August 13, 2010

recap: presentation at B&H’s Event Space in NYC  (2010)

I presented the first of two lectures on flash photography, at the Event Space at B&H on this past Wednesday, on August 11 … and, wow!

As I mentioned in my announcement post here – this is all very exciting to me. Some of the biggest names in the photography world have presented talks and seminars at B&H. So for me, this was quite A Big Deal to present a lecture there.

Just as exciting was to see that the place was jam-packed. The venue has 65 seats, but in the end I think there were about 75 people inside, with some sitting on the floor in front of me, and some lining the door .. and some 20+ people outside seeing if there were some way of still finding a spot …

This 24mm wide shot wasn’t even wide enough to capture everyone in there!

Oh, by the way, the pieces of blue tape on my shirt was to hold the microphone in place – the clip had broken.  More pieces of tape was added as the lecture progressed, to everyone’s amusement.

The title of the presentation was: Just Give Me The F-Stop

Response by those who attended was also wonderful:

Your class at B & H’s Event Space was fast paced and full of concepts that could be hard to wrap ones head around, but you made them easy and fun. There was plenty of time for questions both during, and after the class and I feel that every student received as much attention as they needed. I know I did.
(Jeff Mitchel)

Hi Neil, it was wonderful attending your workshop yesterday, at B&H. Fantastic! Thanks again and look forward to more of its kind.
I was sitting in the first row, across from your laptop. Truly enjoyed the class–hands on, built so that everybody would understand. Maybe a good title would be “Deconstructing the secrets of lighting with flash” or something of that sort.
(Alina Oswald)

Because of the phenomenal initial response by people booking spots for this lecture, I arranged with the people at B&H that we do a repeat on another date later this month – August 26, 2010 – but that too has filled up by now.

I’m planning to present other lectures on different topics at B&H in the future as well, so sign up to their newsletter .. and sign up to my newsletter to keep up to date with announcements. As always, I look forward to meeting everyone there.


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{ 22 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Rory August 4, 2010 at 8:09 pm

You earned your spot there and the sell out is a nice compliment but also something which you’ve earned through your great writing and site. Congrats.


2 Michael Fisher August 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Neil, please have someone film it and release a DVD!


3 Amy Cham August 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I was psyched to see your name on the schedule, and to get one of those 65 seats. Looking forward to meeting you!!


4 RON LEMISH August 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Great news !!! Go break a leg !!

Hope to see you in Vagas in the future at WPPI where they will surely

ask you back

Any news about your net broadcasts that you are planning ?


5 Stephen August 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Neil is moving up on the popularity scale. Congratulations!


6 Emily DeWan August 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I’m very excited to have snagged a spot for the second talk. Looking forward to it!


7 Howard Owen August 7, 2010 at 6:33 am

Neil, have you considered making a DVD avialable of the seminar? Zach Arias did a 3 day gig on the Creative Live site a few weeks ago (realtime webcast, archived for download) and I think it was a huge success. I’d love to add you to my library.

Please give it some thought.



8 Neil vN August 7, 2010 at 6:41 am

Howard, the people at B&H are apparently going to record the presentation and put it online.

I’m also busy with plans for a DVD or down-loadable video clips. I’ll announce it as soon as there is something available. Thanks!

Neil vN


9 Arnold Gallardo August 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Hi Neil,

It is very nice that you have started doing this too :) I was out of town but looked like everyone had a fun time learning your techniques :) I guess the new 24mm f/1.4 wasnt good enough to cpature all ehh? LOL


10 arnold soshkin August 13, 2010 at 11:39 pm

I am surprised B&H couldn’t lend you a good mic to use for the presentation so you wouldn’t have to use tape. What is up with that?


11 Neil vN August 13, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Arnold .. the mic was great, as was all the technical support. It was just that the clip had broken and we improvised. No big deal. The blue tape is decorative anyway.

Neil vN


12 William Krusche August 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Neil, is there any chance that you’ll ever do a workshop or lecture in Belgium (or any surrounding country? :-)


13 Christophe Baixas August 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I am not going to surprise anyone if I say that in my practice of photography there is a before and after Neil van Niekerk… I thought I had some knowledge in photography but what you have showed us has changed a lot in my mind.

I can assure you that there is absolutely no book in the french language that provides as good explanations and tips as yours. Fortunately the very good translation made by Melina Barrals has allowed non english-speaking frenchies to access your secrets and hints.
I have probably been one of the first in France who has bought your book… and according to the various subjects you are talking about in your website there is no doubt to me that your second book will be a “must have”.

I believe that there would be some french people interested in meeting you if you happen to come to France… I believe it will happen soon or later !

Best Regards and many thanks for your valuable contribution


14 Roel August 16, 2010 at 4:36 am

+1 on the “visit Belgium or surrounding countries” proposal by William…

I’m even willing to offer you sleepover facilities including evening meal and breakfast… in my own house! :-)



15 Neil vN August 17, 2010 at 10:20 am

William, Christophe, Roel .. and anyone in the Netherlands and Belgium, who might be interested in me presenting a workshop there in 2011 … please add your names to the mailing list. I am seriously considering doing a few workshops in Europe next year, and the mailing list is the best way for me to contact people in specific countries. Thanks!

Neil vN


16 Jeff August 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Neil, You’re a fantastic photographer and a fantastic person for being able to share and explain the nuances of flash photography to others. Kudos to you and thanks!


17 Lari August 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I’m glad that B&H is recording Neil’s presentation.
I am looking forward to watching it!
I too watched Zack Arias @ CreativeLive and enjoyed it though I wasn’t able to stay the whole time so I bought the videos, which cost nothing compared to the wealth of knowledge that I get to watch over and over. I actually suggested CL to contact Neil but I guess B&H beat them to it. Hey B&H, you could have at least given Neil the more professional looking gaffer tape instead of masking tape. ;-)

I enjoy reading your blogs Neil. More power to you!


18 Ali August 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Like I said on your flickr group, you’re a rock star. Really, I mean it. You’ve done more for most photographers I know than any other person/resource out there.


19 Neil vN August 20, 2010 at 12:27 am

Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments. It’s hugely appreciated. : )

Neil vN


20 Mark August 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Thanks so much for posting your class. I thought I was doing good by using a diffuser on my flash and softening direct light. But it was a great comment to say that one needs to think of the source of light and that direct lighting is flat.
I definitely have a new way of looking at it!


21 Stephen September 2, 2010 at 12:02 am

I watched the B&H video, and I like the part where you flip between the ambient exposure photo and the TTL flash photo of the model on page 50 of your book. Seeing the two same-sized photos changing in the same space creates a useful overlay effect. I found that particular visual presentation of the material easier to understand than reading the same passage from your book. I guess I’m one of those people who benefit from visual aids.

You could definitely simulate that overlay effect on your blog by using an image rollover instead of putting them one after the other.


22 Neil vN September 2, 2010 at 3:23 am

Stephen, the wordpress theme that I currently use don’t allow roll-over images. I’m hoping to have this corrected with the changes to the website that’s being rolled out at the moment. (Part of this new changes to the site can be seen in the gradual removal of all use of Flash in the website’s design.) Anyway, hopefully we’ll figure this out.

Neil vN


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