52 Project – Week 4 – @strobist (David Hobby)

Background: This year, I’ve decided to do a 52 project (one photo a week), and my “theme” is that I’m going to do a self-portrait each week, where I try to mimic the Twitter picture/avatar of someone that I follow, figuring I’d be able to learn a new technique/look each week that I can apply to future projects.

This week’s 52 project photo is a recreation of the Twitter avatar for David Hobby, aka the Strobist.  David has a very popular blog, entitled simply “Strobist”, that he started in 2006 to pass along his knowledge gained through over 20 years in photojournalism to students and young professionals.  On his site, he explains: “It has evolved into a focal point for the discussion of lighting techniques, tools and trends all over the world. Strobist now averages about 100,000 pageviews a day (via the blog, RSS and email) from readers in nearly every country in the world. (We’re still working on North Korea and Zimbabwe.)  The site, which was originally supported mostly by my wife’s patience, has since grown into a self-sustaining community of readers, one pretty frazzled writer and a small but dedicated group of business partners.”

David has become recognized world-wide as an excellent source of information about all things strobe-shooting related (using on- and off-camera flash to light photos), and has parlayed his wealth of knowledge into becoming a great source for all photographers.  I was fortunate enough to see David and Joe McNally (who will be a later subject once I figure out how to do a self-portrait up high on a building/tower) on their tour last year, The Flash Bus, where they dispensed their knowledge in typical high-energy fashion, doing live shooting rather than just working off of slides, and sharing their combined great (and a little off-kilter) senses of humor with the rapt audience of almost 300.  I have consulted his site often for information and inspiration, and would gladly go see him speak again, anytime!

For this shoot, I have to admit to having a little inside info – on the tour, he actually demonstrated this shot using audience members.  The glow of the computer screen isn’t actually the screen light, as it’s not enough to light a subject at a fast shutter speed. Instead, I had a flash connected to a Pocket Wizard trigger aimed at the screen, which acted as a reflector to get the glow on my face and the shadow on the wall behind me. I had a second flash on the camera, zoomed in and at low power to illuminate the front of the laptop.  Ideally, I would have had that flash off to the side with a gridded snoot to get the correct swath of light across the laptop.  Instead, I did it in Photoshop, which was just as well as it gave me a chance to work on those skills.  Unfortunately, I forgot behind-the-scenes photos – I need to get better at taking those!

David Hobby, aka "Strobist"

Me as David Hobby

2 Responses to “52 Project – Week 4 – @strobist (David Hobby)”
  1. Wow, that’s really very close to the orig…. wait… *Sprite*?

    Back to the drawing board.

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