I just got back from the Captivated by the Light San Jose seminar today. And while it didn’t blow me away, it was okey.
The “workshop” was given by 33 year photography veteran Ed Pierce. Over a course of three hours, he gave short mini-lectures, interspersed with several short video presentations illustrating the topics discussed. There was a little studio set-up on stage but since the area was too small and the time limit short, the videos provided adequate visual for the basic concepts he tried to go over. The videos were actually pretty concise and had good production and education value. So good, that I decided to subscribe to his Photo Vision DVD magazine, promo price of $39 for workshop goers.
The main meat of the workshop was understanding light: quality, quantity and direction. He went over various possible lighting scenarios for both studio and location set-ups. He also discussed ways and tools to modify light. Of course, a basic book on studio lighting could tell you the same thing. However, if you are an amateur or beginning photographer and have never taken a lighting workshop in your life, this seminar could provide you with the fundamentals.
The pace of the workshop was well-timed. The topics were organized well and it flowed. Ed was an engaging and humorous speaker. And oh, there was a little mini-raffle which was kinda cool. Uncool was not winning anything. Darn.
Oh, and don’t get misled by the seminar website. Many photographers were mistaken in thinking that the seminar would feature other leading industries photographer “hotties” Sandy Puc, Jeff and Julia Woods, Parker Pfister, among others. Well in fact, these other quote-unquote participants are actually featured in a free DVD that comes with the seminar registration. Since the video presentations were so well made, I’m actually looking forward to watching the DVD freebie tonight.
All in all, not too shabby for 4 hours of my time and $19 (with PPA discount). The Captivated by the Light workshop is touring 68 cities nationwide. Check and see if there’s a city near your hometown.