PDN Virtual Trade Show Q&A :: Bring Your Questions Here!

May 21, 2009 | • Resources • Technique

pdn_prs_banner.jpg

Just finished my presentation for the PDN virtual trade show. That was the fastest I’ve ever had to talk! Thanks to PDN and B&H for making it happen!

This post is to answer questions that we didn’t have time to cover during the presentation. Go ahead and post questions here in the comment section. I’ll be working through your questions here on the blog through the weekend.

From what I’m being told… starting today all of the virtual PDN presentations from yesterday will be archived here. You have to register (it’s free!) and Mac users you need to use the latest version of Firefox. If you would like a copy of the PDF I used for my presentation, you can download it here. The PDF link is a link to the actual file. You PC users probably need to right click on that link and “save target as”. If that doesn’t work just his cntrl+alt+del and that should take care of it. ;p

Thank you all for being a part of this! I’m sure I wont be able to get to every single question but I already know that these questions will bring on other blog posts.

Let’s get started on some questions. Check back as I’ll be adding more to this post. I’m adding new replies to the top of the post so you don’t have to keep scrolling down and down and down.

Q :: I wanted to know, how do you deal with over-powering a sun on a clear sky day. If all you’ve brought is a strobe and your 50” Softbox, what would you do?

A :: A small hotshoe flash and the 50″ softbox isn’t going to overpower the sun on a clear day unless the face of the softbox is about three inches from your subject or you are shooting with a D70 or similar camera that has a faster sync speed than 250th of a second. Even then faster sync speeds might not cut it since the softbox sucks so much light to start with. If I am heading out into mid afternoon sun AND I want to overpower a very bright ambient light source like a bright sky then I’m going out with my Alien Bee 1600 and the Vagabond battery pack.

Now then, I’ve been shooting full time for 5 and a half years and I’ve only had the AB 1600 and Vagabond for about the last year. So what did I do?

• I didn’t book shoots that would have me out in the sun at a time that I couldn’t control it.

• If I just had to had to had to shoot in bright sun light then I used straight flash, backed up, and made the shot more environmental in nature since straight flash isn’t the most flattering quality of light most of the time. See the last image of my presentation to see what I’m talking about.

• If shooting straight flash doesn’t cut it, then I shoot available light. Typically backlighting my subject with the sun.

Hotshoe flashes are awesome. They can do SO much but they can’t do everything. You will quickly find their limitations when shooting in bright ambient environments. When I spend money on lighting it isn’t for features, it’s for POWER! Don’t give me TTL and digital this and that. Give me raw stinking horsepower. I buy lights to get the most light per dollar instead of “cool” features.

Also remember that YOU are the pro. You are in charge of making the decisions that will yield the best results for your clients. They are paying you to know what you are doing. If they want portraits on the beach and want to book the job at noon but you know the better images are going to be at 6pm then it is up to you to educate your clients and book that job at 6pm instead of noon. Clients want great images but they also want connivence. If you know the limits of your gear and the images you are wanting to create just can’t be created at noon then it is up to you to drive that boat and get that noon shoot booked at 6pm instead.

Q :: Did you say to DO talk to the model about things like a TV show etc. or just talk to her in the sense of what you’re doing and how many more shots are left and how well she’s doing.

A :: I talk to my subjects about anything and everything! If I’m doing a corporate shoot then I make sure to glance at the business and sports sections of my local paper before the shoot. I’m not a sports fan of any kind but I find talking sports in the corporate arena will keep a subject’s attention off the camera and lights for a little while. I’ll talk about my kids, my dog, a new album I am listening to, etc. I ask a lot of questions as I’m starting a shoot as well. “Married? Kids? Pets? What kind of music do you like? Did you see that movie 7 Pounds? Wasn’t it dark yet beautiful? I’m going to adjust this light. Just sit tight for a second. Are you keeping up with Idol this season?”

I will talk through my thought process as well during the shoot. Things like “I’m going to change this angle, I need you to rotate just a bit this way so I can keep that light pole from growing out of your head.”

The key to all of this is to make sure I’m not worried about the technical aspect of what I’m doing. If I start tweaking out in my head about my gear or about camera settings then I can’t stay focused on keeping a conversation going with my client. I get quiet. I start sweating. I get all up in my head about some technical thing and the flow of the client to subject relationship stops. I avoid that at all costs.

