That Does It. I'm Moving to Seattle.

Seattle is now officially the Center of the Universe for crowd-sourced, peer-to-peer lighting education.

They are having classes. They have adopted an A-list pro shooter. And now they have invaded a parking garage (great idea) for their latest in a seres of regular meetups. It's like grunge music in the early 90's, except with speedlights.

No kidding, if I were 25 years old and wanted to learn to shoot better, I'd move there in a heartbeat. In fact, I am ready to go there now. And while I am thinking about it, how did you snag a garage? Just show up or what?

All you guys have to do is convince the Missus, and I am there.

UPDATE: This is apparently the fourth time they have descended on this garage. Take a look at some of the results.



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Blogger Impersonated said...

Man Dave, there is nothing I would love more than to flee PA and head over and really learn something. Being a poor college kid really puts a shroud over me though. The idea of a PA meetup is bouncing around though on the Flickr forums. Maybe uh, you know, you could spare a day and cross the mason-Dixon for a little fun ;P

December 14, 2007 12:20 AM  
Blogger Shelby said...

Thats awesome, I think we all would love for you to show up at one of the lighting events here in Seattle and show us how its done. I went to a few of the meetups but I felt like for people who have a decent grasp on lighting, it didn't do much.

Definitely would love to get an event going with Chase Jarvis and yourself to teach some lighting stuff!

Shelby White

December 14, 2007 12:39 AM  
Anonymous ChromeCrayon said...

dang, now im bummed that I moved away from Seattle :( before I found Strobist
I would have stayed if I had known about this kinda fun stuff going down!
Nice work on the video!


December 14, 2007 12:48 AM  
Blogger jose medina said...

Dave, the Seattle Strobists introduced me to your site and I'm glad they did. The great thing about these garage shoots is that everybody is willing to share knowledge with each other, no egos here. Even my 3yr old was taking pics at this event!!!!

December 14, 2007 1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like that group was from the University Of Washington. At least I think so. It says UW on the flckr group. I wonder if it was open to the public or if it was for school.

December 14, 2007 1:15 AM  
Blogger bmillios said...

What's with the tent? Did somebody camp out there overnight?

And who's the guy walking around in a short sleeve shirt, when everybody else is wearing fur-rimmed coats and jamming their hands in their pockets?

Great images!

December 14, 2007 1:37 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I got to admit Seattle does rock. And even though I'm a rookie with lighting, I've been to all 4 garage shoots and have learned a lot over the past few months.

-Paula (gapey)

December 14, 2007 1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impersonated a bunch of us will be meeting in Philly in the near future..

December 14, 2007 1:44 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Wow! That's pretty damn inspirational there. Big props to the Seattle crew for showing us how it's done..

December 14, 2007 1:56 AM  
Blogger Terence said...


When I was a student at the UW people would hang out at the big underground garage on Friday and Saturday nights - the skaters, the skateboarders, the Dungeon & Dragon geeks, etc...

So when I was putting together an MSE and needed some place to stay out of the elements, I decided to invade the UW's underground parking garage. It stays nice and dry and is relatively central to everyone.

This is the 4th event that we've had in there now ... every event had been pretty fun. We've done car shots, car chases, modeling, urban camping...

Oh, and added benefit is that there are power outlets scattered throughout the garage for our fog machines and Alien Bees. Although, in a pinch, you'd be surprised what a 1500W inverter from Harbor Freight can run... :-)

December 14, 2007 2:02 AM  
Anonymous Kareem King said...

I've been abusing the parking garages around Toronto for my own benefit for the past couple of months now, but I wish I could do it in a manner like this. Meetup groups are far and few in my area.

PS: I wonder if there was any trouble with security (guards).

December 14, 2007 2:04 AM  
Blogger Dane said...

Time to move to Seattle...wait a minute, I'm already here. Thanks, David, I've been lurking on Strobist since before Lighting101 and have added a lot to my skills and finally got motivated to start posting (ok, the great prizes didn't hurt either!). Between work and kids I hope to get out and join the Seattle Strobist group. Keep up the great work.

December 14, 2007 2:25 AM  
Anonymous austincabot said...

Welp, guess I know where to try and find a summer job...or internship. I've recently been toying with the idea of following my passion for photography to a career in photography, but get discourageged rather quickly as I hate uncertainty. Any advice?

December 14, 2007 3:06 AM  
Blogger Neil said...

Carparks are fantastic locations. I did one on an iconic Aussie carpark just this week. It's iconic because it was a location for Mad Max II :)

You can see the shoot (the first few pics were in the carpark) on my blog.

