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Mitchelldyer Lighting Workshop Thursday, March 19, 2009

Portland photographer Craig Mitchelldyer (center) explains lighting techniques to other local photographers in a session on the East Bank Esplanade.

When I heard that Craig Mitchelldyer was offering a free lighting workshop for local photographers, I jumped all over it, emailing him immediately to have my name added to the list. Good thing, as it turns out—the response was overwhelming, and he capped the list less than 12 hours later.

Craig, who shoots everything from sports to weddings to corporate work, is one of the young masters of photography here in Portland. He was one of the first pros I met when I moved here three years ago, and I've even covered a couple of small gigs for him when he ran into unexpected conflicts.

[right] About 50 photographers gather on the East Bank Esplanade Mar. 18 to practice lighting techniques in a workshop organized by Craig Mitchelldyer.

With about 50 photographers participating, the event was pretty crazy. We started at Eric Cable's studio in SE Portland, and it was worth the price of admission just to see that place. To the untrained eye it might look pretty bare-bones, but he has a lot of space, a lot of flexibility in his lighting and backgrounds, and some really cool equipment.

After a short demonstration there, we moved over to the East Bank Esplanade, under the Hawthorne Bridge, to continue. There, Craig demonstrated how to use similar lighting techniques without the aid of the studio space. Then, with the aid of Craig's large array of gear, supplemented by equipment from Pro Photo Supply, the crowd was free to shoot the two models he had proffered for the event.

Rather than fight the crowd for face time with the models, I suckered David Barss into posing for me in a slightly different location. With the aid of someone's speedlight-on-monopod contraption, we had all the light we needed.

You can read Craig's report on the event—including one of my photos—here.