Q :: what would be the essential lighting that you would bring to a wedding? Assuming you are doing both indoor and outdoor photos.

A :: I take 3 Nikon speedlites . 2 SB-25′s and 1 SB-800. I only own the SB-800 because I HAD to have a flash for a job the day after my SB-80dx fried. I had to suck it up and pay $320 for a flash that I don’t use half the features of. I’ve shot entire weddings from formals to receptions with just a handful of these small flashes. I now take an Alien Bee 1600 and a Vagabond just in case I need more power. I rarely do though and it sits unused much of the time but I have it just in case. I have a blog post about what’s in my bag. Just add another bag with the AB head and battery, 3 stands, a 60″ umbrella, a 28″ Westcott softbox, and that is my wedding gear.

Q :: How do you come up with the effect you hope to achieve? Is it all trial and error or do you have an idea when you come into the shoot?

Answer after the jump! ——>

A :: Let me explain some of my gear and then I can answer your question. I have four basic light tools in my bag at any shoot. A 60″ convertible umbrella, a small softbox, a large softbox, and a few grid spots..

Now then, each of these tools has a specific purpose. I’ll try to simplify them.

1. 60″ Umbrella – This is my most versatile light modifier. An umbrella is used to light one person or a group of people. It provides soft light and I can cover a tightly posed group of 20 or more people with one 60″ umbrella or I can shoot one person. An umbrella is also good for lighting the subject and the environment they are in. If shooting indoors your umbrella is going to send light all over the place. Sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes you want to control the light falling on the subject and keep light off of the environment they are in. That is where a softbox comes in.

2. I use the 28″ Westcott softbox when shooting one to two people only. It is not good for shooting any more than two people. I’ve tried. I know! The softbox is a great tool for keeping a nice soft light source directed to your subject while keeping that light from spilling on to elements of the environment you are shooting in. Now, if you are out in the middle of a field it doesn’t really matter since you are going to light an entire field with any of these environments. I pull out the 50″ Westcott for shooting one to 4 people. The larger your light source, the softer the light. I LOVE the 50″ Westcott. It’s a big beautiful light source but I can still manage to control spill with it more than an umbrella.

I have an old post on the blog about umbrellas and softboxes. You can read it here.

3. Grid spots! Man I love grids. Grids give this great little spot of light with a nice feathered edge unlike a snoot. Snoots have a very hard edge from highlight to shadow. I prefer the softer edge a grid gives. I have a blog post about attaching grids to hotshoe flashes here. I also have a set of Honl grids. The Honl grids are pretty nice and easy to slap on any old hotshoe flash. I used them today for a shoot for Relevant magazine in fact. I still prefer the traditional 7″ grids because they give a cleaner circle of light and Honl does not yet make a grid around the 10º mark. I use the 10º grid a lot. A. LOT.

So… All that said. What was your question? :) Oh yes… “How do you come up with the effect you hope to achieve? Is it all trial and error or do you have an idea when you come into the shoot?”

Being I know my modifiers inside and out then I know what they are going to look like in just about any situation. I’ve never had a grid look like light from a softbox. I’ve never had a 28″ softbox look like a 60″ shoot through. It comes from experience of shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting some more. Also note that I didn’t start off with all of these. I used a 60″ umbrella for over a year before I got the small Westcott softbox. I then used those two for another year before I got the big mamma 50″ softbox. Somewhere in there I added a few old used grids into the mix. I didn’t buy a new modifier until I had shot so much with the ones I had that I knew them and what they looked like.

When I walk into a situation I can ask myself some questions. “Do I need to light the subject AND the room they are standing in?” If so, I grab the umbrella. “Do I need to keep the light on this one person and keep the light off the background?” If so, I grab the small softbox. “Does this environment blow chunks and I don’t want to see any of it ever?” Grid spot!

Is there a lot of trial and error? Of course. I’ll think that I want to light the subject and the background but then see that it sucks and I have to do something else. Maybe a shadow gets in the way or maybe the paint on the wall is glossy and I can’t control the glare so I have to come up with something different. Nine times out of ten though I can walk into a situation and get an idea for a shot and know how I’m going to light it before the subject shows up because I know how my light is going to act. How do I know? Well, I just made an archive on a terabyte hard drive. I was trying to fit five years of shooting on to the drive and I couldn’t do it. I did manage to fir over 180,000 photos on that drive. It averaged out to something like 74 pictures a day. That’s a healthy amount of shooting. Like I said in the presentation… Go take pictures of your vacuum cleaner if you need to so you can learn what your light is doing.

