Running To Stand Still? + LA Workshop Images ::


I keep telling myself… “I just need to make it through November.” If meetings this week go as planned then I may need to start saying… “I just need to make it through December.” Am I running to stand still? Nope. I’m running to grow.

I’m thankful for work. I’m thankful for my wife supporting my work. I’m thankful for the community I’m surrounded with. I’m thankful for opportunities to connect, share, and learn.

All that said, I’m at that point where I wonder if I’m biting off more than I can chew. I’m really glad to be at this point because it means my field is growing and that means I get to bring more people on board. As I grow, others grow as well. We all grow together.

Things I have to get done around these here parts…

• The “Call To Action” update blog post. I’m totally slacking on that one. Sorry! • I have a draft called “Get A Grip” that helps you put stuff together and rig things to other things. I like things. I hope you do too. • October 11th will be our next episode of Critique! Thanks for keeping us to the fire on that one everyone! • I have to tell you all about my experience at the Vincent Laforet 5dMkII workshop. An eye opener. I was like, “Whoa.”

Coming up… I’m teaching the many uses of white seamless at PhotoPlus in NYC later this month. Hope to see you there.

Here’s some pics from last week’s LA workshop. Well, one of them. That was a double header. Big ups to Marc D’Amour for making the LA workshops run like German trains. If you are unfamiliar with the way in which German trains run then let me be the one to instruct you that, according to my high school German teacher, they run real güt.

Know when to turn your light off… Apologies to the synagogue. I had to tag something. It washes off.


We were in Hollywood so all I had to say was… “Cue the birds! And…. Birds in 3… 2… 1… Birds! —- Aaaaannnnnnddd… CUT!” Yes. I’m a dork.


Ok lighting folks… Take a look at the next two photos. One of these was shot in the afternoon and one was shot at night. I was demonstrating that off camera lighting is predictable and can be replicated over and over and over again no matter where you are. Which is which?


More to come?

• The Seattle workshop was amazing. Seriously. Big thanks to the Boone brothers and Chase Jarvis and images and thoughts to come from that. You know, one of these days. I still haven’t put images up from the Australia OneLights. I’m so effing behind on blogging. But you know, it’s not like I’m curing cancer with this thing!

• I twittered about thinking about thoughts while flying home from Seattle. I’ve given myself a deadline of 2/10/2010 to get our new brand off the ground. I wish there were 20 months in the year so I could have until 20/10/2010. I know what I’m going to be doing this winter. It better not be comparing myself to others! Update – It took me until 1/2011 to get it done. Branding takes time.


Oh… Crap. This the wind beneath my wings today…

Cheers, Zack


  • zack said on October 7, 2009

    Oh. And yes… that first image is shot with two lights. :)


  • Rob said on October 7, 2009

    My guess is the shot on the left was taken at night.

    Are you still thinking of doing a meet-up mini photowalk on the Saturday of the PhotoPlus show?

  • Graham said on October 7, 2009

    Like Rob, I think that the image on the left is the night shot, mainly because of the slightly bluish tint to the flowers at the top of the frame, which suggests they’re falling into shadow.

  • ryan said on October 7, 2009

    you’re slacking on a call to action post? irony!!!

    (also, you’re using wordpress. install the subscribe to comment plugin already!)

  • marcus neto said on October 7, 2009

    Your heart shows through when you say stuff like “your field expanding means you get to grow and help others grow”. It is why you have done so well. Keep up the good work we are pulling for you! After all… the better you do the better I do 😉

  • pcortacans said on October 7, 2009

    Night shot is the one on the left (little fall-off and lack of focus on the corners).



  • Mark said on October 7, 2009

    Zack, you’re an inspiration. Thanks!

    BTW, how’d you crop the YouTube vid? Neat-o.


  • Terrence Bibb said on October 7, 2009

    I’ll never tell… But you know I know. Good Job. I have been on a mission since leaving One Light ATL! Good luck on your new venture. It’s already done you just have to act on it.

  • Craig Ferguson (@cfimages) said on October 7, 2009

    Think Australian. That way, 20/10/2010 gives you until October. :)

  • Sissel said on October 7, 2009

    I always look forward to your posts and know that you are beyond busy so when I see the little “1” next to your name, it’s the first place I check. I am looking forward to hearing which of those shots was at night, I could guess, but it would be just that. I can’t tell.

