Welcome to Boot Camp III. It has been two years since the last boot camp, so I thought a little background and intro was in order before the first assignment drops next week.
If you are thinking of participating (and I encourage you to do so) keep reading for info on how to participate, rules, prizes, etc.
There will be five assignments, designed to nudge at least some of you out of your comfort zones and force you out into your community to make some photos. The assignments are loosely based on a local project I am shooting, and we'll be talking about that more as we go. Plus, I will be participating in several of the assignments.
Hopefully, this might give some of you the beginnings of a local-based project of your own. Who knows.
The shoots will be subject-driven. Actual lighting technique will take a back seat to the overall photo, as it should. A big part of lighting is the simple act of getting past it and concentrating on the photo rather than the light. Lighting is just a tool; a means to an end.
As I said in the preview post, you will have to be a member of Flickr and of The Strobist Flickr Group to participate. So if you have not done so, please take a moment do this right now. Flickr has a wait period before you can tag photos, which you'll need to be able to do.
To enter a photo, you'll add it to the Strobist Flickr group AND tag it with the appropriate code given for each assignment. Since your photo will be in the Strobist pool, it will need to have lighting information in the caption. As for the tagging process, you can get more help here.
PLEASE NOTE that if you are new to Flickr, you will have to have at least 5 public photos uploaded, and then wait a few days before your photos will start to show up as having been tagged. So do that now. Even though you are reading this right now, some of you will ask later "Why aren't my photos showing up in the Boot Camp results???"
Answer: Go back and re-read the paragraphs above repeatedly, until it sinks in.
Because it Has to Be Said...
1. Please do not crap up the results by entering photos which are not appropriate to the assignment, or not family friendly, etc. Your photo can easily be removed from the group by removing you from the Strobist group. We'd rather not have to do this. But it is an easy fix.
2. Since there are prizes involved, some people will want to try to game the system, and ask niggling questions about exact interpretations of the rules, etc. Just use common sense. Life's too short. Concentrate more on making pictures.
3. Oh, and just to keep things on the up-and-up (i.e., to thwart people entering pre-existing photos) each assignment will have a unique "code shot" that the winner will have to produce. If this sounds confusing, it is not. It will make sense as of the first assignment.
Speaking of Prizes
For each assignment I will choose a handful of photos to elevate to the results post, and choose one as the winner. As with any photo contest, this will seems ridiculously subjective. Which is why I hesitate to do it at all. But I figure having a little skin in the game might make things more interesting.
The winner chosen for each assignment gets his or her choice of a Lighting in Layers Box Set OR a LumoPro LP160 flash.
Interesting tidbit: This LP160 is a special version. Every single LP160 is pulled out and hand-tested at retail before being shipped. The ones being given away for Boot Camp III were tested in a world record photos (most simultaneous synched speedlights) and thus will also come with batts and a cold shoe.
If you choose a DVD set, it will arrive unwrapped, so that it could be Sharpied with a smartass comment or pithy note from yours truly. Fair warning.
Either choice will be shipped, free, anywhere in the world. DVDs will come from me, so I can legitimately mark them as a gift and customs should be no prob. But the flash comes from a retailer (MPEX) in the US so may get a duty attached if sent to another country. Nothing we can do about that, so you would be responsible.
The Two-Light Rule
To keep the gear hogs from having an unfair advantage, we are limiting the lighting gear to two speedlights. If you only have larger lights, please do not expect any brownie points for nuking the sun, etc. If it could not have been done with a couple of speedlights, it will probably be disregarded.
Translation: If you only have big lights, dial those suckers down and play fair.
There you are. Rules as simple as I can make them, and everything you need to know to shoot each assignment as it comes.
Looking for ideas / techniques? Visit the On Assignment Page as you go. It is newly updated and threaded with the most recent 43(!) OA posts having just been added to the master list. I will point to some specific posts for each assignment when appropriate.
The first two Boot Camps were a lot of fun and had a ton of participants. I truly hope you will join us and participate this summer.
The first assignment drops next week. Good luck, and have fun!