Q :: If you could use either an Elinchrom setup or a Canon flash setup for location work, which would you rather use?

A :: I was hoping to get to this question during the presentation but we ran out of time. That’s one of those questions that is like, “Would you rather have a truck or a hatchback.”

I currently have Nikon flashes and some Alien Bees. I REALLY want to graduate to Elinchrom in the next few years. Anyway, I use both systems in studio and on location. The majority of my work could be shot with hotshoe flashes but there are many times I simply need more light. I need more power. That is where the AB lights come in. BUT, sometimes the AB lights have too much power. There are times I want to shoot a portrait at f2 or f2.8 but I can’t dial the power down enough on the AB’s so I have to use a hotshoe flash for those shots. So I can’t really say which one I would rather have. I guess I would love to have 4 Elinchrom Ranger kits and I would just have to “make due” with those. :) I could always stack ND filters on the Elinchrom lights to bring the exposure down!

Q :: I have hated my SB 800 and rarely use it. I do like using my alien bees lights, though. These same principles will apply to all types of flash units… the reason to use a speedlight over studio lights would just be the ease of use when shooting on location, no?

A :: Light is light. Period. If I put that SB-800 in a softbox and shoot a portrait then change it out with an Alien Bee and use the same exact softbox you will not know which flash powered which shot. But as I said in the last answer, the difference lies mostly in the amount of power you are getting from each one. The 800 will allow you to dial the power WAY down and shoot at wide open fast apertures that you can’t shoot with an Alien Bee because you can’t dial the power down that much. The Alien Bee also gives you a modeling light which is nice so you get an idea of what your light is looking like as you position it. And you can plug the AB into a wall and have faster recycle times. That’s nice. At the end of the day though, it’s just light. One just has more of it than the other.

Cheers, Zack




Discussion

  • ernst said on May 21, 2009

    How’s Meg? Any news on the baby front? How’s Meg? I’m sure everyone’s curious.

  • Aref Hussain said on May 21, 2009

    I just want to say thank you I have attended your online lecture and it was amazing thanks a lot

  • Ray said on May 21, 2009

    Zach,

    Two questions:

    How do you come up with the effect you hope to achieve? Is it all trial and error or do you have an idea when you come into the shoot?

  • Jeni said on May 21, 2009

    Thanks so much for sharing with us. I find lighting to be my biggest obstacle and think you gave a presentation that makes it possible for beginners to begin really understanding how it works and where to begin.

  • Rick Wenner said on May 21, 2009

    Great (and fast) presentation Zack.

    If you could use either an Elinchrom setup or a Canon flash setup for location work, which would you rather use?

  • Anastasia Pottinger said on May 21, 2009

    Zack! That was the best 25 minutes of my day! I have wanted to get to one of your workshops for a year now but haven’t had the funds to do so. I hope to go out with my vacuum cleaner tomorrow and see what I can do. I have hated my SB 800 and rarely use it. I do like using my alien bees lights, though. These same principles will apply to all types of flash units… the reason to use a speedlight over studio lights would just be the ease of use when shooting on location, no?

    Thanks again! I look forward to spending some time on your site!

  • Aref Hussain said on May 21, 2009

    yah one more thing I have a photo i would love to show it to you , i used 2 Nikon SB900 on the desert with a model but I’m not sure about the results would love you hear you comments , how can i upload it

  • Josie said on May 21, 2009

    Thank you for sharing. You’re a great instructor, even if it was lightning fast!

  • IllOgical42 said on May 21, 2009

    Hooza to multitasking. While still listening to Allan, I’d still like to address 2 things. First, I’d expected the lecture a bit more… “advanced”. First, I’ve seen everthing spoken about at David Hobby blog. This is of course my own personal opinion. Second was the question about the what is the most important part in lighting. I was a little surprised because (apparantly) the photographer isn’t a part of the equation.

    Cheers,

    IllO

  • Plum Tree Studio (Agnes) said on May 21, 2009

    Great talk! Thanks so much. Look forwarded to reading up on your blog soon.