  • Travis said on October 7, 2009

    The first photo is with the light because you notice the light fall off.
    That’s a really impressive example though- I’ve been learning off camera lighting and wowzers is there a lot to learn! but oh so fun at the same time :)

  • Steven said on October 7, 2009

    Oh, and there was that other thing…

    Welcome back home, and thanks for sharing your thoughts… thoughts are good.

  • sam coran said on October 7, 2009

    i guess the one on the right is shot at night and the left one in the afternoon. the blue tint that you see on the flowers is the reflection of the sky. Just my guess.

    Anyway, It’s always great to visit your page from time to time. Lot’s of things to learn.

    Thank you for being an inspiration to all photographers.

  • Eric E said on October 7, 2009

    When it rains, it pours! Grats on your continued success. If only you could send a tweet to the big man upstairs and request ‘just enough’ work to keep you ‘not too busy’ for as long as you’d like to be.

    Anyone can pick up a camera. To inspire others, that’s something different entirely! After spending the day with you it occurred to me that people love you, in part, for the reflection you cast upon them.

    Of all the workshops I have attended, your OneLight trumps them all ~ thank you.

  • Paul said on October 7, 2009

    Being busy is a good thing, it means all your hard work over all those years is paying off. I think all of us look forward to your new venture and even more inspiration.

    We all owe you a real big debt of gratitude.

  • Steven Hopkins said on October 7, 2009

    Just so you know 20/10/2009 in any other country is the twentieth of October 2009.

  • Jerome said on October 7, 2009

    Zack is just amazing. I’m lucky to have been able to attend this workshop!

  • Brian Davis said on October 7, 2009

    The one on the left is the lit shot. The light fall off on the edges and the boost in contrast/color saturation give it away.

  • Chris Hansard said on October 7, 2009

    I want to say that the shot on the Right is the night shot as the flowers have begun to close from lack of sun. But that may be cheating on Zack’s purpose of the question…

  • Rasmus Wenzel said on October 7, 2009

    Well here in Germany our trains actually don’t have that good of a name, but to be honest, we tend to take it very exact, delays over 5-10 minutes are very rare.
    Besides the world glory of our trains, I really enjoy your work and also your constant attempts to also push your followers further. This is very helpful.

  • Glyn Dewis said on October 7, 2009

    Zack … You reap what you sow. Since being introduced to your work through your OneLight DVD’s my photography has been turned on its head for good reason and without hesitation I know I’m speaking for the many thousands you’ve reached to date.

    Love the new images you’ve shared in this post; especially the ‘harp’ image .. wonderful stuff.

    Counting the days now till I make the journey from the UK for the Nov 11th OneLight Workshop; almost to the point of wishing my life away until then. If your DVD has had this much impact I can only begin to imagine what being there in person is gonna do.

    Thanks for all you do,
    All the best to you and yours,

  • Nas said on October 7, 2009

    The one on the right is the lit shot.

    What’s with the weird softness at the bottom of the frame with the Harpist?

    Thanks for posting such inspirational stuff.

  • Scott Nickell said on October 7, 2009

    Nice to meet you and your fmily at the social Friday night in Seattle. Next time I’ll shoot for the workshop. Looking forward to haeraaing about your new brnad.

  • Daniel said on October 7, 2009

    Zack, again superb Photos :)
    And about the german train.. as a german, i don´t know the thing with the trains, but our ice trains very fast…
    but to train your german skills (if you want), you can also say “das geht wie geschnitten brot” 😀

  • Jay said on October 7, 2009

    Time is precious! In regards to staying connected with your peeps, you should cut back on tweets and facebook and focus more on your blog. IMHO, your blog is a lot more interesting to follow – there is a lot more depth and value than meaningless tweets and facebook status (i really couldn’t care less about that!). Your blog however is what inspired me and got me to learn more about you and the work you do.



  • Juan Carlos said on October 7, 2009

    As a non german living in Germany for quite some years now, my experience with trains is that you usually have to wait for them more than you would like to. Not to talk about the chaos on S-Bahn in Berlin (if curious, just google s-bahn chaos berlin).

