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Lightly Motivated

I seem to be taking in training material at an accelerated rate. I don’t know if I’m just trying to compensate for a lack of shooting time recently (on which subject more later) or whether I’ve just got too much disposable income at the moment, but with books, CreativeLIVE and Kelby Training and now Bert Stephani’s Motivational Light DVD, if I don’t do some cool stuff in my next shoot I’ll pretty much have to commit ritual suicide.

Anyway, Bert’s an acquaintance of mine (by which I mean that I went to one of his workshops last year and found it very cool), so I figured I should say a couple of words about the DVD, which is pitched not as a how-to for lighting, but as a why to, explaining how different types of lighting can be used to create different moods to a photograph.

The teaching style is very relaxed – never let it be said that Bert takes himself too seriously – but still nicely focussed. Whilst there’s quite a bit of time spent watching Bert shooting, he makes sure to explain why he’s shooting the way he is, and what his intentions are for each setup. The disc also includes three videos of Bert’s practice sessions – whose importance he explains using a basketball analogy, since he used to be a promising basketball player – the style of which will be familiar to anyone who’s ever watched his Confessions of a Photographer series on YouTube.

Having been to Bert’s workshop, I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t get as much out of the DVD as I would want to for the price, but I needn’t have worried. It’s nature as a not-a-how-to means that I learned things that I wouldn’t normally expect to learn from a photography DVD (David duChemin’s recent Vision Driven Photography workshop on CreativeLIVE falls into the same kind of category), and that alone made it worth the purchase price. The fact that the training provided is fun to watch, so that the time spent watching it flies by, helps a great deal.