This is a short (ten minute) outtake from David Hobby‘s workshop DVD set, which is on sale for US$139. The price seems steep for “just” a DVD, but reconsider: what you’re actually getting isn’t just a film, but an in-depth tutorial over eight DVDs (over ten hours of content) which has the potential to seriously improve your photographic technique and, potentially, earn you some money.
The film clip above is a good example piece for what I imagine the remainder of the DVDs are like. It’s well filmed and David is a good teacher, explaining what he’s doing and why. His subjects – who appear to be taking part in the workshop themselves – seem to be a relaxed bunch which has, in this section, allowed him to shoot a fairly relaxed portrait using two flash units: a single diffused unit near his subject and one to illuminate the background. The rear illumination uses some pretty basic tools to create a cool effect on what is, to the naked eye, a boring beige conference room wall. One blue gel (which turns the flashed light, and therefore background, blue) and a pile of glasses to diffuse and refract the light, thereby creating interesting but indistinct patterns on the wall.
This is a great, short introduction to how you can use Strobist techniques to improve your portrait photography, with neither a need for massive amounts of complicated knowledge or technique, nor a lot of very expensive equipment.