Throwback - SunStar


Albert PedrosaAlbert Pedrosa
Photo mania

A FEW weeks back, I conducted a workshop for Macy’s Camera Shop. My topic was basic studio lighting. I normally ask questions before I start my workshop. This is a way for me to know how much the attendees know about the topic and it helps me decide the scope and the level of technicality of the workshop.

My first question was about exposure triangle, which surprisingly, majority of them got it right. Then I started to ask about strobe and if all the three functions of exposure triangle can be applied. I got a mix of answers. I tried drilling the question further so there’s no confusion and asked if the shutter speed can control the amount of light when using strobe. No definite answer again.

Pre-wedding concept, Plantation Bay. Strobe light mixed with ambient light.
Pre-wedding concept, Plantation Bay. Strobe light mixed with ambient light.

At first I thought that they were just shy and kidding when I asked them if they have any experience with strobes, but when I was not getting the right answer, then it’s genuinely true. I was surprised that the knowledge working with studio lights or flash was not that common, even if most of the entry and mid-level cameras have in-cam flash. I’m blaming the auto settings for this.

I started shooting when I was in high school, but it never got serious until my time working as an apprentice for a commercial photographer. My skill in photography started up and was inspired by manipulating light. This means working with artificial light in and out of the studio. I understood strobe light before I met natural light. I swear the introduction was not cordial.

As I was cleaning up my files and backing them up in my drives, I got to experience a timeline of my shots. It felt good to see how much you’ve grown and sometimes how much you’ve deviated in terms of taste and artistry. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes you miss your old self. When photography becomes a profession and when it puts food on your table, everything changes.

One thing I also noticed is my time spent in editing photos. When I started shooting strobes, I spent a lot of time correcting the colors and a ton of work done cloning. As your knowledge in lighting improves, the less time you spend in editing. It will not eliminate editing but you’ll sometimes ask yourself what to edit in your shot.

Note that although photography is all about light, one must know that the light is just one of the many elements of photography. Keep on shooting, everyone!

Congratulations and happy anniversary to Ceasar Azanza of Macys. /

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