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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Getting Cheap and Flashy in Los Angeles. Day Three.

Our LA Model, Bonni Mircovich

Our final workshop in LA this time around was our Advanced Flash Photography workshop. This was arranged so that those who attended our Creative Flash Photography workshop when we were there a few months ago could attend and further their knowledge and prowess with flash. So, there were some familiar faces, as per our cunning plan for world domination, and some new ones too! Oh, and there was Bonni, our lovely model. She seemed to be enjoying herself too much and kept coming back for more teasing and insults from the Aussies. Its just our way...
Once again we gathered at the Palos Verdes Motel in Torrance, a rather ordinary venue it might seem, and yet the very kind of ordinariness that makes our workshops unique. We are NOT about location. This venue had also served us well for our Film Noir event and we were happy to be back.
Our Advanced Flash Photography workshop takes the next step forward from basic flash, teaching flash modifiers, basic studio techniques, multiple flash and coloured gels. For most of this we use Honl strobist equipment, which never fails to impress. Honl Grids, softboxes, gels and gobos are all available in this range. FlashWave III triggers and receivers were brought from Australia to distribute to our attendees to use.
Even our customers model for us!
It is rather surprising to see the effect of this photography workshop on those who attend. We deliberately use simple flash equipment and Honl modifiers to achieve some rather wonderful images. Keeping the equipment simple is also at the heart of our workshops because we have no intention of promulgating the notion that there is a need to spend unnecessary thousands in the pursuit of great images. We have customers arriving at our photography workshops with cameras and lenses that make me salivate - only to learn that they have no idea how to use them. This is not intended as an insult, just an observation that comes from years of teaching others how to produce images from their cameras and not their computers. It appears that there are many photographers who are either told or simply believe that the more expensive their equipment, the better their images will be. Nothing could be further from the truth, except Christmas. But that's another story.
It was surprising to our Californian contingent that such wonderful images were being produced using cheap generic flashguns. We had taken our FotoBestway strobist kit with us. It contains two generic flashguns, two stands and two shoot through brollies. As mentioned earlier in this blog, we also had our Honl gear. All of this stuff is inexpensive, yet very, very effective. I love being able to show what you can do with some generic gear, some knowledge and a little imagination. This is why photography workshops actually save you money! 

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The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

Images on this blog are copyright Shelton Muller