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Strobist Lighting 102 here at the Cafe?

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Ray C., May 19, 2007.

  1. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    The following (<<->>) is an excerpt from Dave Hobby's Strobist website:
    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html (near the bottom of the page)

    What do you guys think about running a "parallel" workshop here at the Cafe to coincide with Dave's Lighting 102? Perhaps we could post images here first for feedback, discussion, ideas, critique, etc, and then put our best stuff up on the Strobist Flickr Group?


    <<Starting June 4th: Lighting 102
    I have always thought that summertime was a great excuse to try new things.

    Last summer, we ran a little experiment called Lighting Boot Camp, in which we assumed the identity of a fictitious photographer, Phil Phlashem, as he worked his way into freelance magazine photography by shooting a string of group assignments.

    We started with a simple headshot and ended up shooting an artist-specific CD cover package.

    When we began Lighting Boot Camp, this site was only about 60 days old. It had a few hundred regular readers and a small body of archive information. Still, over the course of the summer, we ended up with hundreds of photographers from around the world completing shared assignments together. More important, they were learning from the photos created by their fellow shooters.

    Now, Strobist has over a hundred thousand regular readers and a large body - over 500 articles - of lighting-related articles. So, we're going to try another session.

    Like many things I do, the original Lighting Boot Camp was totally made up as we went along a loosely structured journey through some of the various genres of assignment photography. As a group, we now have the critical mass to do something more lasting and comprehensive. Many of you are already doing some amazing things with light, as evidenced by the rotating faves gallery. Quite honestly, the work I put up on this site pales in comparison to what some of you are posting on Flickr.

    Rather than be depressed about that, I see it as the best possible outcome. My goal here is not to teach lighting, so much as to create an environment that elevates the craft of photographic lighting on a mass scale. I prime the pump, you experiment and share your results, and we are all the better for it.

    The goal of the Lighting 102 series is to make this process both more efficient and more inclusive. We'll also archive our results as we go, so anyone can start up at any time and get up to speed.

    On June 4th, just over one month from now, we will be starting from scratch, so anyone can participate. There is no fee for the program, and you are certainly free to come and go as you please. I am giving some advance notice so people will have time to set up a Flickr account with the required waiting period so they can post photos to a group for the first assignment. (Like Lighting 102, Flickr basic accounts are free.)

    Also, some of you may need some time to read up, or gear up, or both. But more on that in a minute.

    What to Expect

    Here's what I hope you will get out of Lighting 102:

    • An organic and comprehensive way of understanding and controlling light.

    • An enhanced creative process, by comparing your results with those of photographers from all around the world.

    • The knowledge that good lighting need not be expensive.

    We will be starting in the table-top subject mode, so you will not have to be cajoling roommates, friends or significant others into posing for you. Not to say that the techniques will not be appropriate to use on people - they will. But I realize that many of you might be doing these shoots at 11:00pm in the living room after the kids have gone to sleep. Heck, that's when I will be writing about them.

    There will be plenty of discussion, both here and on the Flickr threads, about the various topics we will be covering. We'll be learning new techniques, talking about them and applying them in regular group assignments.

    I want to make this as interactive as possible. I also want to get full value out of the wide range of perspectives, experience and ability of the readers of this site. This will allow us to do things that no physical classroom environment could accomplish.

    We will be starting off at a basic level, but I hope the more advanced among you will not be put off by that. Over the last few months I have been developing what I think is a novel approach to understanding lighting and I want to use that as a foundation. Which means stating from scratch.

    Between Now and June 4th:

    First, if you have not done so, sign up for Flickr ASAP. That is where we will be posting photos from the assignments. And you really do want to participate, as comparing your results to those of many, many other photogs from around the world will show you the lateral range of creativity that can spring from a given assignment. Far and away, this will be the most valuable aspect of the process.

    The free account will be just fine. Although at $25/year, the "Pro" account is a very good deal for what it offers. But as you know, I am not about unnecessary money spending. So let your wallet be your guide.

    Either way, you want to do this first so you will have time for the required waiting period before posting to groups. So sign up and post a dozen or so photos and get comfy with the process of posting and tagging your pix.

    Next, you will want to join the Flickr Strobist Group. It's free, and worth every penny. This is where the Q&A, discussion and picture posting will happen. There are already over 3,000 discussion threads there, most of which are about off-camera flash. Good stuff.

