Passion

Do you have anything that you are really passionate about? You know …something that you just cannot not stop thinking about; something that frequently wakes you up in the middle of the night?

About thirteen years ago I became passionate about photography. It started with my friend John who had been a professional photographer many years before. Though he is about twenty years older than me, John and I have shared many interests over the years. He is a great friend.

At first I was like every other amateur photographer just shooting pictures at random hoping something would be spectacular. Occasionally I would take a nice picture, but nothing out of the ordinary. Under John’s guidance I upgraded my camera several times and then began adding lenses and filters. And the pictures certainly got better as I learned how to properly use each new thing. But still, none of the pictures were like the ones I saw as I perused the photographic books and magazines on my regular trips to Barnes and Noble.

I was eager to learn all I could from John and I will always be indebted for all he taught me and for generating that spark that became a passion. One of my best memories is teaching a photography class at the local college with John. But, the professional quality pictures that I so longed for still eluded my grasp.

Then one day it hit me. It was as if a light had gone on in my head that revealed the missing secret to taking great, professional quality photographs.

The light that went off was the light itself!

Lighting! That was the secret; the missing ingredient in my formula.

Oh sure, I knew about lights and had read articles and watched videos about lighting, but by and large they all said the same basic thing, “Place your lights here.” I did that, but there had to be more to it. And believe me, there is.

I spent the next few years learning EVERYTHING I could about lighting. Frankly, I was surprised at the limited information available but gradually I began to put it all together. Like anything else, once you understand all of the elements and put them together, fantastic things begin to happen. And so it was with my photography.

Now I was taking those photographs that generate the oohs and ahs at the local photography club. More and more, other photographers, including many professional photographers, were asking questions like how I was able to get such rich tones in my photographs, how I was able to generate such depth, and many other similar questions.

While anyone of these photographers could probably write a book about f-stops, iso speeds, and other technical aspects of photography, it was amazing how few recognized the correlation of these technical aspects to lighting.

I was encouraged to teach others what I had learned and actually started conducting workshops throughoutNorthern California. At this point more than 3,000 photographers have attended these workshops. The feedback I have received has been nothing short of phenomenal, but I guess that’s not surprising when you are following your passion.

Conducting live photographic workshops is arduous …and expensive. Typically, it involves the efforts many people and is limited to a specific location.

The one thing I hear over and over from those who have attended my workshops is that it is too bad I cannot reach a larger audience. Please understand, these comments come from photographers who have invested tens of thousands of dollars in equipment!

Well, I’ve found the answer! It seemed crazy at first. Why not take the mountain to Mohamed?
How could we do that? By taking all of the information presented in our local workshops and putting it all into a video. So crazy was the idea, that after 18 months of work putting it all together, we decided that we would call it, ”The Lighting Asylum.” How crazy is that?!?!?

Teaming with Blown Apart Studios, “The Lighting Asylum” DVD presents everything I teach in our live workshops …and more. We have produced, what we feel, is the most thorough teaching ever produced on lighting. We held nothing back. It’s all here in our one hour video.

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