Barnet Workshops » Sharing Experience, Information, Inspiration

Most of us don’t like to use flash. We prefer to use “available light”… Well, I consider available light to be all the light that is available to me, including the light coming out of my SB910 speed lights. The trick, or rather the skill, is to make the light from a speed light look […]

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  • April 2, 2013 - 11:11 pm

    John T. - Great information on a variety of flash situations condensed in one brief article. Nice job. Especially liked using the white card as flag, and the Manual vs. TTL situations. Great BTS images too. Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • April 2, 2013 - 11:20 pm

      admin - Thanks John! Glad you liked the post… We’re doing more and more of this kind of lighting on location, after a while, it get’s very intuitive and you can set it up in no time. One thing I forgot to mention… When using speed lights up on a light stand on remote, it’s a good idea to go in the menu and cancel the stand-by mode. That way if you don’t shoot for a while you don’t have to waste the first shot to “wake up” the flash. It uses a bit more power, but if you use a power pack it doesn’t matter… Take care and keep in touch!ReplyCancel

    • April 3, 2013 - 11:20 am

      admin - Thank you Carly, I’m glad you found the information helpful. I used to use self contained AC heads at receptions too, mostly I’ve gone to the smaller flash units with a power pack instead. I’m sure you noticed that we were using a round translucent panel (not a reflector) in front of the flash. Sometimes, like at the beach, we do bounce the flash off a reflector, a totally different technique. I’m glad you mentioned that, I’ll be sure to talk about out door use of speed lights soon. Take care…ReplyCancel

  • April 3, 2013 - 10:58 am

    Carly Street - Very helpful article! At weddings, I use Alien Bee B1600s, and I’ve been wanting to try using my SB910s more instead since they’re so much more compact. I like your trick of holding the reflector in front of the flash. I’ll definitely be trying that this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2013 - 12:32 pm

    Billy Higginbotham - Hello and thank you for the informative article. I am occasionally forced to photograph at high noon settings with very little or no shade available beach settings. Sometimes client wants back lit beach images, so I light them up with a flash. In doing so I get well lit clients with a blown out background which spoils what the client wants in the background. Is the solution just get closer like in your group wedding party shot where you used the wide angle, or is there something else. Also do you have any ideas in this beach or bright scenario if the an onboard flash has to be used for compensation? By the way I am a Nikon user.

    Best wishes,

    Billy HigginbothamReplyCancel

    • April 4, 2013 - 1:41 pm

      admin - Hi Billy! Thanks for your comment… You’re right. When shooting with strong backlight at the beach you need to have the fash close to your subjects. If your flash is mounted on the camera, you can’t use a long lens and achieve the “look” a long lens gives you, especially stopped down. However, if you place your flash on a stand with a remote triggering device, you can back up, use a long lens and still have your flash close. BTW, using the FP setting doesn’t work very well in these cases when you need lots of light from your flash. Firstly, FP won’t work on manual, and even if you used a remote TTL system, FP requires the flash to fire several times during the same exposure. If you’re using lots of power, the flash won’t recycle fast enough to do the job. For those images we use a larger, self contained flash unit, like the Profoto 600 w. or the Elinchrom Ranger, 400 w. I’ve been using the Elinchrom Ranger more lately because even though it’s 200 w less power it’s much lighter and easy to set up and carry. If you use a large flash with a soft box, you should bring an assistant. In the last few images on this slide show from one of our Samy’s camera workshops you can see how this set up works: Take care!ReplyCancel

  • April 6, 2013 - 9:51 am

    mary - This is such valuable information! thank you! Could you comment on how the flash heads are positioned at the reception- on camera bounced off ceiling with card or omni-bounce, flash unit on the stand has card or diffuser? Also, I shoot in manual mode on my nikon D700 but usually have my flash set to TTL. Could you talk a little about Manual mode with the flash? I have no manual mode experience with the SB900. I do own the pocket wizard flex tt5’s. honestly i haven’t used them much. Still haven’t implemented them into my work flow. Lastly, do you ever do workshops in the Chicago area? or midwest? I don’t make is out to the west coast very often. many thanks.ReplyCancel

