PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


Lighting 102 at Strobist

Strobist is gearing up for another summer of flash photography training (here's last year). This time around he is going back to the fundamentals. Less glitter, more oomph.

I think what Strobist is doing is downright heroic. He's on a mission to heal the deep wound that compact cameras have hewn into our modern culture. You are wounded too I'm sure: tell me, do you like the result of your flash photography?

Odds are that you're probably getting the same flat, "deer in headlights", red-eye-tastic images everyone else is. Amazingly, even professionals can get burned by poor flash technique and might be tempted to subscribe the "available light" religion. The (somewhat bogus) credo of "available light" of is that only available light produces "true" pictures, pictures of real life.

I say that credo is bogus because good flash technique can produce natural-looking and very compelling imagery, at lower cost in collateral (image noise, lens size/weight, money spent). Pretty much the entire field of commercial photography (magazines, ads) is rooted in artificial light, even commercial photos taken outdoors use artificial light. When you have mastery over the light you can "create" light to suit your needs at the drop of a hat.

So here's where Strobist comes in: he can work wonders with one or more pocket-sized flash unit(s) and he'd like to teach you how. There are several days' worth of reading on his site, and the material is all excellent.

I can't wait for the first article of Lighting 102.

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