Hi and welcome to this edition of my instructional blog; Workshop at the Ranch (WATR.) It has been a 13 year tradition for me on Workshop at the Ranch to feature the Year in Review 2015 …let’s have a look at the highlights.
Image #1 January – Banzai Pipeline, Hawaii … Nikon D750, ISO1000, 1/2500 at f10, Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 zoom lens with Nikon TC14E III 1.4x Teleconverter (550mm focal length) and Polarizer Filter, WB 5000K, SanDisk 32G SD Card.
The surf was amazing in early January at the Da Hui Backdoor Shoot Out at the famed Banzai Pipeline on Hawaii’s North Shore. Typically I would shoot surfing with my Nikon 600mm f4, but I decided to try a new approach.
This image was made using my Nikon 80-400mm zoom lens Nikon TC14E III 1.4x Teleconverter (550mm focal length) and Polarizer Filter. The results were excellent sharpness, beautiful color and a brilliant look to the Polarized water.
Image #2 February – Gulf Casting, Florida … Nikon D750, ISO200, 1/1000 at f10, Nikon 16-35mm lens with Polarizer Filter, WB 6250K, 4 Nikon SB-910 Speedlights mounted in a FourSquare, SanDisk 32G SD Card.
A commercial job in February on the Gulf of Mexico kept my winter days warm and comfortable. My #1 assistant @Julio Aguilar held the FourSquare with 4 Nikon SB-910 Speedlights Off Camera just out of the left side of the frame to help illuminate this fly fisherman performing an aggressive Double Haul.
Image #3 March – Moulton Barn Lightpainting, Instagram … Nikon D3s, ISO2000, 20 seconds exposure at f4.5, Nikon 24-70mm lens (at 24mm), WB 4000K, Lightpainted with Brinkmann Max Million II spot light, Manfrotto Tripod with 410 Geared Head, SanDisk 32G Flash Card.
Instagram @daveblackphoto became an increasingly big part of my daily routine in 2015. Posting 5-7 days each week I try to write something insightful and often times instructional in an effort to help photographers learn more about our amazing craft.
With 13,000 FOLOWERS at the end of 2015 I found myself really enjoying the IG process and enjoy seeing the daily posts from friends, colleagues, and the new talent emerging world-wide. This was my most “liked” Instagram post of 2015. Come FOLLOW me @daveblackphoto.
Image #4 April – X-Games Champion Jono Schwan … Nikon D750, ISO1000, 1/3200 at f13, 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 zoom lens (at 400mm), 4 Nikon SB-910 Speedlights mounted in a FourSquare, SanDisk 32G SD Card. (3 separate images post processed into 1 image)
I produced my own Self-Promotional video in April. With friends/colleagues Keith Ladzinski and Andy Mann (3 Strings Productions) colaborating and filming, we documented my photo shoot with X-Games Half Pipe Champion Jono Schwan in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
This video illustrates how I use Nikon Speedlights with High Speed Sync to capture sports action imagery. It is available FREE on my website.
Image #5 May – Dave Black Lightpainting Workshop … Nikon D810, ISO320, 30 seconds at f5.6, Nikon 24-70mm lens (at 60mm), WB 10,000K, Lightpainted with Stylus penlight by Streamlight, Manfrotto Tripod and 410 Geared Head, SanDisk 32G Flash Card.
May hallmarked the beginning of having my own Lightpainting Workshops in Loveland, Colorado. My daughter Haley is the workshop’s director/instructor and we have a 3rd “guest” instructor for our 12 students.
Dates for the 2016 Dave Black Lightpainting Workshops are May 19, 20, 21 … and October 6, 7, 8. The Workshop will again teach Lightpainting Small Still Life, LIVE Models, and the Outdoor Landscape. Students make their own Lightpaintings along with one-on-one instruction from me, Haley, and our special guest instructor. Come join me in 2016 and learn how to Lightpaint.
The month of June ushered in summer and wedding bells for friends Chris and Ashley (now Mr. & Mrs. Steppig) …and so my wife Susan and I drove off to Jackson Hole for the BIG Event.
With Susan at the wheel and myself taking pictures out the window our combined goal was to make a picture of Antelope. As is our custom Susan was maintaining a “Wyoming 80mph” then slowed to a “Wyoming crawl” of 45mph while I made this image of “Antelope Play” that is soon to become an addition to our 2016 home decor.
The Summit SPORTS Workshop was fantastic as always with an incredible collection of faculty: Lucas Gilman (Commercial Lighting/Adventure), Mark Terrill (Associated Press), Andrew Hancock (Sports Illustrated), Joey Terrill (Commercial Portrait Lighting), Keith Ladzinski (National Geographic/Adventurer) and more.