  • Jose said on May 21, 2009

    Really appreciate your knowledge thank you very much…

  • Brian said on May 21, 2009

    How you do select the locations where you shoot people?

    What tips can you give to beginners to get clients and market their business?

    What are some easy ways to build a rapport with a client and get them to open up?

  • Melanie said on May 21, 2009

    Your presentation was great, but I need some help. I am doing a wedding on Sunday, outside in the sun at noon. Do I use lighting or not, and if yes, do I put up a whole set, with umbrellas for the portrait shots? What about the wedding itself? Do I use the flash? Thanks for any help.

  • robin tomaszewski said on May 21, 2009

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your “brief” presentation. Being a newbie, and light be a constant challenge, this has inspired me to continue playing with light.

  • Jaroslav said on May 21, 2009

    Zack,

    Thanks for this quick lecture.
    It is nice to see some new [old] photos from you :-)

    I was caunting for a little peek in of your new website/DVD for one light :-) looks like we need to wait a bit more.

    All the best for Meg!! Good luck on the day !!

    Cheers

  • Keith Carson said on May 21, 2009

    It was nice listening to you today. I’ve recently been laid off from my newspaper job and am exploring my options with my knowledge of photography.

    Thanks,

    Keith Carson
    http://www.carsonphotography.com/

  • Sara Speert said on May 21, 2009

    Zach,

    Great job! Love hearing on you online when you are just a couple blocks away. Once again, a fantastic presentation on lighting.

    Hope you see you soon.

  • Phil Monaco said on May 21, 2009

    Hi Zack,

    Great presentation.

    I wanted to know, how do you deal with over-powering a sun on a clear sky day. If all you’ve brought is a strobe and your 50” Softbox, what would you do?

    Thanks
    Phil

  • Ivonne said on May 21, 2009

    First of, wow! you’re pictures are amazing! Thank you for taking the time to teach us photographers how to work with lighting.

    I was one of the ones that thought it was important where the light goes before shutter speed until I heard your presentation and shutter speed makes lots of sense.

    A question which you already answered but I didn’t hear right so I want to repeat it…

    Did you say to DO talk to the model about things like a TV show etc. or just talk to her in the sense of what you’re doing and how many more shots are left and how well she’s doing.

    again, I know you answered it but I wanted to make sure I understood.

    Thank you

  • Kari said on May 21, 2009

    CAN WE GET A REPLAY OF THE TALK???

  • deborah grosmark said on May 21, 2009

    I think you said you could put a list together of equipment…I would love to know how to start off. I look around your site. Thank you for the workshop. I enjoyed it and learned a lot very quickly.

  • Dave said on May 21, 2009

    Zack,
    Great presentation. Even though I’ve checked out the Strobist site, your explanation was so much clearer. You mentioned in a previous post that you would post information on your One Light Workshop. How soon can we expect that info to go on the site?

    You covered quite a bit in a very short amount of time. Thanks!

  • Jordan Carman said on May 21, 2009

    I’m gong to echo Brian, what are some things that you’re looking for when you’re location scouting?

    Thanks Zack

  • Kelli Christoferson said on May 21, 2009

    WOW, what an awesome presentation!! Thank you so much for your time and constant wisdom that you bring in your posts, videos, etc…

    **One question… what would be the essential lighting that you would bring to a wedding? Assuming you are doing both indoor and outdoor photos.

  • Christina Montemurro said on May 21, 2009

    ZacK,

    Great presentation.

    I’ve heard you mention grid spots a number of times. Can you describe why you’d use a grid spot rather than a snoot or vice versa?

    Thanks.

  • Janice said on May 21, 2009

    Zach, I really learned a lot! It is my biggest struggle…how to do lighting to get the effect that I want. Question: When you are figuring out your lighting for the ambient and subject, are you using spot metering for any of this or does it really matter?

    Thanks, Janice

  • Gary said on May 21, 2009

    @Phil Monaco, Move to another spot and than go back when the sun has gone down a bit or the when available light has changed.

  • Les Doerfler said on May 21, 2009

    Zack…I second Christina’s question. I have wondered that myself.

