Last weekend, I had a most interesting time at the KPS retreat in Mt.Buller. I had my first hands-on experience in a studio setup for portraits photography. I was able to get a feel of how a seasoned studio photographer gets ready for the sitting, how to use a light meter, and how to set up the lighting condition, and how to hook up multiple flash units. I knew all these in theory; it was different to get an actual feel of it.
I came away more convinced that ever that good photography goes much further than composition, handling of aperture and shutter speed, or judicious use of lenses and filters. It goes back to the root of photography. By definition, the etymology of "photography" is photos (which means light) and graphos (which means writing or painting). Incidentally, the studio set up at Mt.Buller used off-camera flash guns rather than normal studio strobe light. This set-up is not only cheaper, but more practical to carry around. Coming back from the retreat, I learned about off-camera flash photography in our online discussion forum. Here I discovered a whole new genre of photography. It is all about using off-camera flashes to control lighting condition both indoors and often outdoors. Thus I now begin on another new adventure in photography. My way forward has been "lighted".
Here is a good website to get you started if you are interested in this subject: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html