I'd love to attend a strobist meet in Melbourne if one was ever organised, but so far as I can tell, there's only been "rublings" about it so far.

December 14, 2007 4:34 AM  
Blogger gewhite said...

Damnit and now i am in Austin.

December 14, 2007 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Rachel-B said...

Could be I am biased, but I think Seattle is a great place to live. :)

Regarding the garage - this is a 5 level, underground parking garage in the university district - we come at night, and the guards don't care what we do, as long as it's not illegal. :) There is plenty of space for multiple set ups, and plenty of backdrops to work with.

December 14, 2007 5:06 AM  
Blogger Michelle Jones, Catkin Studio. said...

Wow that looked like great fun, I wish that the uk had something similar going on near the Midlands, it would be fantastic!

Cool beans, baby.

December 14, 2007 5:26 AM  
Anonymous thekevinmonster said...

Parking garage, huh? I remember when I was a kid, I was infatuated with radio-controlled cars. Not racing, just driving them around. My dad and I would try parking garages, but all the metal and steel-reinforced concrete would echo the signal like mad. Sometimes, the car would even start freaking out on its own.

I wonder how well Pocket Wizards/Poverty Wizards fare there? ;)

December 14, 2007 6:59 AM  
Blogger Michael Carney said...

Impersonated - I feel you. Shelby, Dave, (Chase if you're reading) I would take out another student loan to go to that.

December 14, 2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous scuddy said...

After watching the vid, I'd move there too. That's the type of crowd I want to be around. Actively pushing and experimenting with others; learning from peers and sharing experiences. That is awesome!

December 14, 2007 9:41 AM  
Blogger carpeicthus said...

How the heck is Seattle so much cooler than NYC for this? We're just working too much, is that it?

December 14, 2007 10:49 AM  
Blogger Keith Taylor Photography said...

Wow... that is cool. And they got some great shots while they were at it. I keep on hearing good things about Seattle.

For a my take on using a parking garage as a cool setting check out:

No strobe was involved with that one... but I thought I would share anyway.

December 14, 2007 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... Does anyone want to start a "Fund a move from the UK to Seattle" donation scheme?

December 14, 2007 11:07 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Thanks for the garage post, I just found a garage yesterday that I was planning on using for a model shoot this Saturday.
Picks will be in the flickr pool, I'm trying out my first shoot with Pocket Wizards!

December 14, 2007 11:20 AM  
Anonymous SmilingMonk said...

This is WONDERFUL! Gives me great hope for the future of the up-coming generation of artists.

December 14, 2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger test said...

what else will make you jealous of us? We did a group buy of pocket wizards (thanks terence!), so there are probably 20+ of us with them. probably not typical in your everyday group of (mostly) amateur photogs.
One of the best groups of people I've been a part of (a sentiment that is not infrenquently blurted out at random by seattle strobists!)

December 14, 2007 12:19 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

Those are fantastic! Seattle's parking garages must just have a magnetic draw for photographers and off-camera lighting - I attended the Anti-Workshop by AltF and the Boutwells in June there. One night a group of us decided to go play with lights in the nearby garage! Here's a few links to my blog with shots from our adventures and a video of us doing it...must be in the water there!!

December 14, 2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger Carlo said...

I guess I'll add my name to the list of students who want internships/jobs in Seattle this summer!
Now I want to visit Seattle even more than before.

And I agree, NYC should try to step it up a bit...

December 14, 2007 1:01 PM  
Blogger ogalthorpe said...

@Kelley -- Hey the original inspiration for our garage shoots was that video from the Anti-Workshop. Something I keep meaning to blog about.

December 14, 2007 1:12 PM  
Blogger Dane said...

Nah, you don't want to move here, it's always raining, the coffee is overrated, and the microbrews are all imported from Oregon. Even our professional sports teams are leaving and did I mention the traffic, man you really wouldn't like it...although if it's just shooters and you promise not to tell anyone else I guess we could make a little more room ;-)

December 14, 2007 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the positive feedback everyone. I had a good time making the video. We have a good thing going up here and have a lot of enthusiastic and creative members. We're starting to think big, so stay tuned.

December 14, 2007 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Mickey said...

Dang, that is a great deal in Seattle. Props to them. I just wish I could find some other photogs in the Alamogordo, El Paso , Las Cruces area who what to get together for some educatiional shootign where we learn and have funa plus walk away with some great shots. I have alot of equipment that I woudln't mind sharing.

December 14, 2007 2:54 PM  
Blogger rick said...

I missed the garage shoot, but just thought i'd hypothesize that the serious lack of light around here in the wintertime has something to do with all this strobe action.

