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A shot of Syx I took on the Joe McNally workshop I attended this weekend. Syx is actually a photographer with Vancouver Photo Workshops but he stepped in as a model as we had a few no-shows. The idea was to find a location in the studio and create an interesting shot. I started off with a single SB-900 directly in front of model, high, shot through a Flashpoint Series Q 6" beauty dish. I wanted the lighting to be contrasty and moody. Once I had that look down, I moved onto the background. Syx pointed out they had a continuous lighting source available so I put that under the chair he is sitting on and pointed it at the backgound. To create a little more interest, I placed a plastic milk crate in front of the light to create the grid patters on the wall. Whenever I use continuous lighting, I light to experiement with motion and ambient light bleeding into the flash. I originally started out by simply applying camera shake at the point of exposure, but my shutter was still 1/4 sec, so not an easy speed to nail it well. Syx suggested I try zooming during exposure so I decided to go with that. It creates a different look than normal camera shake, but it worked well with the gridded pattern in the back.

The workshop was great. Joe teaches in very much the same way he writes. So if you've read any of his books, you'll know what to expect. He doesn't hold anything back and pretty much everything he says is useful information in one way or another. Speaking of books, I've been reading his newest - Sketching Light - and it is great. Filled with dozens of examples of real shoots Joe has done, including all the lighting info, camera setting, problems encountered and solutions uses. Well worth the $50 if you are into lighting and want to step up your game.

Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8

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