Syl Arena

“To create interesting light, you have to create interesting shadows.”

— Syl Arena




Back when the Apollo program was headline news, Syl Arena, then a precocious eight-year old, “borrowed” his father’s new-fangled Polaroid camera, climbed up into an orange tree and made his first solo photograph – a snapshot of a baby dove. Later that year, his great-aunt gave him a Brownie 626 camera to feed his fascination. Syl’s affliction for making photographs has remained steadfast for over 40 years.

In college, Syl studied at Brooks Institute of Photography and then earned a BFA in photography at the University of Arizona. As a student, his favorite cameras spanned the gamut from 4×5 to a homemade, 20×24 pinhole. Syl mastered the zone system of black and white printing. Then, during his retro-phase, worked in a number of 19th-century media, such as cyanotypes and carbon prints.

Today, Syl travels widely to teach photography. He is the author of two best-selling books on lighting: Speedliter’s Handbook and Lighting for Digital Photography. You can see his photography at and read his blog at


Flash Photography Missoula, Montana
07/09/2016 - 07/15/2016
Tuition: $1395