Mary Presson Roberts Photography

New Year, New Learning

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin

More than six years ago, I received some lighting equipment as a gift.  It was a gift that I requested.  Since that time, I have acquired more lighting equipment and multiple books about using artificial lighting for photography.  I have even taken at least one class on the subject.  Using artificial light has been a subject I have feared and avoided for years.  The equipment and books have been quietly collecting dust.

I decided that 2021 would be the year that I really took time to learn about using flash and studio lights to add more to my photography toolkit.  I already owned a lot of the things I would need in order to get started.  Santa and friends helped me tremendously this year by adding some additional things I would need for a great start.

Since I am limited in places I can go to photograph this year, the time seemed optimal for this learning.

In order to really commit to learning new skills, I decided to do a 365 project.  In this project, I would create one picture a day in the year 2021 using artificial lighting of some sort for each picture.  I decided I would share at the end of each month on my blog some of the images I created during the month.

The first month has already been quite the learning experience.  I am getting much more comfortable setting up equipment.  I have used the flash I have owned for  years off camera using Pocket Wizards triggers.  I have also used MagMod modifiers that I received over a year ago.

I am finally delving into the books that have been waiting on my bookshelves.  My first book, The Flash Book:  How to fall hopelessly in love with your flash, and finally start taking the type of images you bought it for in the first place, by Scott Kelby, was a perfect first pick for me.  It was informative and extremely easy to understand.

These are some of the images I created during my first month.

Retirement Roses
Retirement Roses




Self Portrait
Self Portrait

One evening, Randy and I went out to dinner.  While there, I saw three decorative rabbits hanging on the wall.  I decided it would be fun to get a picture of Randy standing by the rabbits.  As he got into position, the manager of the restaurant jumped into the frame to join in on the fun!

Making Friends
Making Friends

Luckily, I have have willing models at home to help me with my lighting endeavors.

Sweetest Dog
Sweetest Dog

The final image I will share from January is my favorite from the month.

Randy in Red
Randy in Red

While I am by no means a lighting expert, I have read, studied, and most importantly worked with using artificial lighting this month.

I look forward to February’s adventures in learning light!

What are you planning to learn in February?


Mary Presson Roberts

I am a travel and fine art photographer living and working in the Carolinas. My camera has taken me to places I never would have experienced and to people I never would have met. Photography has truly changed my life! Using my blog, I hope to share the joys of both travel and photography.


Leave a Reply

  • Love it Mary! I really like Randy in Red! Ha!Ha! Such a good model! Waiting to see what you do with your new learning! 🎈🎈🎈🎈

    • Thank you, Bill! I imagine it will be challenging to come up with something each day! I hope you and your family are doing well!

  • I always feel happy when I see your e mail posts Mary because I know the images inside will make me smile.

    • What a kind thing to say! I greatly appreciate that, Dan! I hope your February is off to a creative start!

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