Lots of learning going on
Last weekend I presented a program on speed light and flash control at the Olympic Peaks Camera Club. I followed up on that with a 3-hour hands-on workshop on studio lighting on Saturday. I will be presenting a similar workshop at Glazer’s Camera in Seattle in November.
During the second hour of the class the students got to photograph each other using the Interfit S1 battery powered studio lights. I set up two lighting stations for them. One had an S1 head in a 2x3 softbox and the other had an S1 in a 46” Phototek Softlighter II. Each also had a white reflector set up opposite the key light and a background with no light on it.
One of the students, Jim Hagen, shared a portrait he made of another student, Irv Mortensen. This portrait was made with the S1 in the 2x3 softbox. I asked Jim about his experience in photography in general and more specifically about portraits. His response was, “(I) bought my first DSLR a little under two years ago. Didn't know aperture from my arse. Shot a lot of photos previous but with point and shoot auto. These are the first portraits I've taken. Very excited about how things were set up and the possibities of learning lighting and flash techniques. Certainly off to a running start after Thursday and Saturday!”
Irv then made a portrait of Witta Priester using the same setup. Witta then turned around and made a portrait of me on the other set with the Softlighter and lighter color backdrop.
One of my little "tricks" with the 2x3 softbox is to put strips of thin black masking tape across the front of the diffuser to make it look like window panes in the catch lights on the eyes of my subjects.
Great job by Jim, Irv, and Witta. I know that many photographers are not comfortable on the other side of the camera. But I feel that if you are going to make portraits you should get used to being in front of the camera. If you don’t have someone around to photograph you, a project of self-portraits can be great experience.
The Interfit S1 lights are very simple to operate with clearly marked controls and no hidden "secret handshake" button combinations to memorize when adjusting the lights. See the photo of the unit below.
Thank you to Val for inviting me to present. Thanks to Rebecca and John for their great hospitality feeding me and giving me a home base for the weekend. And thanks to everyone who came out for both the meeting and the workshop. I had a great time and look forward to another trip to Sequim, WA with all of its lavender glory.