I got a chance to do a private instruction/workshop back in September and I really really enjoyed it.
Usually my workshops consist of up to 8 attendees. I like keeping groups small. We usually go until sundown so I feel that people get a very good value for what they pay and feedback is always positive in that people are learning how to use their brains and figure stuff out so they can take control of their images. It’s a good feeling helping people understand what they are doing.
In September I got to arrange a private workshop. Two people. Me. Our model Sinehan. Just four people taking pictures for the whole day. It was pretty awesome.
If you would be interested in a private workshop/instruction please contact me. It gives someone a chance to shoot more, ask more questions. With two people, they pretty much got a 1-on-1 workshop and we worked well into the evening. More images after the cut:
Some of my favorite film of all time. High speed, big grain, so good!
I don’t shoot weddings. I stand strong behind that statement. I’ve photographed four couples so far in my life who have gotten married. Three of those times it was for dear friends and I dictated to them what I was willing to shoot and not shoot. Most of the time all I’m interested in is getting some nice “formal” shots of the bride and groom in my style. Something dramatic. Elegant. This time, a friend I went to college with needed a 2nd shooter for a wedding she was shooting of her Cousin and his bride-to-be. I’d be happy to help, as long as I could get a few dramatic shots in my style and help her out.
I was raised a Flea Market kid. Most of my almost 40 years have been spent getting up early on Sunday mornings and pawing over other people’s stuff. Flea Markets are my Church and I was raised on the religion of Bargaining.
Every once in a while I’ll find a stellar purchase. It’s rare, but every so often you find something that makes you shake your head and go “how the hell did I find this for *this* price?”
That happened this season.
One of the first sellers we came upon had a large silver photo carrying case.
Kinda like this one.
It was sealed, but I recognized that it’s the type of case that wedding photographers usually have gear in, so I ventured over and opened it up.
Inside was a whole bunch of stuff:
There was a shade hood for a medium format camera, a basic light bracket, and a Mamiya grip. But the most important thing I saw was a complete Lumedyne portable lighting kit; the flash, the battery, the battery extender, the cords, manuals, trigger voltage adjuster. . . everything.
I got that chill down my back that you only get when you see something that is unbelievable. I quickly closed the case again and ran up to the guy selling the kit. I asked him how much for the case of photography lighting.
He said “What? What photography lighting?”
“The stuff in that metal case” I said, walking over and pointing at the case.
“Oh” he said. “I didn’t know what that stuff was. Huh.”
So I asked him again “Okay. How much for it?”
he said “I really don’t know much about it. Make me an offer.”
At this point I was buying blindly. The Lumedyne kit was made in the mid 1990’s, and it has a portable battery. That battery could be dead. The flash tube could be busted. The whole thing could very well be trashed and I don’t have any way of knowing it. I figured I’d make a low offer and if the flash was trash, at least I could get a cheap flash adapter and maybe I could find a use for the shade hood and adapt it to my Hasselblad.
“How about 20 bucks for the whole case?” I asked.
He kinda looked at me “Hrm. How about $25?”
“Does the stuff work?” I asked.
“. . . How about 20 bucks?” he came back with. If he didn’t know if it worked, I wasn’t going to go over 20 bucks.
I padded a $20 in his hand and walked off with the case.
I had a hard time concentrating the rest of the Flea Market. All I wanted to do was see if this stuff worked.
Finally, when I got home, I plugged the battery in and let it charge for a bit, not knowing if it was toast or if it still worked.
I hooked up the flash, got it all ready, and turned on the battery pack. It made that high-pitched hum of powering up. This might work.
I popped the flash – it went off perfectly. I did it again and again, and nothing went wrong. The battery still had some juice left.
I brought it to the studio the next day, and it worked perfect with my radio triggers.
I just found a Lumedyne portable strobe kit for $20. New these things are in the hundreds of dollars.
This is why I love flea markets. You never know what you will find, even on a week-to-week basis.
All that searching eventually pays off if you look long enough.
Ali Manning is a bookbinder, print maker and mixed media artist. She has a studio in the Lowell artist mills. She used to work for Nashua’s Great American Downtown. She’s also British, so she has that fantastic accent. I love talking to her.
I love the light, airy feel of this head shot. I love strong, elegant black & white head shots. I think they are so clean and crisp, and I really enjoying shooting in this style. No distractions. Just interesting people looking awesome.
I can do that for you too. Let’s do it!
Visit Ali’s website, and go visit her at her studio during Lowell’s open studio days.