Yesterday, I travelled a mere 60 miles south to see one of my favorite authors, Bryan F. Peterson.
Image above made with a Nikon D300 camera and Nikon 85 f1.8 lens
The Camera Club of Richmond brought the famed photographer to the historic Byrd Theater in Richmond, Virginia for the day (9:00 am to 4:00 pm) and I could not pass up the chance to see him up close and personal. I was not disappointed.
Best known for his “Understanding Exposure” book and Perfect Picture School of Photography, this presentation was both a rehash of the familiar and a breath of fresh air. Let me explain myself: I have read and re-read Understanding Exposure (which I refer to as ”the Bible” and recommend for all new photographers) enough until I can repeat some of the passages backwards. I also have on hand some of his other books: “Understanding Shutter Speed”, “Learning to See Creatively,” and “Understanding Digital Photography” that remain as ready reference material. So it should be obvious that while I truly appreciate this man’s advice and photography I was not really expecting to be wowed. However I was.
First, I did not expect his humor to be so witty (especially when he explained the psychology of the design elements: line, texture, shape, form, pattern, and color) but the 200+ fans all laughed at his jokes and his somewhat dark jibes aimed mainly at himself.
Second, he quickly went over his workflow in Adobe Photoshop which surprisingly consists of Selective Color (Image -> Adjustments -> Selective Color) and that’s it. Intriguing. I now have a few ideas on how I can use this method to my advantage.
Last but certainly not least, I believe he spent at least an hour on flash where he expounded on the benefits of using Manual flash rather than TTL. And since Bryan uses Nikon cameras and equipment, he had the SB-900 subject-to-distance screenshots! The SB-900 manual (and flash for that matter) was so hard to understand, I could not wait to run home last night and try it. Success!
Sometime this summer, he plans to release his new work “Understanding Electronic Flash” and it should come as no surprise to my readers that I will be purchasing this new book as soon as it hits the online stores.