    I find your blog quite inspirational, I liked it a lot that you thanked your wife for her support.

  • matt haines said on October 7, 2009

    Zack, it’s always better to say “I need a vacation” than it is to say “I need a job”. Keep biting, keep chewing, because there’s always the alternative. Keep up the work, keep up the GOOD work!

  • Jason said on October 7, 2009

    The fall offs in the left image seem like one of the major clues. But I think they’re the result of the artificial lighting rather than a night shot. Night shot on the right.

  • Takki said on October 8, 2009

    Zack – German trains suckss !!!! They are NEVER on time. Maybe they were – once upon a time – long ago. My last experience just 2 weeks ago: I have made a reservation only to find out that the coach where my seat was, was missing! And on my way back the whole train was cancelled. Something is wrong with our trains here. I mean REALLY wrong. My suggestion: Cross out the German and put in Swiss ! Swiss trains are always on time and run great !!! Even going up to high mountains

  • Michael Erb said on October 8, 2009

    I scrolled straight to the bottom so that I wouldn’t read everyone else’s guesses. I think the left is the night shot because their is a lot of fall off at the edges. Also here eyes are closed (maybe to hide something). The quality of light on the right seams a little harsher, like there is some daylight mixed in.

    Not that I’ve overanalyzed it I’m sure it’s the other way around. Thanks for the encouraging blog.

  • Ricky said on October 9, 2009

    If you ever plan anything in Chicago let me know!! When you aspire to be the best, you have to learn from the best.



  • Eli Silva said on October 9, 2009

    Hey Zack great work … exitos en tu carrera!

  • jrrome said on October 9, 2009

    I always like the way your B+W conversions come out. Very classic Plus-X look. Nice work!

  • john said on October 9, 2009

    I love your ‘watermarks’ in these images. Very subtle touch.


  • kristi said on October 9, 2009

    I don’t know….but I sure do wish I could get my off camera flash shots to look anything remotely close to these! Were those shot with flashes?

  • Klaus said on October 10, 2009

    Another fact about germans: the like to complain about nearly everything. I think, not many germans will say good things about our german trains and the ‘Deutsche Bahn’.

    But nice to see so many comments from germany.

    And: are you in europe next year? Maybe in germany? I really want a Onelight Workshop here in germany (best in Hamburg, my Hometown)

  • Cale Glendening said on October 10, 2009

    Definitely feeling you on the “biting off more than you can chew.” This month will definitely be a month of challenge and growing.

    Best of luck sir. Love photos, as usual.

  • Hugh said on October 21, 2009

    I say the shot on the right is the night shot, based on that background lighting coverage…very even, seems as though someone? really wanted to make it look like it was shot during the day. Otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed, but seeing you asked…always a pleasure Zack.

  • Will E. Stylzz said on November 11, 2009

    I would think that the one on the left is the night shot just from the spherical degradation of its reflection growing consistently outward. However, both of them are amazingly lit and difficult to distinguish. The quality of light is fantastic. I think the only thing that would change the significance is the impact the time of day has on the shot. If night would compliment the take, then include it or if a certain time of day can accentuate the subject then include it. For both of these shots, it does not matter what time of day it is. What matters is they are let very well and the subject is my focus. Fantastic takes!!!

  • Novi Sad said on November 24, 2009

    Shot on the left is daylight, that’s obvious. Regarding the German trains….. Well, you meant Japanese trains, as the Germans are now more francoanglicised, including the new loose meaning of word “timetable”.

  • JL said on February 10, 2010

    Zack & CO.

    “I’ve given myself a deadline of 2/10/2010 to get our new brand off the ground.”

    Wondering if you made your deadline and what you did.


  • zack said on February 15, 2010

    We decided that trying to relaunch a brand in 30 days time was not going to work. We are using this entire year to do it now!


  • Randy said on July 27, 2010

    I’m going with the photo on the left was shot at night. Shadows are much softer under her chin and in the bush, also started to get a little fall off towards the bottom of the photo. Also doesn’t appear to have a catch light in her eyes with the photo on the right. Even if I’m wrong great photo’s and great example!

Speak Up

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