Mangawhai at dawn

Mangawhai at dawn

It’s taken a little time, but I’ve finally started taking a few confident steps into the realms of off-camera flash.

I’ve been toying with the idea for ages, weighing up the cost of gear against what I think the benefits may be.

Honestly, I wish I had done it a lot sooner. Let me share a couple of thoughts with you.

Before I get started though I have to tip my cap to two amazingly generous photographers who provided the impetus and information to get started – Zack Arias and David Hobby.

Zack Arias is an Atlanta-based photographer who, amongst other things, runs a series of workshops aimed at using off-camera flash.

David Hobby is the driving force behind Strobist, a blog dedicated to off-camera flash. It is without doubt the most user friendly and comprehensive collection of information I’ve discovered

Thanks to you both. It is because of people such as yourselves that people like us get to improve our skills.


Mangawhai is by far my favourite place for dawn photography, and it was with this aim in mind that 4 of us woke up in the wee hours of a Saturday morning to make the one hour drive out there.

The weather was nearly perfect, despite one or two showers we drove through on the way.

Cloud cover was a little thick over the horizon, but the light came through well enough for some good landscapes.

However, the real fun started when we pulled out the lightstand and flash and started doing the strobist thing.

Everything came together quite comfortably and flowed very smoothly. It’s such a great feeling to set up an image, work through what your lighting will do, figure out how you want to balance ambient light with flash, and then getting the image that you had planned at the end of it. More skill, less luck. GREAT!

For first-timers we made great headway and I tink it’s going to be great to get out again and build on what we have learnt.

Admittedly, it’s made a huge difference to my work and has opened up a number of fresh and exciting possibilities.

But as always, doing something you love is much more enjoyable in the company of like-minded individuals.

So to those of you who were there, thank you. Who knows, perhaps one day it might be us who start big things by sharing what we’ve been persistent enough to learn.