Light. It’s the language of photography. It’s how we speak through our images. It adds drama and emotion to pictures. It creates mood.
So, you wanna learn lighting for photography? Then I highly recommend that you take one of the workshops available from Don Giannatti at Lighting Essentials. Don is a great photographer and teacher and you will learn a ton about light and photography.
I had the pleasure of being a local host for Don’s workshop in San Diego back in February of this year. I had heard a lot of great things about his workshops and I am a regular reader of his blog – Lighting Essentials. I also sat in on both days and assisted some of the students who had questions or who were working on some of the techniques that Don was teaching.
It was immediately obvious to his students that Don loves photography and loves teaching about both light and photography. Even at the mixer the night before the workshop started, he was already diving into photography and gauging what the students knew (and didn’t know) in order to prepare for the next day. The mixers aren’t required, but are very helpful because everyone gets to know each other prior to ramping up on Day 1.
All types of light were covered – ambient, studio strobe, speedlights and flash. He covered modifiers like umbrellas, softboxes, snoots, grids, gobos, beauty dishes, and pretty much the entire gamut of objects that can shape or modify light.
The students got to work through each of these and find out for themselves how they worked while shooting images both in the studio and outside. The “See and Do” approach is far more effective than the “Show and Tell” approach which is one of the reasons that the Lighting Essentials workshops are so successful at teaching photographers how to light. At the end of each day, he also talks about business and going pro with your photography. He’s got a lot of great insight that he willingly shares with his students.
Don now has several workshops available for all skill levels from beginning amateurs to emerging and professional photographers. His advanced workshop is geared more toward the working photographer and he even offers a one-on-one workshop for emerging pros. All of them are excellent.
The standard 2-day workshop is priced very affordably at $450.00 for two days of instruction and shooting, a DVD packed with lots of great information, and a workbook. At that price, you can’t go wrong when you see what other workshops cost.
The Ground Truth
Some of you are probably wondering why I am talking about someone else’s workshop here on the blog. I’ll try and answer most of the questions that will likely come up in an effort to clear any doubt about my motive for this post.
Q: Is Don paying you to write this?
Q: Are you getting any sort of kickbacks?
Q: Then why bother with writing about his workshops?
A: Because I believe in spreading the word about products and services that I believe in and know to be worthwhile.
Q: Don’t you teach workshops?
Q: Then why are you promoting this workshop and not your own?
A: Even though I teach an occasional workshop, I teach something completely different. In my workshop, I teach about portrait photography workflow and Don teaches about light.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about this workshop over other lighting workshops?
A: In Don’s workshops, it’s all about “See and Do”. You see it, then you do it. Other workshops are “Show and Tell”. The photographer gets up in front of a large audience and shows and tells about the setup and techniques and all you get to do is watch and listen.
If you want to take a workshop on lighting, THIS is the one to take. Not only will you see and hear, you will set up and shoot. You’ll take away a lot of knowledge that you can apply to your photography. It’s an excellent tool to help you take your work to the next level.