COBA February Meeting

We had a great turnout for our lighting workshop at the February COBA meeting. I started the meeting off with a quick roundup of products that are making their entrance at the PMA conference which is starting tomorrow in Las Vegas. On the DSLR front, there’s the Canon 1D Mark II, the Nikon D70, and the Fuji S3. Olympus is rumored to be releasing an updated version of their E1 SLR, but they haven’t announced anything yet (perhaps after PMA starts?).

Following our pre-PMA roundup, Nelse Hansen gave a great presentation on lighting. He got started doing more studio photography about a year and a half ago. At the time, he knew very little about lighting. His first tests were experiments gone horribly wrong, he mentioned. He kept plugging away and with the help of friends and some books, Nelse was on his way to becoming a better studio photographer. Using Martin as a model, Nelse demonstrated using a single light (key) for a portrait, two lights (key and fill), and finally three lights (key, fill, and hairlight). Thanks to Dave’s 10D, we were able to see the results immediately on the TV screen. This great feedback/response loop is what makes learning flash photography very easy.

I was surprised to see how affordable (relatively speaking) his lighting gear was. Primarily from Alien Bees, his kit of four strobes, light stands, umbrellas, and softboxes cost around $2000. If you walk into Keeble and Shucat and look at their kits, you’re looking at several times that just for a starter kit!

Mark recommended to the group several books by Steve Bavister, including Lighting For Still Life, Lighting For Portraits, and Lighting For Food and Drink. One page is devoted to the photo itself, and the facing page shows you the exact lighting set up and equipment needed to get the shot.

Finally, Ed Casati offered the use of his studio in South San Francisco for COBA members. The rates are very affordable and instruction is included! Check out the site and email Ed if you’re interested!

Looking ahead to March, we’ll have Jim Rose from Canon and Joe Guzman from Olympus come to speak about their company’s respective products. We’re looking to rent out the SLAC Auditorium, so tell all of your friends to come on March 10th!

Photos of the COBA event from Stan. He and Chris both had the 85mm f/1.2 lens, which was really sweet. The depth of field on that lens is remarkable!

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