Seattle One Light Workshop

Yesterday I took a day off from work and attended Zack AriasOne Light Workshop. The One Light covers how to use a single off camera light to enhance your photographs. I found out about it when some pictures from the One Light Workshop Alumni Pool showed up in the Strobist Flickr Pool. Since I had participated in David Hobby’s Strobist Boot Camp last year, I had some idea about many of the concepts that Zack taught during the One Light, but it was very valuable to me to see how someone like Zack put those techniques to work, and to be able ask questions and clarify my understanding. One big revelation was how Flash to Subject distance and the Inverse Square Law affect lighting. There are still a few pieces of that which are fuzzy, and I’m going to have to do some more reading to feel comfortable with the theory, but Zack gave some really compelling and practical applications of the theory to real world shooting situations.

One of the best parts of the workshop is that Zack gets a model and we all went on a photoshoot, and watched Zack put the theory into practice. Then we all got to try our hand at it, and get help from Zack while everything was still going on. I’m usually a learn it from a book (or blog) kind of guy, but I definitely found the hands on aspects of the workshop to be the most helpful. We did a number of things that really helped me *see* how light was behaving.

The other great benefit of the One Light was the chance to meet other photographers in the Seattle area. I got to meet Erin Vey, who has been doing wonderful work on Flickr for quite some time. The Rodriguez brothers, Gabriel and Boone worked hard to put the One Light together and were great hosts in addition to being good photographers. We had a good sized contingent of people from Vancouver B.C., and it sounded like they were going to get their own One Light sometime soon. It was interesting for me to hear the professional photographers talking about their business and to get a glimpse into life in the photography world. Zack had a lot of good information about how he’s built up his photography business

Here are a few of the images that I made during the workshop:

Seattle One Light Workshop

Seattle One Light Workshop

Seattle One Light Workshop

I need to do more with black and white, so here’s a try at that.

Seattle One Light Workshop

Seattle One Light Workshop

I’m particularly happy with this shot. The One Light was held at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, and this was taken in their main auditorium, which has a big sound booth right smack in the middle. There’s a SunPak 120j with a 10 degree grid lighting up Theresa’s face, and the ambient light (sound board, and stage in the far background) is getting picked up by a slow shutter. We did this one during our “go shoot something time”, and I came up with the concept for this, so it felt good to go from concept to actual image.

If you have the opportunity to go to a One Light, I would highly recommend it. Zack has the same low budget approach that David Hobby is taking over at Strobist, and Zack is travelling a lot more than David is (David, if you do a workshop in the Pacific Northwest, I am there). Also the One Light is pretty inexpensive compared to most photo workshops and if you have a day job, it happens all in one day (there’s a mixer the night before).

Update: More Images

Bill Cawley

Boone Rodriguez

Erin Vey on Flickr, blog post

Justin Lam

Dave Ryan

Rachel Pick

5 Responses to “Seattle One Light Workshop”


  • Nice stuff, Ted!

    I have heard nothing but good things about Zach’s workshops. Glad you got to one. One day, Zach and I should get together and do a “Lightstock,” or “Light-a-Palooza” or something…

  • David,

    You and Zack in one place would be incredible!

    It’d be great if you’d do a post on flash to subject distance and the inverse square law. I think we were all having a bit of trouble with that one.

  • Nice stuff Ted! It was a great workshop with a great bunch of people who worked together well. A long day, but the amount of information was an incredible value.

  • Nice write up and fun to see some of the photos from the shoot. Great shots with the sound board.

  • Thanks for the info on the One Light Workshop. I’ve heard wonderful things about it.

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