Budgets are getting smaller, deadlines tighter and there seems to be less and less room for error on each and every shoot. They’re small, pack plenty of punch and luckily every time I switch on my new Speedlite 600EX‘s, coupled with the STE-3 RT controller, they just work….., and work well!
Lately I’ve become a passionate Speedlite advocate! I’m not saying that I’ve stopped using my Elinchrom Rangers and the Ranger Quadras when the need arises, but when the heat is on and the time is tight, there’s just no substitute for an efficient Speedlite kit.
So last Thursday (28th Nov, 2013) Canon Australia and digiDirect gave me yet another opportunity to showcase my wares to a diverse group of photographers at Redbrick Studios in Brisbane. From retailers, to pro photographers, to amateurs from The Canon Collective…..the ETTL capabilities of the new Canon 600EX RT system never fail to impress, and so far, never fail when it counts most.
Over the last 6 months I have been able to not only test the system out in myriad of shooting scenarios and conditions but I have now incorporated it fully into my creative workflow. So what better way to demonstrate their capabilities than switching to ETTL and seeing how they behave in a studio environment as well as on location.
Working The White - who said Speedlites don’t belong in a studio? With 3 speedlites in a triangle lighting configuration I started the demonstration on a humble white backdrop. With the key light punching through a newly acquired Lastolite Ezybox II ‘Switch’ on a C Stand I was able to easily demonstrate single light ‘low key’ techniques, slowly ramping it up with a second light as a rim light and then finally the third for a ‘high key’ clean background finish.
Creating Window Light - nothing beats the quality and direction of a north facing window light. Unfortunately not every shoot affords us such luxury. Sometimes we just need to create our own! With one or two Speedlites bounced into a white wall in full ETTL I was able to create, in my opinion, the closest situation to shooting with window light inside a room. This is an ideal technique for wedding and portrait shooters where you still need to deliver a beautiful shot in often less than ideal lighting conditions. For extra softness try bouncing the flash into a wall and then through a pop up scrim placed in front of the subject (double scrimming). The ETTL allowed me to move my subject around the shooting area while effortlessly switching from f1.4 to f5.6 to f8, the flash adjusted to give me the correct exposure each and every time.
The Roaming Rig – a single Speedlite through a small Lastolite Ezybox on a boom, full ETTL, and things couldn’t be simpler. Point the light where it needs to go and the flash does the rest.
Red Brick Wall - the final demonstration of the day was a slightly more complex 4 light setup. Still using my favourite triangle lighting configuration this time I introduced a 4th background light for a bit of colour variance. Still all in ETTL and still exposing perfectly, even through blasts of stage fog. The dress wasn’t damaged in this shot but I’m loving the suspense.
My Speedlite Kit
Model – Kathleen Doody (actor/dancer/model)
Hair & Make-up by Misha Douglas
Location – Redbrick Studios
Last night, courtesy of Kayell Australia I had the opportunity to present a Lighting Masterclass to a full house (270 people) at the North Ryde RSL. What a great turnout for my first ever stage demonstration! Definitely breathing a huge sigh of relief today. Who would have thought I would ever be on stage.
The presentation was to demonstrate the new WiFi capabilities of the Elinchrom BRX Monoblocks and Skyport Triggering system with EL-Skyport Software 3.0, whilst discussing and demonstrating some basic lighting principles and setups.
Here are some behind the scenes images from the night, but stand by for the dramatic finale video, which could not have been scripted better.
Our model for the night was Emily Harlow from The Grayboy Agency.
The clip below was recorded by my wife Wendy on her iPhone. I’m so glad someone got the finale in it’s entirety. I could not have scripted it better. Luckily we had the sense to isolate the smoke alarm from the fire department otherwise the whole club would have been evacuated. Maybe next time!
A 3 day hands on photography workshop, with a difference! THIS is what makes it all worth while!
Just recently I had the opportunity to share my passion for photography with 9 very eager students from Sydney Photographic Workshops (SPW). I wanted to give them a real taste of ‘on assignment’ photography so I teed up 7 shoots in 3 days, to give them what proved to be a unique once in a lifetime experience. Watch this space for a blow by blow run down of how it all panned out as we went from shooting fashion in the Adelong Falls Gold Ruins to Babe the pig at a private ‘Happy Farm’…., and so much more in between.
Meanwhile, check out various Behind The Scenes pics and finished images on the SPW Facebook Page.
Of course all this would not have been possible without the gracious assistance and co-operation of the wonderful Adelong area locals. A huge thank you goes out to;
HERE ARE A FEW OF THE STUDENT TESTIMONIALS - ‘On Assignment’ Workshop in Adelong over the weekend :
“Dear Wendy & Daniel,
It feels like last weekend must have been a dream but I know it wasn’t because … I’VE GOT THE PICTURES TO PROVE IT!!!
I don’t know how we managed to fit so much in, but looking at my photos today just makes me smile with pleasure. It was such fun to be with you both and the other students (now friends) to learn, laugh, eat and enjoy a weekend away in the country with my camera.
Daniel, you are truly an inspiration with a fantastic imagination that you somehow manage to translate into amazing images. Wendy, it is obvious that it wouldn’t all happen without your superb organisation skills – we were looked after wonderfully well by you without ever feeling rushed. You really make a great team.
Thank you both so very much for sharing your passion for photography and people.
“To the crazy talented Daniel, Wendy, Chris , Mark and the coolest group of photographers ever!
Thank you all for the most epic photo-shoot weekend of my life! 7 shoots, 3 days of nonstop learning, adventure, gourmet food and friendship.
I have never been so inspired in my life. Because of you I now breathe photography and when I look at my photos my heart jumps a little out of my chest.