  • Ben said on May 21, 2009

    Hi Zack,
    great job with your presentation!
    How’s Meg and the baby?
    cheers,
    Ben

    P.S.: Nice cellphone ring tone you got there…:)

  • Steve Kalman said on May 21, 2009

    Damn! I wish I knew it was you who was presenting this afternoon.

    I tuned into an earlier presentation that was so bad I switched away from PDN and did other work. Would have watched your stuff in a heartbeat.

    All the best to you and Meg.

    Steve

  • Herb Clay said on May 21, 2009

    Zack,

    Great presentation .. Thanks so much! Inverse square law and power levels/vs stops really helps clear up some things. Didn’t seem too fast to me, but I’m in the NYC area ;-)
    Herb

  • Chuck Langford said on May 21, 2009

    Great presentation.

    What is your “workflow” when doing a shoot? Do you set your ambient first? Do you set your flash level first? Or do you just “go with the flow”? Thanks.

  • Matt Palmer said on May 21, 2009

    I had to miss the show. Does anyone know if theres a recording of it and/or where to download it?

    To answer a previous question. A grid spot gives you a perfect circle of light with gradiated edges. A snoot can also give you a perfect circle (if you buy a decent one) but the light goes abruptly from light to shadow. You don’t get any of the nice fall off that is possible with the grid spot. Zack may have a better way of explaining it though.

    A little tip when using grid spots. If your flash unit has a modelling light use it in conjunction with your grid spot to accurately direct the light where you want it.

    @Anastasia: If you really really hate your SB-800 I’ll happily take it off your hands ;)

  • MC said on May 21, 2009

    yes, is there a podcast or a video download from your recent lighting show?

  • zack said on May 21, 2009

    Great questions. I’ve grabbed a few from the presentation too that we didn’t have time to address.

    Keep ‘em coming. I’ll be updating this post as I have time today and this weekend. Now off to meet some deadlines.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Jack Pope said on May 21, 2009

    I’m a 14 year old photographer and my first hotshoe flashes are coming in tomorrow. I’m so excited yet I feel pressured to learn how to use them quickly. I have a job doing portraits for high school prom next saturday and i want to be comfortable using the flashes by then. Do you have any tips on how to start and what i should do to learn flash quickly?

  • Rob said on May 21, 2009

    Another awesome photo at the end … I love the outcome of that beach shot… beautiful work brother !!!

  • angela said on May 21, 2009

    Zack,

    I can’t get the PDF of your presentation to download. It keeps coming up with a blank screen! HELP! I missed the presentation!

  • Melanie S said on May 21, 2009

    Do you ever experiment while on a shoot, or do you plan exactly what you are going to do and stick with it? Sometimes it occurs to me to try something new but I never know if it’s impolite to the client to try something new on the spot.
    Do you ever shoot with *just* a flash, or do you always have more than one source of light?
    Thank you for participating in the PDN tradeshow today- I really enjoyed your presentation!

  • zack said on May 21, 2009

    @Angela – Your computer is most likely downloading the PDF each time you click on it. Try right clicking on the link above and saving the file to your desktop then open it from there.

    The archive of the full presentation will be online tomorrow at the link given above.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Kim S said on May 21, 2009

    Great presentation, it seemed to be a small insight into the DVD.

    Are you using camera profiles in lightroom and if so which ones?

    Thanks.

  • melissa said on May 21, 2009

    loved your presentation, have heard the whole shutter speed ambient, aperture flash but when you said it , it made perfect sense. I don’t know why but it was so clear. thanks for taking the time to beat me over the head with it so I finally had got the ah ha moment. love your critiques too!

  • Laclaustra said on May 21, 2009

    Hey Zack as always, goos talk for the people. When you say in the presentation straight flash it meant directly to her face or her? PS I hope this winter is not as dark for you as the one that just past. Congrats on your newborn, God Bless you and your Family.

  • greg said on May 21, 2009

    It sounds like you guys are already watching it? I just registered and it tells me “Access to show will be available on 5/27/09 at 10:00 AM(EDT)”

  • Rukmini Gowda said on May 21, 2009

    Hi Zack, I missed out on attending this presentation. :(
    Is there anyway I can see this presentation?
    please reply.
    thanks,

  • richard said on May 21, 2009

    Hi Zack,

    The link: http://www.zarias.com/www.pdnonline.com/virtualtradeshow gives a 404?

