Flashbus Pittsburgh

April 13, 2011


This past Monday, I volunteered to help out at the Flashbus’ Pittsburgh stop. (For those of you that attended, I was the chick in the Pinhead Gunpowder shirt passing out wristbands.) I schlepped gear, stuffed swag bags, and passed out wristbands in exchange for spending the day with Joe McNally and David Hobby. Since we were needed at 6:30, and I live in the middle of nowhere, this meant getting up at 4:15 in the morning (see what I do for you folks?)

Between graphic design and photography, I’ve chosen fields that really don’t allow you to ever stop learning. Last year I went up to New York for a workshop with David Bergman, and picked up Zack Arias’ CreativeLIVE class. Since lighting is sort of a big deal in photography, and since the odds of getting to hear two different lighting philosophies in one day in Pittsburgh again are slim, I was pretty psyched about the Flashbus stop.


I didn’t take a ton of photos. I did take a ton of notes (including gems like “More Cowbell,” and “Note from Joe: Turn Flash On”). I’ve always been in the Hobby camp when it comes to the manual vs. TTL showdown. Odd, coming from someone that uses the “I went to art school, I don’t do math” line on a regular basis. I’m not sure if it’s because that’s the way I learned first, or because I’m an anal retentive control freak. But I tend to shoot manual, and I tend to use flashes on manual as well. So I was already on board from a technical end, but hearing his process was very cool. McNally opted to show us his process live, on mostly willing participants from the audience. I learned a ton of things about TTL that I didn’t know, and can see plenty of situations where it would come in handy (as in David’s balanced precariously over a stream with expensive gear example). I can’t say he’s won me over to the dark side, BUT it’s something that I’m more likely to use in the future now. Possibly with less swearing than usually accompanies my attempts at TTL.


Long day, but very entertaining, and tons of information. I also got to meet some very cool people, including the rest of the crew. I think they’re down to two or three dates now, and I’m not entirely sure there are spots open on any of them. But on the off chance someone manages to con these folks onto a bus again, I highly recommend you check it out.

One Response to “Flashbus Pittsburgh”

  1. Little chips light great fires.

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