The impact of looking back

Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I just spent 25 hours sitting in front of a computer screen, from 4pm Friday to 10:30pm Sunday, looking at a guy talking about studio photography. He explained a lot about lights, modifiers, accessories, people interactions and more. I don’t do studio, although that statement might change one day, but the principles explained over these 3 days were so fundamental to photography, I knew I would be able to pick up something. Why did I decided to attend that weekend workshop, sitting for 3 days, listening to one person gives me his point of view on how to do things? 2 words: Zack Arias.

I knew the name from a previous video I have seen a while back called Transform, a film made for Scott Kelby’s blog. Transform was message so personal to Arias that is was forcing others to reflect on themselves, to relate to what he was talking about. He opened his film by saying “I am driving at 100mph on a dead end road…”. Who never stopped for a second and wonder what their next step would be and nothing obvious would come up. That can be a scary feeling. I know, I have been there, unfortunately more than once. The 1st time I came across that film, I must have watched it 4 times. That is impact.

So back to Arias workshop. I loved it! I am a gear head and if someone can show me how to use gadgets, I’m there. The workshop was the best I ever attended, not only photography related but in general but by the end of the workshop, all I could think about was to get studio strobes; at least 3. Why 3? 3 looks good… 3 looks good, right?

Then modifiers! Got to get those.


Wait a minute; I am missing the point. Arias’ opening on Friday was how photographers break their necks by acquiring stuff they have no use for, don’t know how to use, and most importantly, can’t afford it. I closed down B&H and eBay and made a list in my head of the gears I currently have and realize that if I can’t pull anything out of that, a studio strobe won’t be the solution. Arias message was clear, work with what you have and not with what you think you want. Works not only in photography; it works in life.

The gears I have are much better, according to the technical sections of the marketing brochures, than what I was using 4 years ago and still, I can look back at some unprocessed work made with a 6mp dSLR, touch it and love it still. New gears today won’t improve that.

I am glad I spent those 25 hours watching a screen over the past weekend. Having Zack Arias looking back on his career and living again the impact of his film “Transform” had on me was an eye reopening experience.

Looking back

One Response

  1. I second that!! What an incredible extravaganze of learning! It definitely left me with a little bit of "gear envy" (especially for the 7 foot octobank) but sanity prevailed and I only ordered as 60" umbrella. Can't wait to get into the studio and try out all these new techniques :-)

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