    I’ve seen the first part, then my pc crashed. For me there was not so much news but still would like to see the rest of the show :(

    Richard

  • zack said on May 21, 2009

    Richard. Not sure what that link is. Take the zarias.com off of it.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Teddy Sweden said on May 21, 2009

    People all the way from sweden listen to your lecture!! :D

  • Brad Tanner said on May 21, 2009

    Wow…Zack thanks again for taking so much time to help others learn :)

  • SebastianP said on May 22, 2009

    Hello Zack,

    Hope all is good with the baby. Thanks a lot for the presentation!

    Regards from Costa Rica :)

    Sebastian

  • Kholloud said on May 22, 2009

    That was amazing Trade Show ever, I loved it, and you were amazing, am up all night here in UAE waiting for your presentation, am looking for June 11th i don’t know if you will be there too, am the one who asked about the post production =D actually that meant to be for Allan but nice answer from you.

    Cheers

  • Kholloud said on May 22, 2009

    Oh forgot to tell you Congratulation on your new baby, Mohammed S. form GPP told me your wife delivered and all in good health.

  • IllOgical42 said on May 22, 2009

    Okay people, here’s the link to the presentation:
    http://event.on24.com/event/14/59/81/rt/1/documents/slidepdf/pdn_vs_session_2_final_deck.pdf

    Have fun!

  • Bliss said on May 22, 2009

    I already have the OneLight DVD but I every time I read something from you I learn something new.

    Neverending thanks, Zack ;)

  • Jessica said on May 22, 2009

    zack- thank you so much for all of your time and energy you put into these sessions/blogs/critiques/etc. you have a gift of explaining ideas and techniques in layman’s terms.

    much appreciated!

    cheers!

  • Chris said on May 22, 2009

    Congratulations on your baby!! You and Meg are going to make awesome and fun parents.

    What do you think about the Westcott Apollo Halo’s for not wasting the light being bounced back while using a shoot through umbrella? I love the spread and quality of light from a shoot through but I want to use as much of the light my little flash can produce for large, at the alter, group shots.

  • Chris nagy said on May 22, 2009

    What color Socks you wearing right now?

    I like your Talk, It felt more personal , with the cell phone going of in the back, and you actually sounded nerves.
    Witch to me i like.
    Keep up the great work, and log onto your face book, and check your email =P

  • Phil Monaco said on May 22, 2009

    Thanks for the Q & A Zack! It’s truly appreciated!

    I see discussions over and over again about how focus and recompose is bad with dslrs. What is your take on it?

    Thanks,
    Phil

  • Jon Prentice said on May 22, 2009

    Very helpful, thanks!

  • Glyn Dewis said on May 22, 2009

    As always Zack, great stuff. Thanks for taking the time to put this information ‘out there’ for all to benefit.

    Best wishes to you and yours,
    Glyn

  • Mario said on May 22, 2009

    Hi Zack!Thanks for the presentation, and your blog – it’s been great source of knowledge for me!
    There is one thing on my mind though – You’re saying that aperture controls flash exposure – which is true, of course, but what you’re not saying is aperture controls your ambient at the same time.
    So, “If the subject is over exposed, you need to stop down your aperture” and (IMHO) open up your shutter speed by the same # of stops to keep same ambient light level on your background,right?
    Same rule apply to “subject is under exposed” scenario.

    Of course this doesn’t matter when you’re working in a studio, with flashes/studio strobes only, but when you’re outside, this little thing is pretty important and helps you keep independent light levels on your subject, and your background.
    Correct me if I’m wrong.Thanks

    Regards,
    Mario

  • Brian said on May 22, 2009

    Fantastic stuff Zack, keep it coming.

  • Alan Matthews said on May 22, 2009

    Zack,

    Recently I shot inside an office space for some corporate portraiture where I carried my single 300W monolight and softbox but instead of pointing straight at the subjects I bounced it straight off the ceiling and got lots of ambient light. I threw in some foam core as well. I wondered what you thought about that technique. I get intimated in using my softboxes inside fearing I will get much too much light and shadows on the wall or the the chair whereas in studio it’s not such a big deal.

    Thanks!

