COBA Sixth Meeting

The sixth meeting of the Canon/Camera Owners of the Bay Area was a great success, thanks to the excellent presentation on studio lighting and flash techniques by Casey Cheung and Eliot Khuner. Casey and Eliot are professional photographers in the Bay Area, focusing on wedding, portrait, and event photography. On Wednesday night, they brought along their studio lighting setups, consisting of Dynalite power pack lights, Photogenic monoblock lights, Photoflex soft boxes, PocketWizards wireless transmitters, diffusers, umbrellas, optical slaves, lightstands, and much more.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the meeting this time around. I saw people writing down the various tips and techniques that the presenters covered over their two hour presentation. You can find many of the tips on the COBA Forum in the topic on the Studio Lighting Presentation. One tip that I found handy was Casey’s suggestion to pick up a bank of cheap Vivitar 283 flashes and equip them with optical slave flash hotshoe adapters from Wein. Doing so would instantly turn these inexpensive flashes into slaves at a fraction of a Canon Speedlite 420EX or 550EX! Eliot also had a good suggestion to use large pieces of foam core as a soft box replacement. Studio lighting on a budget!

The Orange Room at SLAC has a large-screen television monitor, which we used to output the images from the cameras. This is much quicker than having people crowd around a tiny 2-inch LCD screen or using a tethered USB or FireWire connection to a computer. The Nikon D1-series, the D100, and the Canon D30/D60 all have video output, but the Canon 1D does not, forcing us owners to use the LCD to determine sharpness and exposure for every image.

We’ll probably have a link (in the comments section?) to some of the images that Casey and Eliot took throughout the evening. Until then, here’s a few images that I took from the night. It’s always interesting to see how everything was set up in a given portrait session.

In other news, the name of the group is changing to reflect that the Digital SLR marketplace isn’t solely a Canon affair. We had a number of Fuji, Nikon, and Olympus photographers at the meeting. That said, the acronym will remain the same, COBA, but it’ll stand for Camera Owners of the Bay Area in the future. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 11th. My, my, a year’s gone by already?

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