Flash free-for-all meetup serves great lessons
Instead of learning the technique ahead of time, we would learn the technique together. Let me tell you, we had a blast. Although this post isn't about what we did I do want to share a few words about how we did it.
The premise was simple. Here is a technique I saw posted on one of my favorite blogs. I want to experiment with the technique but I don't want to do it alone. I have the equipment, the room and all the miscellaneous stuff to practice with. It's a nice DIY project as well.
I also understand that other members don't have the type of equipment I do and this type of format would allow them to get a feel for how this stuff gets used. So it's a perfect setup for learning and sharing all the way around. It ended up being Anshul, Greg, Ray and myself; small and intimate.
The workshop was designed to play with DIY colored gels on a flash in order to alter the color temperature of our image in-camera. I simple enough technique... or so I thought. I soon discovered that trying to replicate something from memory that was seen once the week prior was not the best way to do it. I ended up playing the tutorial video for the group and soon discovered that I was missing a step. Within moments we were all knocking our heads together and rejoicing at our new found skills when we finally go it. Yea skills!
In the process, Ray shared his DIY colored gel system and I picked up a nice little modification for my set. Greg offered up some great technical tidbits and Anshul... well, let's say he really learned some new skill that day. Which brings me to my main point.
Anshul had some difficulty getting his camera to do a custom white balance. He shoots Nikon and I shoot canon. While I am not overly familiar with nikon, by helping Anshul figure out his problem he inadvertently helped me with mine. I am now a lot more familiar with the Nikon menu system.
Because I don't have direct access to a Nikon I don't have the luxury of playing with one whenever the mood hits. So if someone asks me how do you do such-and-such on a Nikon I really can't offer much in terms of a real answer. I have to defer to another member who does shoot Nikon. Which leaves me still in the dark. Since we were all troubleshooting Anshul's situation it afforded me the opportunity to play with a Nikon, thereby learning something new myself. So, Anshul, if you are reading this, thank you for letting me play with your camera.
While you may be a beginner, an amateur or a pro, there is always something to be learned. And just because you may be an amateur that doesn't mean you don't have something to offer. Sometimes what you have to offer may not be obvious but then, that's the wonderful thing about getting together with others who share the same passions. You never know what you'll walk away with.
P.S. I'll be posting about working with gels, flash and white balance in upcoming articles so don't worry that I didn't explain much here. Stay tuned.