My Location Lighting Classes with action SPORTS scenarios taught attendees how to set-up and use the Profoto B1 Air strobe system in High Speed Sync with Telle-Zoom Reflector. Everyone made their own images and learned the benefits of using light on location to capture amazing action. Summit SPORTS is scheduled for July 27 – August 1, 2016. Come join us in Denver, Colorado: http://www.photographyatthesummit.com/workshops/
I love to teach and help other photographers to improve, and Photoshop World in August was the BIGGEST opportunity to do so. My hat is off to Scott Kelby and his staff for making this PSW such an awesome experience for everyone…me included!
I teach a bunch of classes: Location Speedlight Portraits, Lightpainting Workshop, High Speed Sync SPORTS Action, Portfolio Reviews and more. Come join the fun and learning at Photoshop World this coming July 18-21, 2016 in Las Vegas.
Image #9 September -Summit Adventure and Summit Nature, Wyoming … Nikon D750, ISO1000, 1/200 at f5.6, Nikon 24-70mm lens, 1 Profoto B1 Air with Tele-Zoom Reflector with Warming Gel, SanDisk 32G SD Card.
September had me driving through fall colors to the Summit Nature Workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. My all-time favorite workshop each year I primarily work with attendees who want to learn Lightpainting in the studio and also large outdoor Landscapes.
The faculty is a Who’s Who and features: Tom Mangelsen (Images of Nature Galleries), William Allard (National Geographic), Jim Richardson (National Geographic), Michael Forsberg (North America’s Great Plains), Mary Anne Golon (Director of Photography Washington Post) and more.
I’m also amped up for 2016 as I will add to my calendar the Summit Adventure Workshop to teach location lighting … Can’t wait!
Come join me at the Summit Adventure: September 17-22, 2016 and Summit Nature: September 25-30, 2016: http://www.photographyatthesummit.com/workshops/
Image #10 Dave Black Lightpainting Workshop, Loveland, Colorado … Nikon D750, ISO2000, 20 seconds at f11, Nikon 16-35mm lens, WB 3030K, Manfrotto Tripod and 410 Geared Head, Protac flashlight by Streamlight, SanDisk 32G SD Card.
In October I held my second Dave Black Lightpainting Workshop. Our sold out 12 students learned all about the artistic lighting technique of Lightpainting and made their own images of Still Life scenes, LIVE Models, and Outdoor Landscape.
Dates for Dave Black Lightpainting Workshop in 2016: May 19, 20, 21 … and October 6, 7, 8. The 3 subject categories of Lightpainting: Small Still Life scenes, LIVE Models, and Outdoor Landscape. Students make their own Lightpaintings along with one-on-one instruction from me, Haley, and our special guest instructor. Come join me in 2016 and learn to Lightpaint.
Image #11 Flyover Country, Colorado … Nikon D810, ISO1600, 1/4000 at f18, Nikon 14-24mm lens (at 14mm), WB 6250K, 3 Profoto B1 Air strobes with Tele-Zoom Reflector and Clear Glass Plate, SanDisk 32G Flash Card.
Pushing the capabilities of my gear has been a career long habit … of which the results reap great dividends. November and Motocross was the proving ground that some clients required a BIG BLAST of LIGHT to get the job done.
When the action requires my lights to be far away during midday shooting, the Profoto B1 Air system got it done with a safe distance between the action and the gear. However, as this image illustrates, I’m still shooting from very close range … as is my style.
Image #12 Millennium Falcon, Lightpainting … Nikon D810, ISO200, 1 minute at f11, Nikon 16-35mm lens (at 28mm), WB 4000K, Manfrotto Tripod with 410 Geared Head, Lightpainted with Stylus penlight by Streamlight, SanDisk 32G Flash Card.
With the new STAR WARS movie debuting this month, December offered some studio time where I felt compelled to “stretch my boundaries” and “experiment” with some Lightpainting and “post processing self-educating” in Photoshop.
My Son-in-Law Andrew is a huge STAR WARS fan … as am I. This is a Lightpainting of Andrew’s Millennium Falcon model from his childhood days, and is the first in a series of STAR WARS Lightpaintings that I’m posting on my Instagram @daveblackphoto leading up to the movie release on December 18, 2015.
With the Millennium Falcon perched on a stand in front of a black cloth backdrop I used a small “Stylus” penlight made by Streamlight to Lightpaint the Falcon.
The larger bursts of light are the result of simply pointing the Stylus penlight directly at the camera .. a “split second” for each light burst. The randomly scattered star fields surrounding the Falcon are “cloned” from a previously made night sky image I shot in Wyoming (ISO3200, 20 seconds at f4) … “May the Force be with You”
Well, there you have it … the Year in Review 2015. I have enjoyed this year and especially enjoyed teaching all of you here on Workshop at the Ranch.
Please check out my Workshops Calendar page to see if there is a workshop that interests you. The Summit Workshops, my own Lightpainting Workshops, and Photoshop World will highlight 2016, but other workshops and presentations are added throughout the year, so come visit the Workshops Calendar page often to see what’s new. http://www.daveblackphotography.com/upcoming-workshops/
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New year … May God Bless all of you. See you next year, here on WATR. Dave