The Strobist for The Howard County Times

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Sometimes photographing another photographer can be intimidating. …sometimes it can be annoying. But I felt neither emotion when I got to photograph David Hobby last week.

It was fun! It helped that we already knew each other.

(20 cool points to whoever can guess what David’s drinking.)

So, why was I photographing Mr. Hobby? Time Magazine named his blog, The Strobist, one of the top 35 of 2010 and The Howard County Times (where I work, and where David used to work before the Sun) is profiling him. I’m not sure the rank is in any significant numerical order, but he’s #18 on the list.

My original idea was to make a wall o’ lights. Like, bring out all of his strobes. Then I saw his backyard and realized it was too hilly. But I’m not saying I don’t want to try it at some other time — hint hint, David.

Here’s an extended caption:¬†This image of David Hobby, made in his Dorsey Search backyard, Friday, July 9, 2010, was made with a Nikon D700, a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX lens, and shot wide open with an aperture of f/1.8, with a 1/25th shutter speed and an exposure speed of 200 ISO. A neutral density filter (which belonged to David) was used over the lens. Five lights were used: three Alien Bee 1600′s — two off camera, one, on my right, modified with a beauty dish at 1/4 power, one to the far left, modified with a magnum reflector, at full power, and the one seen in the background, bare-bulb at full power — one Alien Bee 800, at his feet, at 1/16th power, and one Nikon sb-800 speedlight, on the right, for a little rim light, but mostly for show. The set up (except for the sb-800) was powered by two Paul C. Buff Vagabond II’s and the lights were triggered by a combination of Pocket Wizard II’s and utilizing the lights’ optical slaves. This info might seem like gobbledygook to most, but the followers of Hobby’s “The Strobist” blog know it as “Strobist Info.” ¬†Former Patuxent Publishing Co. and Baltimore Sun staff photographer David Hobby’s blog was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 25 blogs of 2010. The Strobist blog demystifies off-camera lighting while maintaining a budget-minded populist ethos for the non-professionals who just want to make their photos better.

And since I love outtakes…

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photo by David Hobby

we were having problems with his new Einstein strobe, seen right behind me. Notice how it’s not going off?

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Flippantly testing the pocket wizards.

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Here’s the final product/what I turned in.

and here are my CYA shots.

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and here’s one he shot of me!

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11 Responses to “The Strobist for The Howard County Times”

  1. DC Chavez says:

    Oh, oh, oh, I get the prize!

    DIET Mountain Dew! :)

    Great pics.

    DC

  2. ErikRc says:

    His drink? Way easy. Diet Mountain Dew. Good shots btw!

  3. Daniel Cormier says:

    He has to be drinking Diet Mountain Dew.

  4. Phil R says:

    Well done dude… must have been a fun assignment!

    Would have been awesome to see all of Hobby’s strobes setup. Instead of a wall of sound (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Wall_of_Sound_%28Grateful_Dead%29), you could have had a wall of light.

  5. Mr. Hobby is really funny in real life. Strobist is about the only blog I have ever followed since meeting him at an NPPA thingy a few years back. So glad he is being recognized for his work. I think I learned more from his Interviews with past masters this week than I did in art school. Your paper must be cool. Geekfest? You should invite him.

  6. Sam says:

    love your pictures, just curious why a 35dx lens on the D700?

    i’m thinking of making the jump to FX so i was going to sell all my dx lenses. maybe i’ll consider keeping that one.

  7. Matt Roth says:

    Hey Sam.
    Go FX and keep that lens.
    This is why I love it.
    A.) the 35mm f/1.8 is cheap. B.) I love AF-S lenses (and can’t stand having to flip that stupid switch every time I want to manually focus). C). It looks GORGEOUS! It, by far, has the best, creamiest bokeh of all my lenses. Weird, huh? Even weirder, it doesn’t look nearly as “magical” on my D300s. D.) The natural vignetting is really pretty, too. E.) It’s super small and unassuming, not scary-big like a 17-55 or a 24-70. F.) it’s way sharp at f/1.8.

    Biggest downside is that close focus and stopped down, the blacker the “vignetting” gets. Not really a good lens for using big lights.

    The reason it worked in the photo of Mr. Hobby is because he let me use his super-bad-ass Neutral Density filter, so I was able to crank the lights and stay at f/1.8.
    That filter is definitely on my some-day-soon-shopping list.
    cheers!
    matt roth

  8. David Hobby says:

    –> “The reason it worked in the photo of Mr. Hobby is because he let me use his super-bad-ass Neutral Density filter, so I was able to crank the lights and stay at f/1.8.”

    Mr. Hobby? MR. HOBBY?

    Eff you, Charlie, I am not THAT old.

  9. Matt Roth says:

    Ha! I meant “Mr.” in a AP stylebook sorta way.

    besides, old men don’t have man caves!
    thanks for the tweet, by the way. I’m watching Woopra like it’s the 9th inning in the world series!

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