KAIZEN = Continuous Improvement

Kaizen was created in Japan following World War II.  The word Kaizen means “continuous improvement.”  One of my goals each year, both personally, and professionally is Continuous Improvement.  As a photographer I am constantly working to  grow and advance.  I figure, if I don’t look back on last years work and think, “Wow!  I have really improved,” then I am just standing still.  Some of the ways I do this is by studying other photographers work, reading books, blogs and tips, taking classes both online, and in person, and attending workshops.  I recently attended Brett Jarnagin’s Flashfire Workshop when he came to Phoenix.  Many photographers call themselves “natural light” photographers, but I wanted to push myself a little farther.  By attending this workshop I learned a lot more about flash and particularly a system employing off-camera flash.  Take a look at the amazing results:

As you can see, we began shooting in the middle of the day.  This first image is of one of our models Niki Brindle, taken with only the available natural light.

Below, is the same set up, same time of day, taken just moments later…but a completely different look by utilizing a two flash set up. The shot on the right is also using a two light set up, but the second light (the star burst you see in the upper left corner) is actually the sun rather than a flash.

Later in the afternoon we moved into a junky old field to shoot.  It is amazing the lengths photographers will go to get a great shot!

The image in the top, right is Brett Jarnagin, the instructor, with model Niki Brindle.  (We had three models, buy my group worked mostly with Niki, she was so much fun to work with, and she had great style!)

These first two images were taken in natural light, and again, you can see the off-camera flash image below.

The difference is dramatic. These next images were taken after dark, long after you can shoot with natural light.  But off-camera flash makes all sorts of images possible.  In fact, the shot below on the left was in front of an ugly white block wall, but we added a gel over the flash and voila it looks like a colorful and interesting backdrop.

This last shot from the workshop is what Brett, the instructor, called “Rock Star Lighting.”  I can’t wait to use this in the spring on some of my high school seniors. 

Although I haven’t tried the “rock Star lighting” yet, these next images are some shots I have taken utilizing some of the off camera flash techniques I leaned!  Thanks Brett and Flashfire Workshop!

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