Lighting Workshop and Breaking My Comfort Zone 1


Street photography and studio photography are polar opposites. With street photography, the challenge is finding the composition and the moment from what already exists. As such, street photography is a twig in the same photography branch as other genres such as photojournalism or documentary. On the other side of the tree is a branch called “Studio” where the challenge lies not in seeing compositions or timing moments, but in arranging compositions and staging moments.

Since I’ve dedicated the lion’s share of my photographic pursuits over the past 24 years to street photography, I am perfectly at ease wandering around the public landscape taking photos of perfect strangers doing perfectly normal things. Put into a situation where I must fully direct what is happening in front of my lens and I am suddenly well outside my comfort zone.

This past Sunday I was well outside my comfort zone. By choice. And it was a wonderful experience. Local photographer Craig Ferguson arranged a lighting workshop at FirstZoom Studios in the Shilin area of Taipei and I joined in. Once I overcame Freudian camera size issues (I was using a tiny Olympus E-P1) and my apprehension about telling another person what to do, I really enjoyed myself.

These are my favorites out of what I got in-camera. Equipment for all photos was my Olympus Digital Pen with either a CV 35/1.4 or CV 90/3.5 lens via adapter. Lighting was a single source flash through a soft box, triggered by a brilliant Phottix Atlas transceiver.

Thanks so much to all the other Taiwan photographers for being so friendly, the models for being understanding and tolerant, and FirstZoom Studios for the space.

And of course to

For putting it all together.


About Brian Webb

Brian Q. Webb is a photography enthusiast from Los Angeles, California who spends most of his time in Taipei, Taiwan. He is especially interested in street photography as well as large format portraiture and pinhole photography. He also likes to shoot lifestyle portraiture and occasionally acts as an agent for foreign newspapers wanting event coverage in Taipei. He was also on the staff of deviantArt and is co-founder of PhotoMalaysia, the largest photography community in that country.