Off-camera Flash with Mike Regala

Last week I headed out to yet another great (and free!) SmugMug San Diego event at the Handlery Hotel and Resort.  Mike Regala covered off-camera flash.  And he covered it well.  I made sure the hors d’oeuvres and beers were of sound quality.  And they were.

In addition to being a fashion/commerical/lifestyle photographer, he also teaches over at UCSD.  And I sort of got the feeling that we were being treated to a carefully compacted off-camera course, in the space of 2-3 hours.  Mike started with the basics of flash, methods of triggering the flash off-camera, the always yummy ‘inverse square law,’ gels, light modifiers, shooting and flashing (keep in clean people) in full manual, and using all of these things in combination with your shutter speed and aperture to create more compelling images.  Topics like this need a lot of time to explain and discuss, but I think Mike did a fantastic job presenting and answering questions along the way in the short amount of time given.

Next he walked us through a slideshow of images and explained how the images were created.  I loved it!  What could be better than an on-site deconstruction of the images by the guy who shot them.  Thanks Mike!

And then came the hour long, in-person shoot.  Seriously, this was like 3 great presentations combined into one evening.  Mike brought his own model, she sat up on the bar and he walked everyone through his vision.  First with one large softbox, then adding another and a few CTO gels…..and voila!

So now you’re thinking I’m about to start telling you how great all this was, because of this and that, and that’s what Bryan does every month.  Well, I am.  Because it was.  Free food.  Free presentation on a very important topic.  Free artist talking through how he created his images.  And to boot, a live and still free demonstration of putting a flesh and blood person in an uncontrolled space (hotel bar open to the public), using 2 Nikon speedlights, a few inexpensive softboxes, some gels, a Nikon d300 with a 35mm f/2 lens and producing some impressive images without any post-production (he shot tethered to Lightroom).

Next month we’re back at the Handlery with Scott Lim.  Let me know if you’d like some information……should be another spectacular evening!

Mike Regala

Model on the bar

Being light with a flashlight for focusing

Lightroom Review

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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4 Responses to Off-camera Flash with Mike Regala

  1. Candy says:

    Mike did a great job. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as I always do at the Smug Mug shindigs. very nice re-cap, Bryan! Thank you and see you next month! — Candy

  2. franmcob says:

    great job keep it going with help i might learn to shoot yet

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