25 DVD from Jason Groupp
Jason Groupp is one of my favorite photographers when it comes to his use of off-camera lighting using minimal equipment. Jason has just released a new DVD called â€œ25â€ featuring, as he puts it, 25 kick ass lighting setups. Regular readers of CameraDojo may have noticed the pretty much complete lack of any reviews of DVDs over the past few years, this is due in large part to two main reasons. First off, most good DVDs are stupid expensive, often hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, most affordable DVDs arenâ€™t worth purchasing. While there may be some exceptions to that, I havenâ€™t found them myself. Jasonâ€™s â€œ25â€ was priced at WPPI for $99 (normally $150) which might be a little much for some people but it isnâ€™t stupid expensive. At the same time 25 delivers over two dozen lighting setups that generally use 1-3 lights (one example uses 4 lights).
Update: Jason has offered almost a 30% discount on the DVD using discount code “cameradojo”, this is a very limited time offer so take advantage of it this week!
What is it all about?
As you have seen here on CameraDojo time and time again, I am really big on off-camera lighting to help you make the best images possible. Shooting flash straight from your camera will get you rather flight and unflattering light while off-camera light provides more natural looking shadows to give your subjects depth and dimension.
One of the biggest issues is that people are intimidated with big studio lights, portability and power issues, and how to position them. Jasonâ€™s approach to lighting mirrors much of my own style with using inexpensive speedlites, cheap wireless triggers, and simple setups to provide professional quality lighting that is affordable for virtually everyone.
What do you get out of it?
â€œ25â€ gets you 25 different lighting setups where Jason and his team go through the thought process, setup, and shooting of each situation. Jason then goes into Adobe Bridge and Photoshop to show you detailed lighting diagrams and analyzes the final image.
What really separates 25 from other lighting tutorials is that Jason doesnâ€™t get bogged down into tons of different modifiers, in fact, all 25 shots are done without using any modifiers at all. The only exceptions to this are the use of a reflector and some neutral density filters, other than that Jason gets his shots using just the bare speedlite. Jason also does a great job of showing how to use the zoom function on the speedlites to act as a modifier to give narrow or wider beams of light.
The two hours of content on the DVD goes right from setup to setup without getting into theory or talking about classic portrait styles. Instead, 25 is more of a collection of lighting recipes that show you how to get amazing lighting with simple, easy-to-replicate setups. This is a refreshing difference than many of the products out there in that you can quickly find a few of your favorite lighting setups very quickly and instantly make them your go-to lighting setups.
Is 25 for you?
If you just want to take basic photos of people and are happy with the images you are getting then why spend any money on additional training? On the other hand, if you want to separate yourself from the massive hoard of photographers out there by adding dynamic and creative lighting to your images, then the cost is likely to be a very good investment.
As I said in the into, most of the DVDs I have looked at are generally not worth the money and since I am already a big proponent of off-camera lighting, the first few setups are fairly common but do get less experienced people up to speed quickly. As the setups progress, Jason shows some very unique setups that I had never thought of, one of my favorites being the Ghetto Ring Flash. While this simple ring flash effect creates an interesting effect, you do need to have a cooperative assistant that will gladly invade your personal space to assist in the lighting or a set of light stands if your assistant doesnâ€™t care to be in close proximity to you.
While I rarely ever like most DVDs on the market, I found Jasonâ€™s 25 to be a refreshing change, loaded with great setups and unique styles, while Jasonâ€™s very approachable personality helps to bring everything together. At $150, 25 isnâ€™t exactly an impulse purchase but it very well could be a valuable investment in helping you to master off-camera lighting.
Jason Grouppâ€™s Website: http://jasongroupp.com/
Jason Grouppâ€™s 25 Information Page: http://jasongroupp.com/25dvd/