Thursday, April 25, 2013

You never stop learning!!

As most of you will know, i'm not a pro (i know eh!) i like to think of myself as a "Pro-am", professional amateur, and as such i don't always use the 'M' setting on my camera, hell sometimes i barely even get out of 'P' mode some days! but if I'm shooting large events where the light and timing of my subjects are too fast to fiddle with settings then that's what I'll use.
 But as with using a device that requires you to think about what your trying to attempt to capture, sometimes it's better to say you cant do it and find someone who can teach you what you need to know, even if it's been a while, a refresher course is sometime worth it's weight in gold (or yellow if you shoot sunsets) ;) and on that note i attended a course held by fellow photog Seng Mah and his Venturephotography workshops, i was doing some shoots were i was struggling with dark rooms, backyards and uneven lighting and my use of the flash left a lot to be desired, so off i went to learn about this form of lighting that so many of us use, but don't quite understand.

Held in his studio in Fremantle, we went through the basics of flash photography and its uses, whether in a room
at a wedding or outside in the bright sun, it use as a main light source or as a fill feature in broad daylight, what it can do and what it can't do even if we want it to light up the bright sky!
We even had a live human to model for us! that way we can see how shadows work for us, or against us, as people aren't quite as easy as a car! most classes are only 12 people large, so its easy to ask questions and interact with both Seng and the model without moving past and not getting the idea in your head properly. the first half of the day is inside the studio taking about all things flash related, after some lunch we then go outside into the world and try to use your flash in the wilds of Freo!! and it's here you learn hands on how your lighting works in the real world, lucky for us it was a very overcast day with cloud cover most can only dream of, one huge diffuser in the sky. we did have spots of full sun and this allowed us to work our flashes to the max while learning more. did you know your flash works so fast that using your shutter speed to do anything to control your flash is pointless?? me neither!! 

So for the rest of the day went walked around setting up here and there and using the available light to try and work out how we need to use the flash, either as fill or as a main light source, in little alcoves or in a big area with no shade. We had the use of a flash on a stand with a softbox and wireless triggers to do more than with it just on top of your camera, so easy and yet so versatile. if you ever get the chance to do a course with some one then go for it, it may just make those little scratchings on your cameras dial actually mean something! ;)

  So after a full day of walking, talking, and shooting everytime the model stood still long enough, i think i may just have a handle on this flash photography thing..time will tell i guess.

 Big thanks to Seng for letting me in on this course and being able to use these BTS photos, if your ever in Perth you should look him up, or meet him on one of his O/S courses!!


  1. Sorry, changed film speed to shutter speed..brain not working too well this morning ;)

  2. I soooo want to meet the genius Seng Mah, I've heard so much about his courses and can't wait till I get your side of the island for some quality education. Thanks for another great read Dodgey.

  3. My pleasure, i know it sound a bit like an Ad for seng, but it's just the way i write when i like something, especially when it works in my favor to become a better photog! ;)