Mar 15, 2010

On-Location, Big Lights Photography: Presentation Feedback Needed!

So, I was asked to present this coming weekend at PhotoCamp Utah 2010 on the topic of "on-location photography and big light techniques", which is going to be a blast!  The one day event is completely sold out (with 400 people on a waiting list...sorry ya'll).  I think Mr. Zack Arias has something to do with that.

Here's the deal. I only have 45 minutes to present before they yank me out of the room (which has been threatened).  It's just enough time to talk through some scouting ideas as well as show a few behind the scenes examples, but not nearly enough time to set-up a true demo.   If YOU were going to attend my class (or are), what would you want to get out of it??   I plan on talking about the behind the scenes from this  Kauai, Trail Running Photograph as well as the lighting set-up for some of the images from the recent Salt Lake City Shootout: Powder Skiing image 1 and Powder Skiing photograph 2.

Here's the course description :
On-location Photography: from scouting great locations to delivering results with BIG light techniques

This class will focus on what it takes to achieve stellar imagery on-location. We will review two location based "BIG light" shoots and the resulting imagery

Starting point: Please come with a basic understanding of the technical side of working with off-camera lights.  A love for the outdoors and location based work is a bonus.  Ending point: Getting past the technical stuff and finding greater vision when shooting on location including the use of BIG lights.

HIT me below with your feedback (comments).   I'm also toying with the Chase Jarvis idea of doing either a live feed from the presentation or at a minimum recording it and putting it up here in the near future.  



Chris Eversole said...

If I were attending your presentation, I would like to learn more about the theory of your lighting, which modifiers for certain locations and why. Why you position the light at one angle as appose to another i.e. for dramatic effect, contrast, fall off etc.

Also, it would be great if you could record it so those of us not attending could have a chance to check it out later.

Personally, I would love to learn more about the business side of advertising photography. I suppose that is another seminar all together.

Thanks for the blog.


Kevin Winzeler said...

Thanks Chris! Great thoughts on theory and modifiers. I planned on touching on the "why" of certain modifiers for a particular location. I hope to record it and post it as well.

B.Doran said...

Hey Kevin~
I think there are a couple things to remember to mention...
(1) Know what you have in your arsenal, and how it works, the looks it achieves, how they can be modified to get different results that mimic another tool (why lug 2 when 1 will do...I know, your equipment is heavy :D )
(2)Remind them, if you bring out the eilenchromes, that the majority of what you shot was with strobist equipment at first. People are so quick to say "Oh, well I could shoot that if I had THAT equipment!!"...which leads to
(3) They are the creative talent, the eye...all the gadgets are tools to help achieve the vision.
(4)What things you do to keep fresh, creatively. How PERSONAL interests have influenced your photo work.

Outdoor said...

I'd be interested in your failures. Seriously. What you tried that turned out bad, but taught you a lot and then how you used your newly gained knowledge to make a sweet image.

How you scout locations is a great lesson I'd like to learn.

Directing your subject to create great images for them and for you.

How to photograph when one arm is broken!

Kevin Winzeler said...

@ Barrett-
Great advice and reminders. #2 is a great point and I try to emphasize with everyone I talk with that it's about lighting, not about gear. There are multiple ways to achieve the same look and some are extremely affordable. The key reasons I reach for the big lights are A) when power is required at flash duration (action stuff) and B) reliability and recycle time on commercial work. We'll discuss this. My #1 rule is never, ever, ever, ever go into debt for your equipment. If you aren't making money from what you have, work on your business plan and make money before buying more gear. Gear is a LIABILITY until it is making money for you. Currently my Tilt-shift lenses are a liability to me in the range of $2k.

@Outdoor. Thank you! Funny you mention that, because I fail on every job! seriously. I go back after each shoot and document what went well, what I learned and what I could have done better. The faster we fail (or allow ourselves to fail) the faster we improve. The key is to continue to put ourselves out there as artists and photographers, which is hard.

Frozen Forever Photography said...

I would like to hear more about problem solving. What kind of problems did you identify when you first talked to the client, started scouting, started setting up, and started shooting images? Obviously the answers would lead towards why you chose the gear you used. Sometimes it’s nice to touch on why other modifiers would not have worked. I am always thinking about what can go wrong before I go shoot and how would I fix it. Then again, a good plan makes me feel more comfortable.

Not sure if you have time but I always love to hear about the interaction between the photog and subject. What types of problems did you have with the subject and how did you resolve the problem?

Unfortunately I won’t be at the class. However, I wish you luck and hope everyone learns something

As always, keep up the good work...


kevin Winzeler said...

@Grady - Thanks! My initial outline talks about
1) the Goal of the shoot
2) The 'actual' conditions once arriving on location
3) Problem solving in order to align the overall goal with the conditions at hand, which often involves lighting.

For example, during the SLC shootout competition, the goal was to create contest winning (i.e. portfolio worthy, magazine worthy, communication arts worthy) images in each of 5 categories. During two of the four days, the light was dead flat and conditions were windy and snowing. How do you create an epic Ski image with those conditions? Most ski photographers head to the trees to create a feeling of contrast, which we did a few times. But our goal was "contest winning imagery" and I didn't feel the tree shots were going to win. The conditions presented the opportunity to problem solve at this point and became the impetus to start shooting with a big light set-up at wide angle focal lengths. Some of my favorite images of the week came from one afternoon/evening of shooting this way.

Great point and I'll think more about this for other shoots...


Jed Davis said...

I would be sure to try and include footage or ideas that you haven't shown on your blog/youtube before. Make sure the attendees feel like they are getting to really see something unique or learn something unique that they can't necessarily find, view or read about online already. Don't underestimate the popularity of your material online and the research the attendees will do once they see they are attending your presentation.

Just my opinion. I've been to a presentation/workshop or two and the presenter just repeated what was already on their blog. I was jacked when I left the workshop and felt let down when I went home to do more research and realized I paid to hear what I could found online already.