A few weekends ago I traveled to Dallas, TX for a one-on-one Off Camera Flash (OCF) workshop with photographer Tyson Pough (www.tysonpough.com). One-on-one is great! You have the instructor’s full attention. And lucky for the instructor she doesn’t have to worry about individuals with different personalities and her brain isn’t going across the chart because each person is different and trying to make everyone happy. When you sit back and think about it – that’s a lot of work. So this day Tyson only had one personality to deal with…and I hope I didn’t leave her with migraine’s for a week.
All photographs below were taken by me during the workshop.
OCF workshop started out with the discussion of basic photography. I liked that because we do this so much for so long we tend to forget a thing or two. Tyson discussed in-camera metering, composition, bounce lighting, and being aware of your surroundings when your shooting bounce. Tyson also discussed lighting techniques (in no particular order): flat – positioning your flash straight on your subject; butterfly – butterfly shape shadow that’s form under your subjects nose; loop – loop shape shadow is created under your subjects nose; split/mix/sidelighting – half of your subjects face is lit which provides a lot/or maybe not drama; and Rembrandt – one light with a reflector or two lights are used. Did I remember all the techniques? No but I did write them down to go back in my notes. Like Tyson mentioned “use the type of lighting that you feel”…… meaning whatever you like go for it. To me the types mentioned will give me a starting point. I have an idea where I should/can start. Your subject may have an idea for lighting. Why not give it a try? Like we all have said one time or another “the client is always right”…..but you can still in a nice way use your lighting styles.
My camera gear for the day was Fujifilm X-Pro2, 35mm f/2 R WR prime lens, Nissin i60a and Air Commander. Tyson provided the softboxes and reflector.
My first hands on instructions/exercise was shooting in an indoors studio setting/environment. THANK YOU Chandler for your assistance. Here we used a backdrop and set the flash up for flat, butterfly, loop, mix, and Rembrandt so I could see and understand the differences of them all. We used the reflector as well as the Cheetah Stripbox, which gives you more control of your light. We all know there’s a lot of photography equipment to choose. Tyson uses Cheetah products (http://www.cheetahstand.com). The bracket for the flash was slick. The softboxes I have used you have to attach your flash on a bracket and put half of your flash inside the softbox. Cheetah bracket – you just clamp it down and that’s it! When either Tyson or I was shooting we used our own flash equipment. Switching out didn’t take much time.
My second hands on instructions/exercise were photographing subject outdoors using the ambient light with OCF. THANK YOU Cassandra for your assistance on this day. I believe the weather was around 80 degrees + so for Cassandra to take time out of her busy day for us – very nice. There’s a park where photographers go (actually a photographer was there) to shoot portraits. There sits this cool, old barn with a lot of shade around it…really cool. Before we got to the barn, we photographed Cassandra sitting and walking. The main thing Tyson stressed knowing where your ambient light is and take advantage of it….use your flash to “pop” some light on the other side (if you don’t want too much shadow, separation your subject & background) etc. Even when we were shooting at the barn there was ambient light. Locate your ambient light and have your flash the opposite direction….or should I say not on the same side as your ambient light.
My final hands on instructions/exercise for the day were night photography with OCF. THANK YOU Jennifer for your assistance. We went downtown Dallas down under the bridge which was very well lit. The first thing Tyson suggested was to take a photograph of the background to get an idea of how I want the background to look. Here I had to do some adjusting to my f/stop, ISO, and shutter. I normally shoot in aperture mode (and most of my subjects aren’t people/portraits) so playing around with the settings was very interesting and good for me. Also mirrorless and DSLR’s are different in many ways and that was a learning lesson for both Tyson and myself.
I learned a lot from this workshop. This was the first time I ever used my flash in OCF so I was really interested to see how the Nissin i60a and my Air Commander would work. Look – shooting inside your home with no real subject versus shooting with a person? Totally different. They both did very well. My flash eats up some batteries, which today I’d order rechargeable batteries with the charger. One thing about workshops – you’re not going to leave there knowing everything or all the images you took will be perfect…..IT’S A WORKSHOP!! Keep that in the back of your mind as you learn. And you will be surprised how much you learn about your camera gear. Remember – OCF can be also be used for commercial/products photography. Again THANK YOU Chandler, Cassandra, and Jennifer. The three of you helping Tyson was awesome….truly awesome. THANK YOU Tyson for your workshop. Having the entire day for studio, day and night OCF with exercises? GREAT! Looking forward to your next workshop.