  Instinctively my hand went down to break my fall (of course it was the hand with the camera) and I broke my fall and the camera in one fell swoop.   For the next 10+ years I lived camera-less.

A few years ago my wife encouraged me to finally get a new camera.  She probably thought it was fairly ridiculous to have a hobby without the tools to participate in it.  That’s all the motivation I really needed.  I credit my mother for first getting me into photography and my wife for bringing me back.
For the past few years I’ve been poring over Internet articles about photography and reading my manuals in an effort to continually improve my skills (not to mention taking photos of anything and everything).  From time to time I’d want to learn a new technique and need to purchase the gear to accomplish it (flash, tripod, lenses, etc.).  For example, when I wanted to take indoor photos of my niece and nephew I needed to get a better flash than the little pop up one.

My nephew - photo taken with 270EX II bounced off the ceiling
When I wanted to take some photos of Niagara Falls I needed to get a tripod. 

Niagara Falls - slow shutter on a tripod
When I wanted to dabble in some macro photography I needed to get a macro lens.

Found this guy in my back yard one day - taken with EF-S 60mm Macro
What really got me to this point was lunch with my wife one day.  Her company was having a holiday party with Santa himself and they needed someone to take photos of the children sitting on his lap.  After the shock of being signed up for something like this wore off I gladly agreed thinking that this could be a really cool experience.  Now I could easily take some snap shots with my external flash mounted on top of my camera but what I was really thinking is that I could get a couple off camera speedlites mounted at 45’s with shoot through umbrellas and really make it look nice.  Whoa, that escalated quickly.  In reality I had been thinking about working with off-camera flash for a while.  I could even do some with my 270EX II but I found it to be fairly limited in its capabilities.  I used this as my excuse (with my wife’s permission of course) to really get into it.

Hopefully that covers the basics of who I am, what I’m doing and perhaps even a slight glimpse into why.  Pretty much I’ll be following the Strobist Boot Camp and Lighting 102 blogs on my future entries.  So without further ado…I’m gonna start my homework! 

First assignment:  Headshots

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