It’s rare that I get the opportunity to and learn and talk shop with other photographers.  This past weekend I took my assistant, Morgen, loaded up the Jeep, and headed to Little Rock, Arkansas.  We went to a hands-on flash seminar.  It was a really great experience.  We learned new things, met some really amazing people, and drove 2000 miles in a 4 day weekend.  I am so excited to use our new knowledge and make some great art!

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We started the day with some lecture in a classroom situation.  If you know me, you know that sitting still is not much in my wheelhouse.  From there, our room of 30 broke off into 3 smaller groups to go off with the instructors.  The first stop was a display of how find the right ratio of background light to artificial light while still making the image look nicely even.  The second stop was a headshot clinic that covered the basics of on-location headshot shooting.

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From there all of the groups came together for a study on how to change the sky color in-camera, in combination with a gelled flash, to make a dramatic change from just plain old grey skies.  It was great to see how easy it actually was.
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After the break, things started to get interesting.  We went to the parking garage to play with some back-lighting and other directional light.  This is the kind of stuff I love playing with!  This is where things start becoming art and not just images.

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I’ve really never played much with gels to change the color of a situation but that’s about to change!  The blue background above is actually a red brick wall outside of the hotel!

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Now for the fun stuff!  Urban street photography has never been my strength and after this I am having quite a palm-to-face moment.  Too easy.  Why was I afraid of trying these things?  All my years of insomnia – – and I could have been doing this!  Now I have so many ideas and things I want to try!

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By the time 9pm rolled around people were heading off, but a handful of us die-hards weren’t done yet!  So we threw Morgen in as the model.  Of course, as part of the selfie-snapping generation, she was all over being the model.  And good at it, too!  We played some more with our blue gels and just had fun with it.

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I was very pleased with the seminar.  I was impressed how everyone worked together.  Everyone shared.  Everyone helped.  Everyone was just happy.  It certainly sparked my inspiration to go out and create.  I needed that.