Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

October 14, 2014

Winter Photo Cruise

Hey, one week left to sign up for the Winter Cruise to the Caribbean with some fabulous instructors including me, Lee Varis, Levi Sim, Michele Celentano, Brent Watkins, Justin and Mary Marantz! Discount of $100 for the confernce so it’s just $350 and the cruise is only $550! Seven day of photo instruction and travel fun! Must sign up by Oct. 23. Here’s the link:

April 3, 2014

Portraits: Natural and Flash

Portraits: Natural and Flash


The Photographer’s best tool is light. It is used to mold, define, describe and set the mood of a portrait, so knowing how to recognize the light or control it, is of ultimate importance to the artist. I’m both a natural light, or Portraits Unplugged, kind of photographer, and also have a lot of experience with using studio strobes or portable flash, which gives me huge control. Knowing how and when to use artificial vs natural can be a challenge. I just recently photographed Ceasar deSilva in Dubai, a young, smart executive originally from Chicago, for his modeling portfolio. I scouted several locations in the afternoon with the help of my good friend, Issa Al Kindy, and we found a construction site across the river from downtown Dubai. In other images we utilized the Burj Khalifa in the background, but for this set of images I was intrigued by the construction fence that was falling down at one end. By the time Ceasar arrived, the late afternoon light had already faded in the haze. Nothing wrong with it, the light is still beautiful, and I posed him and shot with the Fuji XT 1 with the 56mm f 1.2 lens wide open for the smallest depth of field. Only his eye is sharp and the bokeh of the fence just rocks.

Fence natural light

The whole scene and Ceasar in his power suit seems to me to require more drama. If the late orange sun was still illuminating his face, I might have stopped there. But I wanted to make it more edgy and define the mood more with directional light and darker shadows. I pulled out my Nikon SB 900 and put it in a 20” Lastolite soft box. Issa did the great honor of being my “voice activated light stand”, and with my direction, fine tuned the direction of the light.

untitled (2 of 20)

This now required balancing the background ambient light and the flash. I still wanted to keep the background mostly out of focus, but now I wanted his entire face in focus, not just his eye, so I decided to use f 4. The true background reading was about 1/20 or 1/30, but I chose 1/60 so that the background would go darker, both the sky and the fence. This helped his face to really pop out from the fence. I did a test at 1/125 as well, but then the background was too dark. The shadows on his face are dark, no fill, which adds to the drama. This is a more powerful portrait, as if he is the man in charge, ready to take over kick some butt!


The point? Fine tune your light to match the story of your subject, and don’t settle until you find it!


If you want to learn more about lighting, my next workshop is at the Los Angeles Center of Photography, formerly the Julia Dean Workshop, May 5-9. It’s five days of lighting: two days of studio strobes, one day of portable flash, one day natural light and the last day combining them all. A great experience with studio, models, equipment and plenty of shooting time and feedback.


All my upcoming workshops are listed under Education on my website:


June 27, 2012

Skips Summer School

Hi, everyone!

In case you haven’t heard, Skip’s Summer School is the place to be this August to brush up on your lighting, marketing and creative photography skills! Held in Chicago instead of Las Vegas from August 5-8, it’s a much easier place to get to with great resources. The major change in focus, pun intended, is the hands on programs. I’ll be teaching two days of lighting, both studio and natural, so it’s jam packed with essential info and real shooting experience.

This year’s Summer School offers attendees seven platform programs, two days of hands-on teaching or a two day film-making program, two catered lunch programs, a website review and the opportunity to network with some of the best known photographic instructors and companies in professional photography. Program topics for the platform programs will include business, marketing, publishing, networking, customer service and a new addition this year, a workshop panel discussion from three of the best known couples in photography on the topic of working with your spouse.

If you want to see some examples of my teaching and techniques check out these links to videos. My new DVD Posing and Directing, is now available and here are a couple of clips from it to give you an idea of what we will cover.

The first is setting up for a male headshot:

This one is posing subtle changes for a beauty shot:

If you want to spend seven minutes on studio lighting, this is a clip from Friday Photo School:

And if you just want to have some fun dragging the shutter, here’s an 8 minute clip for Sekonic:

And finally here’s a clip from last year’s SSS in Vegas.

Skip’s Summer School is a terrific opportunity to really give a boost to your photographic career.

All the details can be found here:

August 29, 2011

Venice Carnival Photo Tour, Feb. 2012

Are you ready? This is an incredible event!

We’ve just finished planning a photo tour to the Venice Carnival (February 14th-19th, 2012): one of the most colorful, historical, and visually exciting festivals in the world!

David Nightingale and Bobbi Lane, assisted by Fabio Thian (a Venice-based photographer), will be leading a small group of students on a five-day, six-night photo tour exploring the people and places of this stunning city. The Workshop is an incredible opportunity to photograph this unique event with two respected and dedicated photography educators who will give you a wealth of individual attention and instruction.

You will come away with a varied portfolio of shots: from street photography and incredible shots of Venice and surrounding areas, to dramatic and compelling portraits, both of the local festival populace and our hired and costumed models.

The tour is limited to 16 people, so sign up soon if you’d like to come along. We hope you can join us for a fun-filled and unique opportunity to expand both your craft and your story telling abilities.

For more information, take a look at the following page:

Please help us to publicize this event by using any of the sharing buttons on the event page to publish the details to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or elsewhere.

Best wishes, and we hope to see you in Venice next February!

Bobbi Lane, David and Libby Nightingale

August 23, 2011

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