This past weekend I was honored to host as the City Representative for Zack Arias‘ One Light Workshop here in San Francisco. Repping meant organizing and booking the studio, models, food, catering, supplies and other logistics. Though I understand more now why good planners are well paid for taking care of business, it was more than worth the adventure to become part of the experience at this incredible workshop.
If you know anything about me, you know that Zack is one of my icons of photography, so you know I was living on cloud 9 all weekend. He is a sharing photographer – tells all, and keeps it real. Over the past few years, I’ve read most of Zack’s blog posts, seen tons of his videos, spent entire weekends glued to the computer during CreativeLIVE seminars (Studio Lighting and Foundations of a Working Photographer), and practiced many of his techniques on my own shoots as I grow into my own style. Living the experience in person was a treat of epic proportion.
The mixer the night before was really cool, and was a great way to meet many of the attendees. I love the idea of the night before meetup as everyone has a chance to share stories and bond before jumping into the 15 hour workshop the next day. There was a great mix of photographers, from dabbling hobbyists to full time pros. Everyone brought a unique sense of being to the workshop and I’m sure everyone took something priceless away in improving their own craft.
The morning starts out with a quick rundown of all things photographic, from basic camera stuff like apertures, shutter speeds and ISO (no eyesooooohhhhh!), to more advanced topics like camera to subject distance, inverse square law, flashes & strobes, flash power, mixing ambient and strobes and all that good stuff. Once you get through the obligatory basics, the afternoon into the evening (about 6 hours) is spent shooting with a variety of modifiers with two models. Zack sets up each scenario with a demo that includes a pragmatic way of finding composition and exposure, and then the students take it away.
All in all it’s an experience well worth it and then some. I’d absolutely attend again, and I highly suggest you make it happen next time Zack is in your neck of the woods. You’ll meet cool people, spend some time with a photo ninja, and pick up more skillz than you can handle all in the space of about 24 hours of your time.
We Started in the studio with an umbrella and the Westcott 28″ softbox:
And then moved it outside to ramble around the gritty alleys of the Dogpatch…
Zack setting up a grid spot shot:
When it was my turn, I had to make it a point to catch a few of Whitney under the spot
And then we pulled out “big momma” (the Westcott 50″ softbox):
After the main instructional portion, we broke for a pizza dinner, then split up into 3 teams to go out in the dark on an assignment to “make some cool images of each other.” Fellow workshop attendee and street photographer, Felix Lim, was my subject for the the street image concept I had; one of the last captures I made was of him on the corner of 3rd street right as the MUNI T-Train train conveniently passed by.
A great deal of thanks to Zack and his team (Meghan Arias and Kara Pecknold) for putting together this great workshop. It was cool to meet Zack’s eldest, Caleb, who was a rockin’ assistant throughout the day. Cheers Zack, hope to see you back in SF soon!