The Flash Bus Cometh . . .

I had a chance to attend a great workshop on photographic lighting with small flashes (speedlights) yesterday. It was the Flash Bus Tour featuring David “The Strobist” Hobby and Joe “Numnuts” McNally. These two guys are well known for their amazing work using speedlights both on and off of the camera. They rolled the bus into Cranberry Township at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel, and put on a great show.

The morning started with David Hobby talking about using one or more flashes in manual mode. He displayed a few images and broke down in detail his lighting set-ups and the reasoning behind them. There were a lot of good questions being asked by the 300 or so in attendance, and a lot of informative and entertaining answers. I got to speak with David for a moment in between the morning session and lunch, and also got a ‘photo-op’. Looks like I need to lay off of the Whoppers.

So after lunch, David finished up his half of the show and introduced Joe McNally. After a short slideshow of a few of Joe’s great photographs, he dove right into using speedlights in TTL (through the lens) mode. This is where you let the camera and flash “talk” to each other in order to come up with the correct (or close to it) exposure for the scene as seen through the lens.

Joe brought up a few of his assistants and photographed them while making adjustments to the camera and flashes as he went. He made some great looking photos along the way. Joe also pulled some audience members and did the same with them.

I picked up a bunch of great pointers here that are really going to simplify how I go about setting up my lighting for a shoot. I can’t wait to get out and try some of these techniques for flash photography. If you ever wanted to get into using multiple flashes, make sure to check out both David’s and Joe’s websites.