Zack Arias is a name that is now synonymous with learning to use your off-camera studio strobe or speedlight, starting with just one light and one modifier, in manual mode.
Whether you attended one of his workshops (or like me, two of his workshops) in the past or sat and watched and rewatched his first video tutorial called, OneLight Workshop, I am going to bet that you have experienced one or two personal eureka moments about using your flash.
For some of us, his teaching liberated us from the confines of “natural light.” For others it was a financial boon, allowing us to seek out new clients who not just expected beautifully lit images, but demanded them every single time. A lucky few, got to do both really well. In any event, Zack's OneLight video and workshops were likely my number one recommendation for anyone who is shit scared about using artificial light because Zack has an incredible knack for easing you into your comfort zone with the technical stuff and jargon.
You see, I was one of you. I cringed at the idea of messing around with buttons and dials on the back of my speedlight. Even though I felt compelled to buy a flash, I resisted using it for a very long time. Can you relate to that? I lived in a constant state of fear of being called out or embarrassed. Heck, I was a photographer and not knowing how to use an essential tool of my trade meant only one thing – my training was far from complete and that I had to learn the fundamentals. Zack's video workshop was just the ticket for me back then.
Zack's videos in this second version of his workshop is just as thorough as the first version. I am here to tell you that you will learn how to use your flash after watching this video. You will experience a sense of ease and comfort using your speedlight. Seriously, if I could learn it, I know you can.
Zack's delivery is as if he is talking to a new friend of his – cordial, patient and sometimes funny. He is very methodical and deliberate. The video and audio production is as good or even better than the first version and the editing is spot on. The first few videos are in black & white; a conscious decision, I am sure, on Zack's part to get us to watch and listen to him and not be distracted by anything else that you may see on his set.
OneLight 2.0 is over seven hours of video, across six distinct chapters. It's not something I watched in one-go. I had to pace myself and I suspect you will do the same.
He begins by discussing gear; the minimum you will need to use your flash off-camera. One thing Zack is consistent on from the older dvd to the newer videos is to remain committed to learning about light using one light & one modifier. It's sage advice especially when it is all too tempting to buy soft boxes, umbrellas, beauty dishes and grids. Zack also goes over what type of modifier he recommends and why. Pay close attention to this as it will likely save you from wasting oodles of money on lighting products you don't really need.
I'm halfway through it! It should come with every light sold, the world would be filled with greater photographs! It's brilliant! – Bill Gekas
Zack takes on exposure and what affects your image. Those are of course, shutter speed, aperture, iso, flash power and flash to subject distance. He goes over each factor, showing us examples using Carl, a stuffed squirrel. I urge you to watch this section multiple times so that it all soaks in.
Zack's new workshop is only available as a download for $75. I recall paying double that for the first version of this video tutorial. That said, Zack has kindly offered Tiffinbox newsletter subscribers a special and significant discount through May 31st. Yes, you have to subscribe to the newsletter (top right blue box is where you need to punch in your email address) to receive and use this code. If you miss the first newsletter with the special code, don't fret. Subsequent email blasts will carry this special code. This is the first of many exclusive offers that I will be bringing my subscribers. So, that's yet another reason to stay subscribed.
The next chapters, if you can call it that, are Zack actually showing you and walking you through three of his shoots. Were you ever curious to know why or how a photographer made one decision over another? This is your chance to eavesdrop. Seriously, this is pure gold!
Zack ends the videos with a review of some of the images he has captured. He talks about what he feels were successes and which images he would throw away. Ever hear another photographer acknowledge his or her shortcomings after a shoot? I found it refreshing to listen in on what worked for Zack and what did not.
All this for $75? Wow! (subscribe to my newsletter in the top right blue box to receive a special time-limited 25% discount code only for my subscribers).
He has done an outstanding job and he is selling it cheap, too cheap if you ask me, it’s a steal. – Armin Sarow
If there is one thing I would have liked to have seen but did not was a short slideshow with music at the very beginning of the video. I told him privately that I had wished these images were teased to us so that we could anticipate seeing them created throughout the video. I am not sure he will take me up on my request/suggestion. Also absent from this new version is a handy “field guide” which came with version 1.0. Looking at Zack's online store, I noticed that he is working on a new version of the field guide and it will be released for $10. Again, that's incredible value.
Some early testimonials about OneLight 2.0 from the Twitterverse:
“It's even better than the original. Definitely not the ‘difficult second album'.” – Sean McCormack
RJ Bradbury writes:
I purchased the One Light V1 and the book/mag. I get the technical but I still pre ordered One Light V2.0 … Why?
Well a few reasons really:
Zack & Meghan and those who's names I don't know have been a huge influence in my work. They all work hard either at camera, or behind the scenes to help others. Thank You.
You can always.. ALWAYS learn something. Know the basics? Ok good then read between the lines and listen & watch subject interaction, listen to the thought process.
Hell I thought I had done everything with my 60″ Umbrella (cover on, cover half on, cover off, Shoot through, Reflective, Poor mans Soft box, choked down the shaft, close / far, In Front, Behind, To the Side) Yet I have never thought about pointing the dam thing up in to the sky to keep light off the ground! That stuff will save you time in post and that's golden.
The money helps Zack and his family out & goes towards a source of much needed signal (#DEDPXL) in an ocean of bullshit and noise. Is this a family show?
It's a bargain even at full price. Good solid content that's well produced, but I can watch tutorials on YouTube for free … Yeah ok that's true with bikini models, bad exposures and all about the gear. Do yourself and your photography a favor buy it, watch it … then go shoot!
Wait it can't all be good? – Mostly. The Final Thought video is a different format but its an easy fix with a converter if needed.
Fred Glasser writes:
Zack’s done a tremendous job with OneLight 2.0. While I pre-ordered it & have only had for a few days, I’m already halfway through it. It’s that good. He’s super-articulate & incredibly thorough, and everything follows a very logical progression. It’s ideal for folks looking to get comfortable with off-camera flash & studio strobes. Even seasoned pros looking to hone their skills & take their game to the next level will benefit. As a full-time shooter who uses off camera lighting constantly, I can’t recommend enough. For the price, it’s an utter no-brainer.
I bought this new lighting workshop by Zack when he first launched DEDPXL, his new education website for photographers. When I first saw the price ($50), I thought he had made a mistake. Most follow-up resources that photographers usually pitch are higher in price, not lower!
Lots of people have asked me whether it makes any sense to buy this second version when they got so much out of the first one. It's a fair question, but an incomplete one in my opinion. If you are in this business for the long haul, you should be constantly learning. Yes, exposures, shutter speeds and ISO's haven't changed much between the two videos (no they haven't changed at all). You probably may skip that (I did not). But the three different shoots and the self-critique Zack offers is significantly different than the DVD version. As I mentioned above, how much would you be willing to pay to learn that from a working pro? I know I didn't think for more than a fraction of a second when I decided to invest in Zack's new video.
Zack also told me privately: “I'm building an “extras pack” of slides, sample images, and gear list based on requests since the release of OneLight V2.” Booyah! So, if you buy it now, you get ALL of the downloads, plus some goodies that he is working on for all of you.
Do you want to elevate your craft? Are you scared of f-stops and shutter-speeds and can't figure out what affects what? Are you confused and are you looking for some clarity? Well, let me tell you that you and your business will be better off by buying OneLight 2.0 from Zack today. (last pitch of the post: sign up now to receive my newsletter for a special discount code)
Lastly … shutter-speed controls ambient light, aperture controls the amount of light falling on your subject from the flash … there, Zack, I have got it … finally!