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Rogue Flash: The Working Man’s Approach

Editorial/magazine shooter Dana Smith has designed this course for photographers interested in using portable light as a powerful means of visual communication—learning to use our flash less like a floodlight and more like a paintbrush.


As most photographers know, portable light is vital to so much that we do, but many think of flash lighting only in terms of room illumination and exposure control. This workshop will examine the use of on-location and in-studio flash, and how the type, style, direction, and quality of light can help our images paint a more powerful and complete photograph for our viewers. Having spent most of his career shooting for magazines, Dana has developed many pro techniques for working quickly and stealthily with strobes, and knows that summoning the appropriate light for each unique subject is a must. Throughout this course, numerous styles and variations of lighting will be explored and demonstrated, as will the use of light shapers, benders, modifiers, gels, reflectors, snoots, and grids (many of which are homemade). Most importantly, we will cover in great depth the balancing of ambient light & portable strobes to create portraits that look natural while telling a story with visual elegance. This class has a more improvisational, slightly off-the-cuff approach to lighting than most, but the results will be eye opening.


Skill level/Experience: Open to all levels, but students should have a working knowledge of their camera and the ability to shoot in manual mode. Experience working with flash is helpful.

To participate in this class, student must be 18 years of age or the minimum of a high school graduate (or the equivalent).

About the instructor: Dana Smith

As one of Boston’s leading editorial photographers for over 20 years, Dana Smith has shot for and worked with many of the top photo editors and art directors in the magazine industry. Widely published both nationally and abroad, his images have appeared in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Fortune, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Time, Stern, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Fast Company, MIT’s Technology Review, Nature, Harvard Business Review, Boston and Yankee. His client list also includes Boston College, Boston University, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Northeastern University, Greater Media, Inc., and Virgin. He has been showcased in American Photography as well as numerous galleries. In addition to his vast editorial background, he has the daily grind of 10 years of newspaper photojournalism experience behind him.

Dana has been an instructor at the New England School of Photography since 1999. He was affiliated with the legendary Black Star agency in New York for 15 years and is now represented by Aurora/Novus Select.

To see Dana’s work, go to:

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Please note: NESOP’s evening workshops do not fall under the scope of the school’s accreditation, and so they are not accredited by ACCSC.