  • Jeff Dietz said on May 22, 2009

    Hi Zack
    Quick question. I have been trying to use my 28″ apollo outdoors a lot more, or softbox/AB/vegabond setup. My problem however is, if its anything close to a windy day I am out of luck? Even with having an assistant hold the stand, the box/umbrella itself catches so much wind that I am afraid of impaling my model! haha.
    What are your tips in these type of conditions? Do you have to just go bare light?(580 type?)

    Thanks a bunch!
    Jeff

  • Levi Gardner said on May 22, 2009

    Zack, this is a general lighting question that I’ve always wondered about… When do you know whether to control your flash levels using a) flash power or b) aperture? is it simply a desired depth of field thing?

    Thanks

  • Ghislain Leduc said on May 23, 2009

    I would really like to know which adapter you use to fit your nikon Sb’s in those big softbox… nobody in montreal seems to be able to help me out! :-)

  • Phil said on May 24, 2009

    @Ghislain

    No adapater is needed for the Westcott Apollo softboxes.

    Flash goes IN the softbox on a mount/coldshoe, and the softbox has a shaft, just like an umbrella!

  • tony said on May 25, 2009

    i love my elinchrom!!!!

  • Peter Tsai said on May 27, 2009

    I heard you speak at the PDN conference – great job!

    Thanks for the insights about grids and different modifiers.

    I am well versed in umbrellas and softboxes… want to work more w/ grids and gridded softboxes now! thanks for the inspiration

    Peter

  • valery said on May 28, 2009

    where do I find Zachs replys to these questions??

  • Becky said on May 29, 2009

    Zach, thanks for explain things last week. I have been practicing on a couple of wedding gifts.
    You talked about how you used a grid for one of the photos. How does a grid work? I have never worked with one before.

    Thanks again,
    Becky

  • Jordan said on May 31, 2009

    Zack,
    I have seen many reviews and information on all of your lights except for strobes…what strobes do you use(specifically ac strobe)? Where do you place them and what situations do you use them?

  • K8o said on June 6, 2009

    ..lovin’ the new blogg and the rest of your online/community/flickr work – i see you will be involved with http://www.coloursmag.com‘s colours competition – nice!

    Hug that Meggie for me *i’m a sucker for preggle moms and wee babes*

    i will be a regular visitor from hereon in. :`)

    L8o a.k.a. K8o a.k.a. Kathleen

  • valery said on June 8, 2009

    How can I watch the video demonstration that you gave at the virtual tradeshow again??

  • chad said on June 11, 2009

    Great presentation. Thanks a ton!!

  • Lucrecia Diaz said on October 27, 2009

    HI ZAC, thanks for your presentation.

    I have been trying to find in your web the images from the studio set up but I have not been able to find it…could you help me??

    thanks

  • Arturo Ayala said on November 19, 2009

    Hi Zack,

    Could you elaborate more on your thinking process in how you shoot weddings? For example, do you always use on-camera flash or all your flashes are off-camera; how do you plan the position of your lights when people are in motion (like dancing, ceremonies, etc). Sometimes you don’t always have the time to setup the lighting for spontaneous pictures, how do you prepare for those situations?

    I guess there are too many questions, but I’m going to shoot a wedding in a couple of weeks and I just want to be sure I’m not going to try something really stupid.

    Thanks!

  • Arturo Ayala said on November 19, 2009

    Hi Zack,

    Could you elaborate more on your thinking process in how you shoot weddings? For example, do you always use on-camera flash or all your flashes are off-camera; how do you plan the position of your lights when people are in motion (like dancing, ceremonies, etc). Sometimes you don’t always have the time to setup the lighting for spontaneous pictures, how do you prepare for those situations?

    I guess there are too many questions, I’m going to shoot a wedding in a couple of weeks and I just want to be sure I’m not going to do something really stupid.

    Thanks!

  • Fotograf Łuków said on December 27, 2009

    Thanks for sharing Zack. It’s truly appreciated!

  • iSavor said on January 17, 2010

    Hi Zack, I realize that it’s been a while since you’ve written this post. I went to PDN to look for your presentation…NO luck. Can you direct those who MISSED out to your link?

    Great site and excellent information! Thank you for sharing I’m learning a lot.

  • zack said on January 18, 2010

    I’ll take a look around again for it but I can’t find it either. Maybe they only archive it for a short period of time.

    Cheers,
    Zack




Speak Up

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*