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Heading to Canada, with a Couple of Lights….

Jun 25

In Tours at 5:12am

Heading to Canada for a Kelby Tour!

Almost two years ago, I did a Kelby Media tour stop in Tampa, Fla. It was a fun day, knocking about, working with flash, and trying to do on the fly problem solving with light. The crowd was great, and Scott Kelby, the man himself, stopped by. After we went to dinner, and I was decompressing from the day by giving mouth to mouth resuscitation to a bottle of Merlot when Scott leaned forward, put his elbows on the table and got kinda serious. (Truth be told, we actually embraced, but that’s for another blog. Joe make joke.)

He looked and me and asked, “Joe, what was the most number of lights you used in any particular setup?” I thought for a minute. “Uh, six,” I replied. He nodded.

“Joe, how many people in that audience have six lights?”

“Uh, well, uh, I guess, you know, there might be a few. Some of those folks looked kinda crazy.”

“Joe, how many people in the audience have five lights?”

“Uh, well, maybe, you know, I would  think……uh…”

“Joe, how many people in the audience have four lights?”

“Well, gosh, you know there were some out in the audience who had this wide eyed stare, eyes really bloodshot, you know, twitching a bit. I mean, they coulda either been wards of the state on furlough for the day, or you know, avid speed light users.”

“Joe, how many had three lights?”

“Uh, mumble, mumble…..”

“Two lights, Joe?”

At this point I was in a fetal position, on the floor of the restaurant, feverishly clutching the one speed light I had with me in my bag, hissing, “My precioussssss……”

That didn’t happen, either. But right there, at that table, a couple years ago, the One Light Two Light Tour was born. (Actually, in the literature, I give myself a rabbit hole to run down. I actually say at some point, well, I might use three, maybe once or twice.

The point of the day is keeping it super basic, super simple and super fast. When I did the video that became the template for the five hours of instruction being offered on each tour day, Cali, who was working with me looked over and said, ‘You know dude, you’re in the second hour and you have not used a modifier yet.” I was like, “Oh, yeah, light mods, I forgot about those.” I do use light shapers of all types, some found objects, tiny soft boxes, bigger ones, umbrellas, beauty dishes and the like. With an offering of an apology to all those in the crowd for whom I show and tell that which they already know, I start real, real simple. And pretty much keep it simple right through the day, right up till the last hour, when I create a couple examples of big flash, and then replace them with small flash to see the differences, and the drawbacks, on both sides of the fence. I use a lot of TTL. And a lot of manual. (Please don’t tell Hobby!) And I start with one light. (Please don’t tell Zack!)

Kinda a bit like the shot above. TTL, with a hand held shoot thru umbrella, done in less than five minutes. (Everybody has to help me out and wear a green dress they can throw around a bit.)

It’ll be fun…..here’s the link for the dates again.  More tk…

53 Responses to “Heading to Canada, with a Couple of Lights….”

Hugh R. Wilson says:

on July 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I attended your tour in Chicago (flew in) in April, 2011, with David Hobby. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot.
This past Saturday I attended your solo presentation in Toronto. It was generally excellent. I asked you how you choose to light from the left versus right in portraiture. Thanks for a very informative answer.
I do have one more question that I didn’t ask in Toronto. Do you ever use your on-camera pop-up as a modest fill light? By modest, I mean -1EV to -3EV. My point is that at moderately close ranges this seems to work very well for me in combination with an off-camera key flash. I understand that if you have unlimited flashes, this would not be optimal. But for someone like me with two off-camera flashes, using the pop-up for modest fill seems very good.
Thanks for your books and your input.

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