Image #1 Free Flight … Nikon D2x, ISO500, 1/250 at f8, Nikon 14-24mm lens, WB 6250K, 4 Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS 1100 ws power packs each with an “A” Strobe Head, 4 Manfrotto Super Clamps, Pocket Wizard Multi MAX Transceivers (for triggering the 4 Strobes), 2 Pocket Wizard Multi MAX Transceivers (to trigger the Remote Camera) Safety Cables, SanDisk 16G Flash Card.
Q… Hi Dave, i am a student from England studying photography at university and i was wondering if you could answer me a question. In your opinion do you think photographers need to have qualifications (excellent grades and diploma) to be successful? I ask you this because i am currently doing an essay about the photographic industry.
Hope to hear from you soon best regards, massive fan of your work. James.
A… Hi James. Great, Great question and my answer will no doubt get me into some trouble with University professors and parents alike. I do not think that good grades or a diploma are required for an individual to be successful as photographer. I have read commentaries stating that Albert Einstein struggled through school, and hated it…and we would all agree that his contributions to the world of science and understanding the universe were quite substantial.
I’m not saying that a good education, solid foundation in business, design, photography and other subjects doesn’t contribute to the success of a person working as a photographer, they certainly do. But are good grades and a degree (diploma) required to be successful as a photographer. No, not required.
Now that I have said this; James and all those who are in school or planning on attending a College or University, please don’t drop out of school.
Having a degree in photography is certainly a great achievement and a contributing factor in the careers of many photographers. But I also believe that photographers who have a business degree from a University have an edge in the freelance photography market place.
It has been my experience that photographers, by in large, are visual learners. They tend to learn from watching and experiencing first hand. Apprenticeship and assisting a professional photographer is often their best and most efficient classroom.
This image of a NCAA basketball game is strobed and shot with a Remote camera. At the time I made this image it took all my collective knowledge to accomplish it technically, and all I knew about shooting sports action. I do not believe that my grade point average or diploma helped me capture this moment. But I do believe that the single Black & White photography class I took my junior year (to fulfill my Graphics Design major) and the interest and extra time the instructor spent with me had a profound effect on my life. He kept me pointed in the direction of the career I enjoy today.
Hope this helps. Take care. Dave
ps: You might want to check out my Biography page and download the PR Pack for an in-depth biography and some portfolio images. It’s free of course and might be very helpful to your school project.
Image #2 Nelson Sundown … Nikon D800, ISO800, 30 second exposure at f10, Nikon 24-70mm lens, WB 4000K, Manfroto Tripod and 410 Geared Head, 2 Brinkmann Max Million II rechargeable spot lights. SanDisk 32G Flash Card.
Q… Mr. Black, I watched your video (Lightpainting) on Kelby today and was very impressed with it. My question is…which Brinkmann do you recommend? Is there much of a difference between the regular ones and the marine ones (for boats)? I will be heading to Colorado soon and would like to attempt some of these shots & want to get the right lights. I appreciate your responding and I will keep on following your work.
A… Hi Bill. Glad you enjoyed my Lightpainting class on KelbyOne www.kelbyone.com As I stated in the video, I use the Brinkmann MAX Million II for my large outdoor Lightpaintings. It has 2 million candle power. I have not used any other Brinkmann products to make my Lightpaintings. The 2 million candles of power and the very efficient reflector of the Brinkmann Max Million II works extremely well. I have looked at the Brinkmann Marine Spotlight in Wal-Mart a while back. I placed it side-by-side against my Max Million II and felt it wasn’t as efficient. Other brands that have 2 million candle power or more seem to fall short with respect to illumination do to a less efficient reflector. The Brinkmann’s have a very good reflector that helps increase the efficiency of the light.
The Max Million II is also rechargeable. I have been using the same units for nearly 10 years. They cost about $55 and can sometimes be found in Wal-Mart and Pep Boys. I find it easiest to order on line. Here is the link for Brinkmann Max Million II www.brinkmann.net/products look in the “Spotlights” category.
You might want to check out my Workshop at the Ranch BLOG… I wrote an 8 Part series about Lightpainting.
Hope this helps. Adios. Dave
|Images #3 Turn 4 Traffic … Nikon D4, ISO500, 1/2500 at f6.3, Nikon 200-400mm G VR zoom lens with Nikon TC14E 1.4x Teleconverter, WB 6250K, Gitzo Carbon Fiber Monopod, SanDisk 32G Flash Card.
Q… Good Morning
A… Hi Steven. Thanks for your email. Glad you enjoyed the Horse Racing video class on KelbyOne. www.kelbyone.com
I have had a ton of good feedback from photographers that say they’ve learned a lot about action shooting techniques I use for all the sports I cover. One viewer said “Great teaching…and it’s not just about horseracing.”
