Monday, November 16, 2009

Review of David Honl's DVD "LIGHT"...


For $39 you will get two DVD's that contain one hour and fifteen minutes of instruction covering nine different portrait shoots and wraps up with a talk about the equipment David Honl uses.

In "Light" David Honl will walk you through each shoot using from one to three small strobes (he uses Nikon SB-800 & 900's) to shoot portraits both indoors and out.

He will show you how to overcome existing light and rebuild it with the light you want and where you want it.

The equipment is minimal - a camera, strobes, pocket wizards, and the occasional snoot, grid, gobo, and reflector to move light around.

"Light" is extremely well produced, better than most photography DVD's, and you feel less like you are being taught and more like you are hanging around with David for a day of shooting and he is sharing with you how he works

There is even a cooking lesson thrown in... I know what you are thinking "how does that fit in?", trust me, it fits in quite nicely.

What you won't get is details, you won't get the settings for each flash in a given shoot (other than they are set to manual), that's not what I am looking for because I don't want to robotically reproduce a lighting set up.

What I want is concepts, I want to understand light shaping, I want to be exposed to ideas that make me think so that when I walk into a given situation I can bend and adapt the ideas (and the light) to fit the situation and walk away with a great shot and that is exactly what you will get from David in "Light".

Though it is laid back style, it is also fast paced so have your remote handy because you will want to pause, rewind, and re-watch.

I invited a friend and fellow photographer to watch this with me and then asked him to write a paragraph about what he just saw, here it is:

"The first thing that should be noted about David Honl’s DVD “Light” is the laid back style of the entire presentation. Unlike many DVDs which seem to be making a video attempt at being a 500 page “How to Book”, David Honl’s DVD takes the viewer leisurely through diverse portrait photo sessions. In each David starts by describing the setting, what he wants to accomplish, and the tools he will use. For those that are either new to photography or the advanced hobbyist the first thing that will be noted is that David makes use of dedicated speedlights to achieve his amazing images almost exclusively throughout the DVD. For the budding photographer, I think the idea that the dedicated flash they may already own has much more creative capability than they may realize once they take it off the hot shoe.

After each session David breaks the shoot down, giving the viewer the exact position of the lights used. He also details how he modifies and shapes the light with modifiers like grids, snoots, reflectors and gobos. By keeping the video laid back David subtly conveys that with application of the right modifiers and some basic planning for light placement, a photographer can walk into just about any situation and shoot with confidence."


There you have it, two photographers, four thumbs up.

If you are starting your list for Santa, this should be on it.

Here is a trailer to help wet your appetite:


1 comment:

Miguel Palaviccini said...

Thanks for sharing. With all of the lighting DVD's out there, I'm curious as to how you would "rate them" against each other. It would be interesting to have a post that shows the pros and cons of each and then possibly recommend certain ones to people who are at certain levels in their photography.