My Strobes and Speedlites posse: (l-r) Mathew, Mark, Teresa, Nita, Vijay, and Gregg.

It’s been a crazy spring around the Arena household as proven by my lack of blogging. One of the recent highlights was my ‘Strobes and Speedlites’ workshop that I held in my hometown of Paso Robles. I had a great group of students — the posse pictured above. For a week, we played with big lights and with small lights. As you will see below, they produced outstanding work in a wide variety of locations.

Thanks to the support of, we had a good selection of Profoto and Elinchrom lights and mods. To round out the large light mix, I pulled out my Paul Buff Einsteins. So it’s fair to say that we had the Mercedes, Porche and Kia of big lights.

My friends at F.J. Westcott supported the workshop by providing a full set of grids for their Apollo softboxes. For Speedliting, I still say that the Apollo Orb and Apollo Medium are outstanding light mods. They open up like an umbrella (meaning quickly) and create beautiful light. The grids are a great addition to the Apollo line and they limit the spread of light while maintaining the softness of the large source.

I have three more week-long workshops this summer. So, if you are looking to push out the horizon of your lighting techniques, I hope that you’ll join me at one of them. The first two workshops focus on my approach to using large lights on location. The third workshop is specific to my Canon Speedliting techniques.

I’m now driving to New Mexico with two of my three sons. Tomorrow we’ll  join a group of Boy Scouts and Venturers from Paso Robles for a 12-day backpacking trek at Philmont. So, in the meantime, enjoy some of my favorite pix from my ‘Strobes and Speedlights’ students. I’ll be back online in early July.


Gregg Le Blanc

Gregg ingeniously mixed a group of gelled Canon Speedlites (the master controlled via a 33' ETTL cord running from the hotshoe into the bottom of the firepit that in turn controlled three slave Speedlites) and a Buff Einstein with a stripbox (fired via a PocketWizard attached to the camera's PC-sync port). The ambient was dimmed with a neutral density filter.

Mark Gideon 

Mark uses a Profoto D1 Air through a 2'x3' softbox. Vijay holds a sheet of foamcore for a bit of fill.

Teresa O’Brien Nguyen

Teresa fires an Elinchrom BXRi head through the Rotalux Deep Octabox.

Vijay Dav’e

Vijay creates magic light by pushing a Profoto D1 Air in as close as it will go. Mark holds a sheet of foamcore for fill.

Nita Gulbas

Nita fires into the western sun with a Profoto D1 Air coming in for a bit of fill.

Mathew Lodge

Mathew angles a Buff Einstein in close and fires through a strip box.


Upcoming Workshops



Special Thanks To B&H, Borrow Lenses, & Westcott



5 Responses to A Week of Strobes & Speedlites In Paso Robles

  1. Aaron says:

    Some excellent lighting in these shots. Big fan of the cowboy shot in broad daylight!

  2. Daniel Bird says:

    What battery pack was Teresa using with the Elinchrom BXRi head?

  3. Matt says:

    Thank you for posting the ‘behind the scenes’ images. It’s always nice to see how a shot was put together. Good stuff.

  4. Pattabi says:

    Thank you for sharing the details. The Cowboy looks amazing. Very interesting.

  5. Great shots, but really love the first one, with the cowboy.

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