Life In The Fast Lane

090927_0415As planned, I got together with the Strobist St. Louis group on Sunday and spent the afternoon learning some new things about lighting and taking photographs of cars. I also got to play with some CyberSync flash triggers, which worked really well with the Alien Bee studio flash units provided by Ariana, who put together the whole meet-up and had three cars there for us to photograph. She also arranged for her favorite model Zaea to pose with the cars because cars and models seem to go pretty well together. For my part I was mostly there as a fly on the wall and anxious to learn as much as I could from everyone there. I tried to stay out of the way and not trip over any light stands.

As it turns out, taking photos of black cars in bright afternoon light is not so easy and we retreated into the garage where we could control things a little better until the sun got lower in the sky. Ariana brought along something called a PLM or Parabolic Light Modifier, which is for lack of a better description an 84″ diameter shiny umbrella which doubles as a death star if you happen to look directly at it when the flash goes off. Even the tungsten modeling light on the flash unit lit things up like a night game at a baseball stadium. Ariana brought enough lights, stands and reflectors to mount a small expedition and it was nice to have a lot of options and more choices for how to set up the lights.

I had a lot of fun and came away with a bunch of new ideas about working with lighting and keeping all the gear organized. You can look at the photographs from this meet-up by going to and doing a search on this tag – stls_sept09

I went to work on Monday and caught a cold which has me feeling pretty miserable at the moment and makes it hard to be very productive as far as editing photos or writing anything that makes much sense. Some more aspirin and orange juice and then I’m off to bed.

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