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February, 2010:

Flash Photography with an Off-Camera Shoe Cord: Film Festival

San Diego Burning Man Film Festival

The Hoop Unit performs in the lobby

In a previous post I wrote about shooting an indoor event in a dark warehouse with the Lumiquest 80/20 with on-camera flash.  Today we’re going to look at another option for event photography: using an Off Camera Shoe Cord to get the flash off the camera.

If you want to view the photos before reading about them, see the gallery here.

Last night I attended the San Diego Burning Man Film Festival at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.  You can always count on the Burning Man community to turn out in fanciful costumes that make great photos.

Since I knew I’d be holding the camera in one hand and the flash in the other hand all night, I chose my gear based on weight: the super-light Rebel 350D and the 430EX flash (each considerably lighter than carrying my heavier DSLR and 580EXII flash).  Unfortunately, my workhorse lens for indoor photography, the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, is a monster, so the camera is still quite a brick to hand-hold all night.  Not to mention front-heavy as hell on the tiny Rebel body.  But these are the trade-offs we make. (more…)

Be Your Own Flash Test Dummy

Self Portrait

Self portrait in my living room

It’s about freakin’ time.  For years I’ve pestered family members, friends, and occasionally even strangers to stand in while I’m testing a lighting setup or indluging some photographic whim that requires a human subject in front of the lens.

Thus I’ve gradually trained all the people nearest me to duck out the back door if they see me coming with a camera in hand.  “Sorry, dude, gotta run.  I think my parking meter is about to expire.”

So what’s a photographer to do? I have a constant need to test lighting setups, particularly those involving multiple radio-triggered flashes, which require delicate adjustment to get the right balance.  I like to know how these things are going to look before I try it out in the field. When it comes time for the actual shoot, I don’t want to force the talent, or the client, to sit through this agonizing process of tweaking. (more…)

Video: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom Workflow

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Box

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the premiere photo managment software for digital photographers.  It can handle your entire photo workflow from importing images, to organizing, editing, printing, and exporting to websites like Picasa, Flickr, or your own custom-made web galleries.

I just created a free 23-minute video tutorial illustrating the process of working in Lightroom. If you’re considering buying Lightroom, or if you’re a new Lightroom owner looking to get more out of the software, this video is for you.

In this tutorial, I walk you step-by-step through my own Lightroom workflow, narrating as I process a set of photos from camera import through organizing, renaming, editing, and exporting as a fully-functional flash web gallery.

If you’re curious about Lightroom, I invite you to check it out on my photo tutorials page.

See Lightroom at

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