Strobes and Speedlights On Location

Syl Arena  •  June 4–8, 2012 April 23-27, 2012  •  $1,050 / $950

Click here to register.

Our Strobes and Speedlights On Location workshop is an rigorous week designed for the intermediate to advanced amateur and emerging pro.

If you’ve ever wondered how to combine the best features of strobes and Speedlights when shooting on location, then this workshop is for you. Over the course of five days, we’ll use small flash (think Canon Speedlites or Nikon Speedlights) and large strobes (think Profoto D1 Air on a battery pack). We’ll shoot on a variety of locations–both indoors and outside.


This workshop is well-suited for photographers who wish to make the transition from small flash to large strobes. Likewise, if you’ve worked with large lights and have wondered what small flash can do for you, then you’ll enjoy this workshop.

Our emphasis for the week will be on using both small flash and battery-powered strobes to craft light for location portraits. If you don’t shoot portraits, don’t fret — the concepts apply to other type of flash photography as well.

On Monday, we’ll work in the studio and review flash basics. The balance of week will focus on multiple light techniques. Mornings are spent on critique of previous day’s shoot and lecture / demonstration. Afternoons are spent photographing on location.

Typical Workshop Topics*

• Strobes & Speedlights: What each system does best and how to create synergy between them

• Ambient / Flash: Strategies to emphasize or eliminate ambient light. How to blend flash with various types of ambient light.

• Wireless Flash: All the details (and a few secrets) about how to trigger small flash and strobes together. We’ll radio transmitters like PocketWizard’s ControlTL system and the new Plus III transceivers.

• The Lighting Compass: How the position and height of the flash shape light

• Modifiers: How to use large mods, like umbrellas, softboxes, diffusion panels, solids, etc. with both small and large lights.

• White Balance/Gels: Gelling for color correction and dramatic effect.

• Syncing For Creative Effect: how to dim the sun and stop time.

• Mixed Lighting: How to use flash with tungsten, fluorescent, and other types of light.

• Lighting For Persona: Bringing gear, technique, and vision together so that you can craft light to express the personality of your subjects.

• Working Professionally: Portfolio and business development strategies. Optional review of your portfolio and website.

* Workshop Outline is subject to change at the discretion of instructor – based upon location availability, weather and student resources.

Tuition - $1,050 ($950 if paid as lump sum) – includes 5-day workshop, location and model fees, and lunch daily. Not included: transportation, lodging, breakfasts and dinners.

Installment Plan – Pay $420 when your registration is accepted. Pay $420 on April 1. Pay $210 on April 20.

Discount – Or, you can SAVE $100 by paying your tuition as a lump sum upon your acceptance into the workshop. Details are described on the registration page.

Enrollment - This workshop is limited to 12 students.

Team Structure - Students will work in teams of 3 on location shoots with each student rotating through the position of photographer, assistant, and grip or model.

Skill Level – Intermediate to pro.

Daily Critiques – Your work will be critiqued in a candid manner with an eye for how the images would work for magazines and ads.

Camera Gear - This is not a brand-specific workshop. Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. are all welcome. Required: DSLR with wide-angle and medium-telephoto lens. Optional: tripod, light stands, modifiers, speedlights.

Computer Gear - laptop with Lightroom, Aperture or Bridge/Photoshop. You will want to be able to get your best images collected for daily critiques.

Suggested Reading -

• Syl Arena Speedliter’s Handbook

Paso Robles Workshops / PRW

 Paso Robles is a charming small townin the coastal hills about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is also Syl Arena’s home town. In 2009, Syl launched the Paso Robles Workshops as a boutique photography school that produces just a handful of programs each year.

 Wine Country Lunches: The food scene in Paso Robles is as vibrant as its wine industry. Gourmet lunches are included in the workshop tuition. Each day we will head out to a different bistro, cafe, or restaurant for a sit down lunch. For more about dining in Paso Robles, jump over to this page on the PRW site.

 Lodging: Paso Robles has a wide range of hotels, motels, B&Bs, and guest rooms. For a list, check out this page on the PRW site.


Instructor: Syl Arena

 Syl is recognized around the world as an expert on location lighting. He is the author of the Speedliter’s Handbook and founder of You can follow Syl on Twitter here.