I have to admit, without modern digital technology, I probably would have given this up long ago; I highly doubt I would have the patience to wait for photos to come back from the lab to see how badly I screwed things up. Anyone who knows me, knows how lazy I can get.
Digital lets me go "hmm, the background is a little bright there. Lets dial down my shutter a stop and see how it looks..." Change exposure, shoot, check histogram, repeat.
More words and photos after the jump:
One of the coolest things about being a photographer today is the wealth of excellent information available on the internet. Just as digital gives me instant feedback, the internet gives me instant access to more information than I could possibly hope to absorb. Just sorting through all that knowledge is a daunting task; after all, there are a lot of idiots out there (sorry Ken).
Just as there are sites that don't provide a whole lot to the photographic community (mine is probably one of those :-P), there are some that stand head and shoulders above the rest as a resource for photographers.
Strobist is a blog I read on a daily basis. As any photographer that has delved into the world of off-camera lighting knows, it quickly gets more complex than simply putting your flash somewhere else. Power ratios, flash durations, light modifiers, and a whole lot of stuff that I know next to nothing about make it so much more complicated than just taking your flash and putting it somewhere other than the camera hotshoe.
This is where Strobist comes in. A blog run by longtime Baltimore Sun staff photog David Hobby, Strobist is, essentially, an informational blog dedicated to de-mystifying the world of off camera flash. Since this post is already the longest I've written, and David has such a good introduction section, I'll let him explain the rest. Or, you could check out the article on USA Today (yesterday, actually) for the real n00b rundown.
Strobist isn't just a learning tool for the individual, however; it's become the catalyst for a whole movement of photographers, eager to interact with each other, pooling their resources to allow full realization of their creative potential, without having to expend thousands of thousands of dollars on lighting gear.
If 4 photographers get together, each with a couple cheap speedlights and a handfull of Pocket Wizards, suddenly they've gone from simple, one-light setups in the living room, to having a full fledged portable studio... something previously well out of the reach of the average amateur.
This is exactly what happened yesterday, as I met up with 3 other photographers from the Vancouver Strobist Flickr group, and went on a mission to replicate a shoot done by local photographer Martin Prihoda. After all, imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery, right?
After that, we made our way to a local parkade to
rip off try out some other recent Strobist techniques, before ending with something we hadn't seen recently on the internet...
The point is, websites like Strobist, along with the instant feedback that makes digital such an amazing learning tool, are giving photographers like myself, Luis, Aaron and Kevin the chance to learn, copy, collaborate and create in a way that wouldn't have been possible a few years ago. For that, many thanks are due to people like David Hobby, Martin Prihoda, and others who are the leading the charge towards eliminating the words I don't know how from the vocabulary of todays photographer.