Gearing Up for Serious Flash Photography
As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images is gearing up for serious flash photography! I just splurged and bought two more Canon 430EX II Speedlights to add to the one I already have.
Translation: More gear bought on "Buy Now Pay Later" interest-free credit, which will help me turn As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images into a real money maker & will also become part of my tax-deductible business start-up costs. A future post will follow on how I've formally set up my business, along with how I'm accounting for all my expenses and claiming deductions off my taxes as the sole proprietor of my own business. For now, back to the topic at hand: FLASHES!
I love my Canon 430EX II Speedlight and my Canon ST-E2 Transmitter, which enable me to use fully dedicated off-camera strobe lighting with no cords. I have posted previously about The Making of My DIY Beauty Dish, which I built to use with my Speedlight.
As much as I love the shots I've taken with just one Speedlight & my Beauty Dish, using a PhotoBasics reflector for fill light, once you get started with strobes, the reality is, you're going to want more than one light. They're like lenses – one just isn't enough! For truly amazing flash photography, I need at least 3 strobes – a 2nd for fill light and a 3rd for background light. This is especially true for portraiture, which I enjoy & truly need to do more of, in order to fund my extreme addiction to photography! I'm also learning that multi-strobe setups are the key to improving lighting for all sorts of photography. Luckily my Canon ST-E2 Transmitter can control three strobes at once, with complete dedicated control of the lighting ratio between all three strobes.
Part of what inspired me to move forward to assemble a true arsenal of strobes is that I'm going to a training called The Flash Bus Tour in Denver on 3/22/11. This training is being presented by two pretty famous guys in the photography world: David Hobby (former newspaper photojournalist & founder of Strobist.com) & Joe McNally (former National Geographic photographer, now also famous for the Giant Polaroid Collection known as The Faces of Ground Zero).
Both Hobby and McNally use small strobes to achieve amazing lighting techniques, and they've teamed up to co-present a cross-country extravaganza of trainings for aspiring strobe lighting enthusiasts like me. They've just begun the Flash Bus Tour, which I'll describe in their words: "Demonstrating the speed of light while rolling across the country at the speed of a moving bus." I can't wait for the Flash Bus to hit Denver – the training should be amazing!
I am currently reading a book by Joe McNally called The Hot Shoe Diaries ~ I'm blown away by how Joe improves all kinds of photos (not just portraits) using strobes. The photographs in the book alone are inspiring, but reading how he achieves the effects is truly educational.
I have my neighbor Andy of Soaring Light Images to thank, both for telling me about The Flash Bus Tour & for lending me this book. Andy will soon be getting his copy of the book back, because once you see The Hot Shoe Diaries, you just have to own it!
Both David Hobby & Joe McNally have very inspiring Blogs with stunning photographs and great "how to's" on a wide variety of topics:
As I await patiently for "the speed of a moving bus" to make its way to Denver, I await a bit less patiently for "the speed of a moving FedEx truck" to bring my two additional Canon 430EX II Speedlights my way this coming Friday.
I guess while I wait (not so patiently) for my new Speedlights & for the Flash Bus Tour, deep sigh…. it's time to start planning for that looming IRS tax deadline. Lots of start-up expenses to account for this year. My Business Administration B.A. degree, with focus on Small Business Administration, is finally going to come in handy. It was my major in college but I was never that inclined to the business end of things. Still, I'm glad for this background & I've realized I can find a way to tolerate all the accounting & IRS stuff, but only as necessary evils to afford me to do what I truly LOVE – which is creating amazing photographs!