    • April 12, 2013 - 10:39 am

      admin - Hi Mary; Thanks for your comment! Good questions… We also shoot Nikon, and SB910’s. At a reception, especially indoors where the light is not going to change very much, I use my camera on Manual and the on-camera flash on TTL. In this case, the off camera flash (1 or 2 depending on the room) are set to manual at about 1/8 power. They’re as high as possible on stands near the walls, pointed up and have the large, white snap-on diffuser. The off camera flash is triggered with regular Pocket Wizards (not Flex5’TT5’s).
      The FlexTTS system is great, but not well suited for this use, unless you use them in manual mode (you can do that). At some point I’ll do a post on the FlexTT5’s.
      Workshops in Chicago… We’d love to! My cousin is a photographer in Chicago and we’ve talked about it… If you know enough photographers that might be interested we can put something together…
      In the mean time, our flagship workshop of the year is coming up on Memorial Day: Recharge at Rancho, at Rancho Las Lomas, is a full day portfolio building workshop with classroom instruction and lots of shooting, great models and a fabulous location. A “Day-after” session is also available for those who come from out of town and want to maximize the trip investment. This workshop is a game changer for most participants, in the business, technical and creative aspects of our profession. Feel free to email us if you have any questions. Here’s more info:
      Thanks again Mary! Keep in touch…ReplyCancel

Top 10 Skills to Master for a Successful Photography Business: Part Two As business owners we have to sell our products and services. Without sales, there is no business. I can’t think of another industry where the goods and services offered by one vendor differ more from the next, than in our wedding photography industry. […]

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  • February 19, 2013 - 10:27 am

    Happy New Business!!! » Barnet Workshops - […] week: Selling yourself and your product… We’re running a business here… […]ReplyCancel

  • February 20, 2013 - 9:25 pm

    Vivien Olsen - I just ordered both books. Hope it helps me and Dene. Neither of us are good at selling nor do we like it.
    Thank you again for answering questions for us the other day.ReplyCancel

    • February 20, 2013 - 9:41 pm

      admin - I’m glad you found the post helpful Vivien. Selling is something we all need to master, just like every other skill in our profession. You are committed to your business, I know you’ll be great! Keep in touch.ReplyCancel

Top 10 Skills to Master for a Successful Photography Business: Part One OK, that should be Happy New Year, but I think we’re all happy if our business is doing well. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to start blogging regularly, so here it goes… I’m going to try to do a post a […]

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To register for this year’s Recharge at Rancho workshop on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, click here: This was our 3rd Memorial Day “Recharge at Rancho“ Portfolio building workshop at one of our favorite venues, Rancho Las Lomas. First of all, I want to apologize for not doing this post earlier. It’s almost time to start […]

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  • December 11, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    Rick Thompson - What awesome images! Just awesome! You do set a “High” watermark in what you two do

    I continue to be inspired in what I see in your images.

    Joe & Mirta, You’re the best!!

    An avid followerReplyCancel

  • March 21, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    David - I believe you want us to bring a medium zoom (24-70) and long zoom (70-200), but what about also a macro lens for photographing details such as the dinner plate, glasses, utensils, flowers?ReplyCancel

    • March 21, 2013 - 8:01 pm

      admin - Hi David; In my opinion, the best 2 lenses for this environment are the 2 zooms you mentioned. If you like using primes, the 85mm is a good choice too. Personally I prefer to have something longer like the 70-200. A macro lens like the 100 or 50 Canon or the 105 or 60 Nikon are useful, but since the 24-70 focuses very close, it works well for the reception table details. If we were photographing wedding rings and other small jewelry, I would definitely suggest a macro. If you want to bring one, please do. We will be moving around some, so try not to make your bag too heavy. Of course, comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended. You will be receiving an email about a week before the workshop with suggested gear, directions to the workshop, etc. We look forward to seeing you at Rancho Las Lomas on Memorial Day!ReplyCancel

  • March 22, 2013 - 6:58 pm

    David - Is there anything else we should bring, such as an on or off camera flash, grey cards, color cards, HoodLoupe, etc?ReplyCancel

    • April 12, 2013 - 12:23 pm

      admin - Hi David;

      Good questions… You wanted to know what gear would be helpful to bring for Recharge at Rancho… As I mentioned, my 2 favorite lenses, particularly at that location, are the 70-200 and the 24-70. Both 2.8 zooms. A spedlight is always nice to have also. We won’t use one much outdoors, but there are several shady and indoor areas where we’ll use one. Especially bounced off the walls to avoid the “flashed” look. I don’t use a grey card, sometimes we’ll do a custom white balance, but not in this case. If you like to work with a grey card or other color management devices be my guest. Just make sure it doesn’t take too much time away from shooting. I also don’t use a hood loupe. I know it can come in handy, but I never use one. I use the blinking highlights, the zoom and the histogram on my monitor to check things out… BTW, if you’re working in the sun and find it difficult to see the monitor on the back of your camera, a toilet paper roll cardboard core can help, paper towel core too. It’s a great shading devise, you can cut it down to whatever length works best for your eye site, you can keep it flat in your pocket and if you loose it they’re easy to replace… See you at Rancho!!!ReplyCancel

I recently read a post by a fellow photographer and friend on a Facebook page about a prospective client who had issues with his contract. This couple was planning a destination wedding out of the country, and was getting a great price from the photographer; but objected to the part of the contract stating that […]

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