December 14, 2007 3:02 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Man... Anybody feel like doing this in Eastern Texas? hehe

December 14, 2007 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Goran Krajnovic said...

Great stuff, but that's like the gayest music ever :)

December 14, 2007 4:33 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Wow wow! Great stuff, and how cool... I dont have any really awesome oarking garages I could storm...
i'm so bored in socal.

Maybe I will start setting up for a monthly Southern California sun and fun strobist meet.

fog, rain, boooo. :) j/k

December 14, 2007 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Your website is costing me money!!! Everytime you guys post stuff like this, I'm so amped and excited on flash photography I spend money to buy more camera equipment :D

I'm not a professional photography and yet the gear keeps piling up like I am. Thanks a lot :D

December 14, 2007 5:35 PM  
Blogger PositivePaul said...

Dagnabbit! Now I have one MORE reason to be frustrated over not being able to get up to Seattle easily. And I'm only 60 miles south!!! Hmmm, come to think of it, the Capitol Campus parking garage here in Oly would work just as well. But I believe the Homeland Security folks might have a few more issues than the UW security folks do...

December 14, 2007 5:43 PM  
Blogger Ted Leung said...

People are down on it when they hear you are going to shoot in a garage. Then they see the images and change their minds.

Give us a big enough space to work in, and then let creativity take its course.

"Less gear, More brain, Better Light"

December 14, 2007 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the video! looked like a ton of fun.

i do agree though, someone has to be hung for choosing that song.

December 14, 2007 6:33 PM  
OpenID slappomatt said...

lets try this in San Deigo!

December 14, 2007 7:34 PM  
Blogger John Lewis Photography said...

Guys this rocks, and I hope we can get something similar going in Ireland.

I would love to know what the music track in the video was. If anyone knows perhaps you could email me

great stuff you guys

December 15, 2007 5:32 AM  
Blogger Dalantech said...

Wow that looks like fun -and the images were GREAT!!

December 15, 2007 12:27 PM  
Blogger SeRiAl said...

hi there, i'm from buenos aires and i would really like some "standard" place to make local groups, is there such a place or i how could i do?
i mean, there's not much people down here into this as far as i know, and if it is me who has to start a group or gatherings i have no problem but i would like to know

December 15, 2007 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Trevs said...

The Seattle Flickrites group is the single biggest reason why my photography has improved the last 6 months. It's filled with an amazing set of people that are willing to share their knowledge, gear and opinions on photography.

Now maybe Seattle can get on the map for something other than rain and being the home of Nirvana :)

-trevin (adhd)

December 17, 2007 12:23 AM  
Blogger deborah said...

NYC is next!!!! any new yorkers out there want to be the next strobist group?????

December 19, 2007 7:42 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Funny thing. I see this post and the next day my manager at work sends out our new assignments. I AM moving to Seattle! What a perfect way to push me in my photography.

If anyone has any suggestions for a 23 year old about where to live (I am thinking Bell town) or about how to get involved with the seattle strobist group I'd appreciate any help. mcbill at gmail dot com

December 20, 2007 8:55 AM  
Blogger Tom McElvy said...

WOW! I am coming to this segment late, darn holidays and such.

WOW! I'm flippin' impressed! Gotta call Southwest and head out to Seattle :)

Great stuff, I have shared this with all the members of the local camera clubs I am a member of; they will really get stoked!

Now, how do I copy this video from youtube to a file? I HAVE to have this on my PDA! :)

December 28, 2007 8:04 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

We have a couple groups similar to this going on in Utah. Last month I did a demonstration at the Provo Area Digital Photography Meetup on using Nikon's CLS system. At the same meeting, somebody showed a simple optical trigger system, and the group organizer had a an Alien Bees softbox setup to demonstrate how to use pocket wizards.

Several of us are professional photographers, and there are plenty of newbies, as well, so the meetups really cater to all skill levels.

Two of the groups are merging for a January meetup. Should be a good turnout!

Fun fun.

January 07, 2008 9:14 PM  
Blogger Weave said...

Thanks for posting this, Dave! Great to meet you at the hangar shoot a few days ago.

For those of you asking, our group is called the Seattle Flickrites (Events at and photos at Our group got started in 2005 and we now have nearly 900 members. Membership is open to all, regardless of age or skill level. The idea behind the group is simple: make friends, explore Seattle and improve your photography skillz. Newbies won't encounter anything but encouragement, a warm welcome and a bunch of crazy photo geeks!

Looking forward to attending a Strobist seminar and hope to see you at more of our events, Dave. :)

- Eric

January 23, 2008 2:05 PM  

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