The Way I See It

Archive for March 2011

FlashBus 2011 Mini Review

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FlashBus 2011

I am primarily an available-light photographer. Landscapes, nature, travel. When the light is low, my trusty tripod and remote comfort me. Shoot with a Speedlight? Only when I’m forced to – and with some scepticism and a bit of apprehension. But when I read that two of the greats of modern strobe photography were putting on a road show (and heavens!, there was going to be a stop in Seattle!), I knew I had to sign up.

If you are a photographer who spends any time at all on the Web, you can’t help but recognize the names David Hobby (the Strobist) and Joe McNally (is there anyone famous that this guy hasn’t shot?). A combined 60 years experience between the two of ‘em. More magazine and website covers than you’d ever guess.

Hobby kicked off the show. His job was to ensure that we understood the fundamentals. This accomplished, he then guided us through his techniques and thought processes. McNally had the afternoon. Lots of “let’s do it right here, right now” show-and-tell. Both masters were entertaining beyond words. But more  importantly, they taught us stuff. Very, very useful stuff.

My takeaways?

1. Lighting with Speedlights is not magic. It’s science – primarily of physics and math. It employs elements of the scientific method – experimentation, measurement, prediction, repeatability. Do it enough times with the same equipment and you, too, can get that perfect exposure. Just like Hobby and McNally.

2. Making compelling images with Speedlights – that is art. It involves vision and experience and people skills. On top of the science, heap on gobs of creativity. Then turn on the charisma and the wit and the persuasion. Anyone with a human subject and a bunch of gear can make a portrait. But to get an already-jittery soprano to calm down and even agree to make an offbeat singing-in-the-shower image – that is what makes people like Hobby and McNally seem like gods among us mere click-happy mortals.

3. Bottom line – Flashbus is about light. How to see it, use it, bend it, shape it. As photographers, the more we know about light, the better we will be at our craft. My 100 bucks were incredibly well-spent.

You can see more here:

Written by xinapray

March 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Super Moon Rise

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Super Full Moon

Tonight, the moon was the closest it’s been to Earth in 18 years. Dubbed “super full moon” by scientists and journalists alike, I was intrigued and wanted to see how much larger and brighter it would appear. Stationed myself by the water in West Seattle and got this image as it rose above the port. It was a good night to be out.

Written by xinapray

March 20, 2011 at 12:49 am

Namsan Sunset

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Namsan Sunset

Namsan (literally “South Mountain”) is a 262-metre (~850’) peak that offers a panoramic view of downtown Seoul. On the day that I shot this, a thick layer of haze had moved in at mid-morning and it clung tenaciously to the skyline, eliminating my hopes of a “twilight above the lights of Seoul” image. Nonetheless, as sunset approached, the thick haze provided a beautiful blue-gray contrast to the sun-lit gold of the clear sky above.

This image is dedicated to you, Chris. Thanks for inviting me to tag along on your trip!

Written by xinapray

March 18, 2011 at 12:34 am

20110217 Diary Entry: Beat

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I’d been working double shifts since getting back from my trip in Fall. By the time today rolled around, I was feeling beat up – both mentally and physically. Usually, the stress disappears the moment I get past the hassle of check-in. But not today. I am still toiling with the cold that seemed to have plagued me for weeks and as usual, have left too much to be done at the end. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to make some images as this is, after all, my home airport. I wandered around a bit with little luck and finally came upon this bank of payphones. The light was just right, so I plopped myself down and began to become inconspicuous.

20110217: Beat

Written by xinapray

March 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

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