Daniel, your vivid imagination and your patience to teach is so magical to those who want to learn. You not only make sure we have the shot and composition but enable us to learn your insider tips to
recreate it for ourselves in the future. To see the world through your eyes must be amazing and after this wonderful weekend, you have enabled me to have a glance of the world as you see it.
Wendy, Your kindness and organisation skills, enabled us to see and photograph so many places. Your eye for detail and creativity also helped us all to see things from a different perspective and get great behind the scenes and natural shots as well. Your warmth in welcoming the group is also phenomenal, rocking up you feel like you have been greeted by your best friend you haven’t seen in ages and you made the whole group feel like we have all been friends for years.
Chris and Mark, thank you for all your hard work and energy setting up shots and helping with equipment. Because you are both talented photographers as well, we had the bonus luxury of having 2 more teachers in our group to learn from. Your patience with the group and your jokes and kindness meant a lot to us all and we could not have done it without you.
And to the amazing friends I made along the way. Thank you. Was lovely that we were able to help each other during the shoots and to all sit down at the end of the night to a lovely delicious meal and a cheeky glass or 2 of wine with friends and talk about our photos was amazing!
Sign me up for all the future shoots!
“Dear Daniel, Wendy, Mark and Chris,
Wow. What an amazing weekend.
Thanks so much.
After having done three other one day workshops with you, and seeing the quality that you produce with your training, I had high expectations for this ‘On Assignment’ long weekend. And you definitely didn’t disappoint. It far exceeded what I was expecting.
To be totally immersed in photography all weekend I saw my skills grow and grow with every shoot.
The variety of locations and subjects was exceptional.
The thing I think I liked most is that we were all learning together with input from everyone. Not only were we learning from Daniel, Wendy, Mark and Chris, but also from the other students (as Rosemary said- we are all now friends). This togetherness, common goal and the desire for everyone to produce great photos help make the workshop such a success.
The only problem I can see now is how anyone else on your database is going to be able to do the next one, as I am sure that all my fellow participants (friends) will be putting their hands up again for another go. I certainly will be.
Some shoots are definitely worth geting up early for! Especially when it’s the majestic Sunliner caravan perched on the edge of a sandy hill at the southern end of Coledale Beach.
The assignment was a cover and feature story for the second issue of Time To Roam magazine, a new Sydney based caravaning publication. The brief was open…., just create some great images to showcase the van in an idyllic setting. In addition, we also had to feature a tow vehicle and shoot a portrait of the owner Richard Potter in his shed with all his other vans and historical curios. In fact, his collection of vans was fantastic, I’m definitely looking forward to photographing some more in the future.
Time to Roam Australia is published by 2 friends who are passionate about caravaning, and it shows! The pictures aren’t too bad either. I’ve just finished shooting the covers for issues 3 and 4 so keep an eye out (http://
Every year quarterly I create and present a Studio Lighting Workshop for Sydney Photographic Workshops. I generally see it as an opportunity for some personal work while demonstrating and discussing how it’s done and why. Each workshop has a different theme…., so for the last one we decided to reinterpret the mid 80′s British comic “Tank Girl”. Who would have thought it would be so fiddly arranging rubbish in a studio.
A huge thank you to the awesome creative team that made it all come to life!!
Aso a huge thank you to Dragon Image – Photo & Video Equipment Solutions for the use of their fabulous studio space and equipment.
Every few weeks or so I’ll put an hour aside to explore past personal work, with the aim of seeing it with fresh eyes. More often than not I manage to come across a new image that jumps out at me as though to say…, “what were you thinking, not picking me that first time?”
So this was one of those recent finds.
Taken back in July 2011 when I first purchased my brand new Fuji X100 as the take everywhere camera, this image was buried among test snaps and holiday pics. I took 4 photos of my friend Rodney as we walked through this underpass, three of them were blurry from the slow shutter speed which I’m guessing is why I missed this one the first time around, probably just glanced at the others and wrote the whole thing off. Lucky I revisited that folder!
In the Illustrative Category two of the images from the Gathering Dust series placed 1st and 3rd and are now in the running for the major prize to be judged at an exhibition to held in the Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne, dates to be announced.
Fingers crossed for the grand prize judging!
With a recent feature on the cover of CAPTURE Magazine Photo Annual 2013 and just recently as the opening double page spread (DPS) for my profile in Photo Review Australia magazine, the ‘Gathering Dust’ series finally seems to be getting some momentum and recognition.
Currently…, 2 of the images from the series have placed First & Third at the International Loupe Awards Medium Format Fine Art Prize – Illustrative Category, with the overall winner yet to be announced.
So it just shows what happens when a passionate team of creatives get together for a weekend jam. Thank you all for being so creative!!!
Here’s a peek behind the scenes of how it all went down!
Although this clip wasn’t professionally shot it was however beautifully edited by my man Steven Guzman (SGZ). Make sure to check out some of his awesome stills and video work.
EQUIPMENT USED FOR THE SHOOT
Elinchrom Ranger Quadra (single head)
What an honour!!! The cover plus a 7 page profile spread in the current issue of Photo Review Australia (Mar-May 2013) magazine.
So why “Personally Professional”? I guess it’s because every photography job that I take on, regardless of how large or small, I treat as a personal project and always try to find the creative value in every brief. In other words….. “I love what I do…., and if you love what you do……, you’ll never work a day in your life!
The cover image of burlesque entertainer Kelly Ann Doll was created as a demonstration during a Studio Lighting Workshop for Sydney Photographic Workshops and is a part of ‘The Magician Series’ with magician Jonas Jost also created during that workshop.
For the feature I was interviewed by Steve Packer who’s awesome image ‘Heal The People’, which I acquired back at my very start, is still pride of place above my work station. How coincidental!
More at www.linnetfoto.com