Chase Jarvis is a famous photographer based in Seattle, and last Friday he hosted the second big "Meetup" for the Seattle Flickr (Flickrites) group. It's a fantastic, free, open-to-the-public opportunity for over a hundred local photographers -- pros and newbies -- to hone their skills. The first Meetup was the garage shoot at the University of Washington, that Dave Hobby (Strobist guy) attended and wrote about. Dave wasn't able to make this one, but Chase went all out on the second Meetup. He rented out a huge hangar and lot at the Old Sand Point Naval Station. He persuaded Glazer's Camera's rental department to provide a massive amount of lighting gear -- 8 studio setups, complete with Pocket Wizards for the attendees. One half of the hangar was dedicated to studio lighting, the other half to small-strobe shooting. BMX bikers had a ramp on the lot outside. Models and make-up artists and stylists from Model Mayhem. Break dancers. S&M roller-skating mistresses. My friend Mark and I are total newbies at this. This was the very first time we've tried Pocket Wizards and huge softboxes. Lots to learn, and lots of encouragement there. Here are some of my learning attempts. It was an absolutely awesome, fun evening. There were a lot of friendly, helpful people sharing their knowledge and providing encouragement. I think Jose comes by Nikon Cafe sometimes, and he was fantastic to me and Mark. Besides newbies, there were quite a few accomplished photographers there. Some of the photos are here. Here's the video from the Meetup. Chase was really, really awesome. He provided his studio crew and paid for the facility. He walked the group through how he'd shoot the break dancers. He shared his techniques and discussed and demonstrated how he works with the models. He showed everything from his gear to how his assistants pixel-peep the tethered shots to ensure precise focus. Chase's grandmother passed away a couple of days before, and her services were earlier in the day. She was proud of his photography, and the Meetup was a good way to honor her. Chase still pulled off the event and the wrap party afterwards. He bought the first few rounds too. Amazingly generous and approachable guy. Chase hopes that this will help spur other photographers to hold events like this across the country. The Seattle Flickr group is the 2nd largest in the U.S. but there are groups everywhere. If you're in the Seattle area, there are a lot of meetups from the Seattle Flickr group here. Even if you're not from the area, there's probably one in your area. Here's a link to Chase's blog. Plenty of good stuff in there.