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  • Writer's picturerachel leintz

light bulbs galore!

The educational journey continues! This week, I embarked on an epic trip, captained by the magnificent Roberto Valenzuela. This intensive workshop is focused on the Roberto answering questions and fixing problems sent in from professional photographers all over the world, but it is really so much more than just “troubleshooting.”

I’ve only made it through the first few hours of the workshop so far, but already I’ve learned to think about light differently. It’s a strange sensation to have a master of your art form tell you things you already knew, but explain them in a way that makes light bulbs go off in your head.

For example, not to get too crazy techy here, but in a past life, when I was writing forensic papers and explain the inverse square law to new crime scene photographers, I knew that light diminished as it traveled. Yep, knew that. But Roberto explained today why that is so important to think about when it comes to lighting a subject. Where do you place them in relation to the light source? What type of shadows are you creating? What are you doing to the shape their face? Is it appearing broader because you’re lighting both sides evenly? Are you thinning it out because you used shadow to sculpt the light away? Sheesh! Roberto’s course strips away a lot of the mystery as to why some images are just good pictures, and others are amazing works of art.

I had the same “Ah Ha!” moment when he started to talk about older skin, and how to minimize the look of wrinkles without Photoshop actions. I mean, I used oblique lighting, literally, for about a decade when taking comparison level evidence images. So why didn’t I realize that I was doing just the opposite when trying to mask the fine details on a face?

If you’re like me, and constantly looking to push yourself creatively, check out Roberto’s training on Creative Live. He’s hysterical too :) That’s always a plus when you’re learning.

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