On Sunday morning I gave up my usually Football and friends routine and instead got up real early and drove up to Los Angeles. The reason for this really odd behavior was David Hobby, a long time newspaper photographer and the creator of Strobist.com.

David was holding a one day lighting seminar in Los Angeles on shooting with small flash units. Thats what he does, and his results are usually quite fantastic. The seminar started with introductions, from David and from the 45 or so photographers in attendance. The range of people, their experience, and what they were looking for from the seminar varied greatly. Some were professional wedding or studio photographers wanting to take their images up a notch, other were hobbyists looking for that secret information that would make their images pop. I was there to learn some new techniques and see what could be done with a couple of small flash units. 

David Hobby / Ringflash on 24-70mm f/2.8 & Nikon D700

David Hobby / Ringflash on 24-70mm f/2.8 & Nikon D300

 The seminar was broken down into three parts: Learning to light, the Gear needed, and the How-To section. With about 80% of the time spent in the classroom and 20% spent on actually setting up three different shots and working out the best lighting for each. 

I am not going to get into the specifics of what David taught, for that you will have to hope he comes to a town near you, or you can spend a couple of days on his website: http://strobist.blogspot.com/

What I will say, is that i was blown away by how easy it all is. With that being said, I still haven’t had the opportunity to put the theory into practice. David is a great teacher, with a wealth of information that he is more than willing to share. I had at least two DO’H moments when suddenly things just clicked into place.

In the above set up, David was shooting Lawn (yes, thats his name) with 1 Sb800 bare, and a second Sb800 with a Lumiquest Softbox 3. As you can see from the shadows, there was also a ton of hard direct sunlight. So how did the shot turn out?

For that you are going to have to go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidhobby/2917442302/

If you ever get a chance to go see David teach, jump on it. It was a really good day of lighting instruction and I didn’t even miss my NFL. (Saved me from watching the Chargers lose to Miami, so I should probably thank David for that as well.)