    As for prerequisites, you should read your way through this site's Lighting 101 section if you haven't already. This will give you some good, basic background in off-camera lighting gear and technique. It will make a big difference in how much you get out of Lighting 102.>>
  2. Hi Ray, you bring up a good point and one that could have some interest here on the Café. Recently Uncle Frank proposed that we start a Strobist type sub forum under the Pro Lighting forum and this could fit in such a place. After discussions with the management here at the Café I informed Frank that we would weigh the interest in such a sub forum by starting a "sticky thread" and see what the response was. Thus far there has been some interest shown but it is too early to make a definitive decision relative to such a forum. If in fact our members would like to participate in a parallel effort as you propose, this would best be done in the Pro Lighting forum with the "Strobist" heading displayed in the title as UF recently proposed.
  3. I think it's a terrific idea! And if enough agree, maybe we could get management to set up a temporary Strobist Lighting 102 forum so we wouldn't overwhelm the Pro Photography, Lighting, and Studio Equipment forum.
  4. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    Thanks Gordon. The Strobist thing is really taking off and showing folks the endless possibilities and distinct advantages of getting the flash OFF of the camera.

    I agree with Frank and think a separate temp. forum may be a better idea...but will continue to post here with a "Strobist" heading as you suggested in the meantime until a decision is made.
  5. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    Sounds good to me. I can't wait for the first assignment.
  6. Schlitz


    Apr 22, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Dave Talboys
    Count me in! I have been following Frank's (as well as other's) posts and am really interested in learning the off-camera flash photography techniques. A temporary forum for us to consolidate all of the strobist threads would be a great way to keep all the posts together.
  7. I don't think this is a new concept, is it? I can remember years ago when I was shooting film and taking some classes in photography that getting the flash unit off the camera was one of the first things emphasized. The basic principles of photographic technique really haven't changed with the advent of digital equipment....they've just been made easier in so many ways!
  8. You can count me in too ! My main "problem" in photography is mastering the "external" lighting, so a forum dedicated to this would be a dream for me...

  9. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005

    Connie, the concept is certainly not new. But Dave's Strobist site which is dedicated solely to off camera lighting, with a worldwide cadre of photographers developing innovative and often simple, yet effective approaches to achieving the best possible lighting with minimal gear is fairly new. In just a little over a year, the Strobist site has gone from a couple hundred hits a day to well over 100,000 readers...that's what I meant when I said it was really taking off.

    And you're right...good, basic photo technique hasn't changed in the digital age either. But the internet, and sites like Strobist and the Cafe give us a place to share new ideas and expand these basic lighting principles with an international audience of like-minded shooters. Now, with tools like Pocket Wizards, Nikon's CLS, etc, its easier than ever to put those ideas into practice.
  10. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Count me in - I seem to have acquired a few Speedlights . . . . :eek: 
  11. I_media


    May 16, 2007
    This is a good idea, count me in too.
  12. Excellent Idea
  13. I am interested. Inspired by Uncle Frank, Keith, Joshua, Roy and few others I have already made the move...

    If it is right here at our friendly Cafe, nothing like it.
  14. topher04r1

    topher04r1 Guest

    +1 when i get some PW's
  15. It appears that we won't get a Strobist sub-forum, Ray. In fact, Lighting has been demonted to a sub-forum of a new "camera, lighting, and other gear" forum. Surprising, since light is generally regarded as a topic of paramount interest for photographers.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  16. Yea I was hoping Stobist would get its own forum divided by lighting types or something else. There is plenty of info in those threads but I hate going through 20-40 posts to find it.

    At least lighting is divided into two topics now.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  17. Your request for a separate Strobist like forum was a topic of discussion with the management of the Café. Generally we do not create new forums until the traffic warrants it. As an example the Birds and Animals forum had the highest number of posts here on the Café. The members frequenting that forum have wanted to have it split for some time now and with the volume of posts it was deemed appropriate to split that forum into two and that was done today. The lighting (studio and flash) was not a busy forum relative to some others and so even though we split it today is was decided to place that in the Camera, Lighting and Other Equipment forum. Certainly if it takes off the way we would like it to there is no reason that we could not address this topic at a later time. The split between Studio and Flash lighting should make it easier to find information on a given topic should you desire.

    Some have asked why we did not call it the Strobist forum and certainly that was discussed as well. The term Strobist has some proprietary connotations to it as it is a term coined by Dave Hobby for his Strobist website. We did not feel it appropriate to use that name here on the Café. We don't think there is anything wrong if individual members wan't to use the name in referring to things in their thread or post but legally we did not feel it appropriate for the Café to do that.
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