The Flash Bus Tour – San Diego edition

Well, like I said, $99 for Joe McNally (who I think is referring to himself as “Numnuts) and David Hobby from 10 am till about 5:30 pm is not too shabby of a deal.  For those of you who don’t know either of these guys, you really should check them out, at least a little.  DH runs the very popular site, and for anyone getting into off-camera flash, I couldn’t think of a better place to start than the Bootcamp series of blog entries at his site/blog.  At the same time, pick up a copy of ‘The Hot Shoe Diaries,’ by Mr. McNally.  It’s loaded with all sorts of good info, and he shows photos, and talks about how he created them.  Very helpful, JM!

So back to the Flash Bus Tour session, and it’s after lunch, and like in the above-mentioned The Hot Shoe Diaries, JM is building a photo using a member of the audience, and the entire audience of what I think has to be around 200 people as the backdrop.  He’s got 3 Nikon sb900’s on a stand about 50 yards behind us, and an sb900 inside a Lumiquest Softlight iii (I think) and right up above the subject’s face.  The flash inside the Lumiquest is getting gelled with a full cut of CTO as Joe has the WB on tungsten to get the shot looking really blu-ish.  Bringing the subject back to normal skin tone thus needs the gel.  Anyhow……somewhere along the lines of gelling or making sure all the flashes were in the proper Group, his Nikon D3s and 14-24mm gets put down on a table.  And then, and I can’t remember how, it’s not on the table, but it’s on the floor.  And the room has suddenly gone pretty silent.  And Joe is just kinda staring down there.  But Joe isn’t too worried I suspect, as I think he’s seen it all before, and probably much worse; is very hard on his gear; and might not even have to pay for gear.  I don’t know.  But, one of his assistants picks the camera up and fires off a frame without looking through the viewfinder just to see if the shutter is functioning.  Click.  And the image below loads up onto the large projection screen that has been showing all the shots via tether (I might add, that Joe had already broken the silence with some sort of comedic comment and the mood was back to it’s previous lightheartedness and fun).  Need I state that the whole room burst out laughing?

About Bryan Oster

Photographer of people and food. You can see some of my work at my site (, and at my blog (
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