The incident light meter

Every time I demonstrate an incident light meter, my students have lots of questions  about why would I bother with such an archaic device.

And then I tell them I own three of these guys. That stops them 🙂lm

So what’s the deal about incident light meters? The guys over at Luminous Landscape have a very good explanation about how to use a incident light meter. They’ve focused their review of the very good but very expensive Sekonic L508 II Zoom Master Light Meter.  (It can do spot, flash and incident light meter readings.)

I have tlm-2he equally wonderful (although it doesn’t do spot metering but I have the camera for that) Sekonic L-358  (left) and the much older lm3Studio Deluxe L-398A (right – which is poorly named as it’s not useful in a studio but is a fabulous incident light meter which doesn’t even use a battery!!)  And I’ve got a Gossen Luna-Pro (below) which I’ve had to switch batteries as the originals aren’t made anymore.



Audio workshop

Intrested in podcasting or adding audio to your slide shows? Victoria Fenner is the expert. I’ve taken a couple of her workshops and they are excellent investments in time and money.

Here’s the notice for her new one in Toronto:

Podcasting and Beyond
An Introduction to Multimedia on the Internet

September 22, 2009 – 1-4:30 pm
Toronto, Ontario

A Workshop by Sound Out Multimedia Training
One of the easiest ways to get started in multimedia production is by doing a podcast.  It’s a great way to get comfortable with the technology; develop interview and voicing skills; putting together a production from start to finish; and distributing it through Social Media.
Podcasting and Beyond will introduce you to the basics of podcast production.  We’ll focus mostly on audio, and also on how to create simple visual and sound productions such as slideshows with easy soundtracks.  We’ll also talk about getting good sound for video .. because everybody knows what it’s like to look at pictures without hearing what the person on the screen is saying.
This workshop will focus on:
* simple audio production techniques – recording and editing
* turning your idea into a story, interview or feature
* combining pictures with still photos (audio slideshows)
* getting good sound from your video camera
* getting your production out to the world via social media

Date:            Tuesday Sept. 22, 2009
                   1 pm – 4:30 pm
Location:       Centre for Social Innovation
                   215 Spadina Avenue -  4th flr. – Think Tank Room  
                   Toronto, Ontario
Cost:            $125.00
                   12 Participants Maximum

To register: Sound Out Media

Workshop Presenter:  Victoria Fenner
Victoria is a podcaster, radio producer, journalist and composer.  She has worked in radio and television broadcasting for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in various capacities – on air writer/broadcaster, production technician and producer, and with community media organizations in both Canada and the United States. Victoria is also a practicing artist working in creative sound and documentary production who is recognized by the Canada Council for the Arts and The Ontario Arts Council.  Her company, Sound Out Media, produces multimedia for the internet and provides training for organizations and people who want to explore emerging opportunities to produce and distribute their audio and video works.
Her podcast The Roaming Ear can be heard on the Rabble Podcast Network

Sign up for our new “how-to” photography book

Yes it’s true. Our new book is being written right now. Go to to put your name on our private, exlusive list for notification of our publishing date.

More information is on its way. This is the must-have book if you’re an emerging professional or advanced amateur and you’re struggling with getting the same quality images as you see the “big-name photographers” getting when they shoot weddings, portraits or travel photography.

David Ziser’s Composition Tutorial

I love David Ziser. He’s a great wedding photographer and a wonderful instructor. I loved his Digital Wake-Up Call workshop that I took earlier this year. Now he’s got an online excellent tutorial on composition featuring the “rule of thirds”.

If you’re struggling with the way your images look, take 15 minutes and let David show you how it’s done. There’s no magic bullet or secret to better photography. It’s called practice, practice, practice. 

Will you join the movement?

Jeremy Cowat wants you to join his “Help-Portrait” project. According to Cowat the Help Portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate this holiday season.

BTW Cowat is going to be using Twitter as the main means of keeping in touch. Follow Cowat at @help-portrait . So far there are 417 – oh make that 418 (I’m following Cowat) followers.

Is this idea going to fly? Time will tell. Cowat is today’s guest blogger at Scott Kelby’s (He’s a BIG honcho in the online photography world and his blog has enormous influence in the community.)

Here’s Jeremy’s video appeal.

(I checked the Twitter site again just before I published this post and 10 more people are following Jeremy. Neat,)

Using a flash meter in the studio

Here’s a great little video from photographer Jean Francois-O’Kane who will walk youimages through how to use a standard flash meter in a studio setting.

If you’re interested in learning more about portrait lighting check out Henry’s School of Imaging Portrait Workshop. You’ll actually get hands-on instruction, learn a lot more about shooting portraits and have fun too. How good is that?

Way too much fun this early in the morning

I was opening my email when Michael asked some questions about how to use a  _DSC0003 ring flash with a Nikon D-90. So I got out out my Orbis Ring Flash with an SB-900 and my wife Marion’s D-90 and fired this one off into the office bathroom mirror. I’m a little out of focus but that’s not unusual. Seems the camera focused on itself. I could have fixed that but this shot is way too much fun.

BTW I’m home alone and it’s hot out  (Marion’s in New York City with her mum, sister and our niece) so it’s just me and Buffy the Cat and I don’t dress up for the cat. Got to whiten those teeth.