I use the Voice Memo on my Nikon D4 camera all the time, especially at sports events. A separate file appears adjacent to the RAW file in ACDSee (similar to Photo Mechanic). The icon on the Voice Memo file looks like a musical note (a Sound Wave file) when viewed with ACDSee. Not sure if it is actually part of the meta-data, but I only see it as a separate file that can be independently saved or deleted.
I’m not so familiar with Lightroom so I’m not sure whether it is importable there, but I can tell you that the Voice Memo file can not be imported in Photoshop CS6 (the image can, but not the Voice Memo). Not sure if it can be used within a video either…I don’t do any video work.
Magazine editors will oftentimes use the Voice Memo file to help them complete caption information while I’m still working at the event.
My Best Advice is to take a picture…then do a Voice Memo with it …and see what you can do with it regarding Lightroom, video, slide shows etc.
Take care. Dave
|Image #4 Crash Light … Nikon D800, ISO400, 30 seconds at f8, Nikon 24-70mm lens, WB 4000K, I used a Bolt 2L flashlight (LED) by: Inova to Lightpaint the fuselage and wings and hillside which kept these portions of the aircraft a metallic blue, and I used a Brinkmann Max Million II rechargeable Spotlight which is a warm incandescent light source to Lightpaint the engines and add a slight warm glow behind portions of the aircraft, Manfroto Tripod with Manfrotto 410 Geared Head, SanDisk 32G Flash Card.
Q… No real question. Just wanted to say thank you for an OUTSTANDING lightpainting class at Photoshop World in Las Vegas this September. Can’t wait to do it again.
A… Thanks LK. Glad you enjoyed the Pre-Con Lightpainting class I had in the town of Nelson, Nevada the day (evening) before PSW began. Several instructors have a Pre-Conference class the day before PSW begins.
Pre-Con classes are listed on the Photoshop World website when registration for the conference begins.
My photo-safari of 35 attendees ventured into the Nevada desert canyon region SE of Las Vegas. Our goal was to learning how to Lightpaint and have a good time.
After I made a couple example demonstration-Lightpaintings my daughter Haley (who also Lightpaints and was my assistant instructor) distributed 7 Brinkmann Max Million II portable spotlights to the class. Attendees worked in small groups to make their own Large Scale Lightpaintings while Haley and I spent time helping convey the technique. We spent about 3 hours beginning at dusk Lightpainting the Town. It was an awesome evening of fun and picture making.
ps: …The crashed airplane was my favorite Lightpainting of the evening.
Image #5 Sky Boarder … Nikon D700, ISO1000, 1/2000 at f10, Nikon 70-200mm VR zoom lens, WB 3030K, 3 Nikon SB-900 Speedlights, Nikon SU-800 Commander, FourSquare Bracket & Softbox, SanDisk 16G Flash Card.
Q… Dave, I’ve watched all of your KelbyOne videos, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I went back and watched one of your older videos – Action Sports Flash Photography. I’m just getting into high speed sync with my Nikon SB900 photographing skate boarders. I would like to take the next step involving more flash power. I am wondering whether to invest in more Nikon Speedlights, radio poppers, four square hardware, etc or wait for Nikon Speedlites to catch up with Canon’s radio frequency control. What do you think? Should I take the plunge with radio poppers, etc. or wait for Nikon to come out with radio frequency controlled speedlights. Thanks, Larry
If you don’t want to purchase additional Speedlights you might look into the Elinchrom Quadra and the Pocket Wizard FLEX TT5 system. The FLEX TT5 system has a similar High Speed Sync capability called HyperSync. It works very well when using the Quadra.
Both these suggestions have High Speed Sync (HyperSync) capabilities. And the cost will be about the same….4 Nikon Speedlights and RadioPopper PX vs. 1 Elinchrom Quarda and Pocket Wizard FLEX TT5 system. Speedlights have a slight advantage in that each Speedlight can work independently from each other so you can separate them with some distance and do multiple light portraiture work. The Quadra has 2 flash heads but they can’t be separated vary far from one another as they work off of the same single power pack.
NOTE: I’m in the planning stages of making a KelbyOne video using 3 different flash systems to do sports action with High Speed Sync and FLEX TT5 HyperSync… Speedlights, Quadra, and Ranger. Both the RadioPopper PX system and the Pocket Wizard FLEX TT5 system will be featured as well. It will probably come out this spring on KelbyOne www.kelbyone.com I’ll make an announcement when it is posted.
Hope this answer helps you make the purchase that is best for your photography goals.
Well, many thanks to all of you who emailed me a question. I hope my answers are helpful to all of you when making your own pictures.
See you next month here on Workshop at the Ranch.