Saturday, April 23, 2011


I'm afraid this one's going to be more text-based, so...I've decided to do 2 posts this week for those who just come for the pictures - what's a photo blog without pictures after all¿?

The Flash Bus - first workshop ever

Speeding our way to Buffalo New York to catch up with the Flash Bus
I recently went to the Flash Bus workshop in Buffalo, New York with Joe McNally and David Hobby (The Strobist). This was the first workshop that I've ever taken and I have to say...I was very impressed!

Firstly, these are pretty good guys to get a first workshop from, but what amazed me the most was how gracious they both were. They've reached a certain status by now and still come out to shake everyone's hand while their audience stands in line before the doors open to have a quick chat with anyone who wants to. To me that's a very human element and really is in-line with the community that David Hobby has set up.

For a guy who's just been learning photography for just over a year now and off-camera lighting for around 6 months or so, it was an amazing opportunity to talk to both of them and spend a full day listening to how they approach different lighting situations and build it all from the ground up.

There were people there, needless to say, with some very fancy-pants gear - one guy even had two bodies with huge assault lenses attached. I don't know where he thought he was, but...he wasn't hurting anyone...just looked a little over-zealous is all....

Thank you Joe McNally!

Joe and David were continuously being photographed the entire day by many of the 350-member audience. I was lucky enough to be in the 2nd row close to the middle, but I only took a few pictures of them toward the end. There was one that I was happy with - the others I threw away.

Cristy saw it and said, "you should send that to them!" I showed her a flickr group dedicated to Flash Bus pictures, which represent a fraction of the total pictures taken during these events across their 29 city tour. I had already posted it on Flickr anyway, but decided not to add it to any groups or anything.

Later that night just before bed my blog stats were so high that I was sure there was a glitch in the system. So I refreshed and the number was significantly higher. After a few refreshes I went looking to the internet - it looked like a lot of hits were coming from Twitter, but I couldn't see from who.

Turns out Joe McNally had written, "#theflashbus at Indy. Shayne Gray made a fun capture....", which links to my blog - 'cept there were no Flash Bus pictures here at the time. Shortly after, Joe tweeted again, "here's that capture from shayne gray.... the Q&A sessions have been fun....", which goes to the relevant Flickr pic.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that it really is a great community these guys have built. The other take-away is just how powerful social media has become. When someone like that points at you...a lot of people look.

Bit of a different scale, of course...but it's amazing how Lady Gaga changed Maria Aragon's life in less than 140 characters....

Anyway - you're amazing man, Joe, and richer in life experience and incredible adventures than most. Thanks for the encouragement, knowledge and wisdom!

And guess what I got from Cristy shortly afterward...a big, fat "I told you so!"


Miguel Palaviccini said...

Shayne, I always look forward to your posts. Even though you don't update every day, I know that every post has great substance. Thanks for sharing your learning experience! If you are looking for some ideas to share, I really like the effect of layering textures. :)

shayne gray learns photography %$#! said...

Hi Miguel,

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Each post definitely takes some preparation and it would be difficult to post more than once a week.

I also greatly appreciate ideas from readers. If you mean textures like this post, I think we can work in another post to explore that a little further....

; )

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