Minimum gear to enjoy a meet…

•October 21, 2009 • 3 Comments

Hi All,

Its a common question from the new attendees so I’d thought I’d make it a bit easier to know where to get the kit from and what it does (so you can work out how many bills you don’t pay or children you don’t feed.)

1. Some type of light. I’ll exclude torches, and suggest a typical battery-powered flash unit that you can buy for your Canon (e.g. 580EX) or Nikon (e.g. SB900) or 3rd Party (e.g. Metz.) They are portable and a good place to start with one-light. To see what you can do with it, visit David’s Strobists “101” course or Zack’s posts to get you started (links in the Blogroll to the right…) You can get them from National Stores/Sharaf for Canon, Grand Stores for Nikon, Metz from Grand Stores or M K Trading. Will do about 800-2000AED of damage to your budget.

2. A light stand. Unless you have 3x 8ft long arms and a steady hand, if you want to get your flash off-camera then you need something to support it. Manfrotto are the most common stands you will find in UAE – e.g. Advanced Media & Salam Studios. A typical stand is the ‘Manfrotto 052B’ for studio/home setup and if you want to be portable for outdoor shooting look for the “Manfrotto 001B.” One stand will set you back 200-300AED.

3. A bracket to mount the hot-shoe flash to the light stand. Your camera flash has a flat metal shoe…the light stand has a screw = you need an adaptor to fix the two together. See here to see what one looks like. You can get these from Advanced Media or Salam Studios. Couple of hundred dirhams.

4. A way to fire the flash when you release the shutter. This is your home work as its a blog post or ten in its own right. Check your camera and flash to see if it has an infra-red triggering system built-in (e.g. the D300 can talk via infrared to a SB800/900.) If not you can go a few routes including cables and PocketWizards. Advanced Media, MK Trading or Salam can point you in the right direction. If your a bit lost check your flash manual or visit the Strobist site.

This will get you shooting pictures and learning how, amongst other things,  aperture and light position affect your result. However, you will soon find you want to experiment with the “quality” of light you have. This is where an umbrella or softbox come into play, helping to “soften” the light. I suggest you go straight to Advanced Media as they have the best choice of umbrellas and softboxes and how it will work with the flash you have. If you are really strapped for cash, then the next choice is a linen bed sheet or a shower curtain (17 AED at Ikea!) and cardboard boxes…scour if your in the mood for home-baking.

The final useful piece of kit is a reflector or diffuser. Typically a round or triangular frame with white, silver or gold material to bounce light back at your subject, or with translucent material to diffuse/reduce the amount of light passing through to your subject. With one light and a reflector you open up a number of lighting setups including a flattering portrait lighting called Butterfly lighting (also known as Paramount or Clamshell.) They are also great when you are outdoors to reign in the sun, bounce light into shadow areas or soften the harshness of Dubai light.




Confirmed: Next meet 31st October

•October 20, 2009 • 11 Comments

Hi All.

So its confirmed for the 31st October, 2-6pm at Capital D Studios. See the next post for what kit you will need as a minimum if you want to get something out of the time.

Map at

As the weather gets better we will start to work on outdoor shoots – I’m out of the country for a few weeks in Nov, so it will probably 21st or 28th November  for those who want to plan ahead…or have solid ideas for a location (e.g. unless someone has 10,000 AED, or alike, the Marina is not a solid location…)



Follow Up to Strobist Meet 17-10-09

•October 19, 2009 • 2 Comments

So thanks to all photographers who came on Saturday – nice to see some old and new faces. Big thanks to James and Alex for being the talent for the day. As usual I would like to post a slideshow/links to the photos taken on the day. So can you either post a link to your blog or photo site in the comments, or if you prefer, email up to the three images you want to show to me and I’ll post them up my photo site. I’ll get the ball rolling below…

Also, should be confirming the next meet for the 31st October – again at Capital D until the weather is bearable, to shoot and be shot, outside. Check back in a couple of days for confirmation.



Meetup at Capital D Studio on 17th October

•October 4, 2009 • 13 Comments

Hi All,

Just a quick post – which will be extended tomorrow or Wednesday – to say that the studio is booked for the 17th October 2pm to 6pm for a Strobists meetup at Capital D studios, Dubai.

I’ll post all the maps and directions tomorrow, but as ever the aim is (as ever):

  • bring your flash (portable flash, monobloc’s, candles whatever) and learn from setting it up and from each other
  • if you have friends or family who want to act as models bring them as we can never have to many people to model

Please comment below if you intend to come – this will give me an idea for numbers for both space and  per person cost (its 1200AED split by all attending photogs)



Follow-up to 6th June Meet

•June 6, 2009 • 4 Comments

Hi All,

So thanks to all that attended and a couple of points:

1. If you want me to include your shots in the slideshow we normally post after the event, please send 3 images in jpg format, each a max 200K in size, to I’ll then collect all the pics together and post – so deadline is 12th June if you want your shots included.

2. Somebody left two scarves at the event – they are still with the Studio who you can contact at


16th Dubai Strobist’s Meetup Sat 6th June at Capital D Studio

•May 28, 2009 • 28 Comments

Palm Jumeirah MonorailI’ve booked Capital D Studio for our next meetup on Saturday 6 June, so if you’re around join in. The link to Capital D’s location map is here, if you dont know how to find it. As always models/friends/girlfriends/boyfriends or anyone you can drag along to model are most welcome.

Hopefully I can attend this one myself as work, or should I say potential work, got in the way at the last meetup, this shouldn’t be a problem this time around as I finish up on the Monorail 31-May. If you haven’t had a ride on the train yet, there’s no excuse just cough up your 15/25 AED one way/round trip fare and enjoy the spectacular views of the Palm and Atlantis Hotel/Water Park.

Time now for some serious R&R.

Hope to see you all soon, Nigel

Strobists Souk

•May 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hi All,

So as it seems that we all work 24/7/365 to keep Nikon and Canon in business (and payday is around the corner) – I was asked by Jim, and think its a good idea, that I create a little section for kit that we may want to sell and/or offers that are made by the resellers that we deal with.

So Jim is looking to simplify his life and camera bag by selling some lenses -> go here for the info

As I get more I’ll post it onto the main page and also the new section.

Here’s the legaleeeze : The blog (aka Nigel and I) are not responsible for anything you buy or sell between each other or the resellers -> we are just trying to help in connecting people.