BC3: Introduction

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.

The Assignments

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!


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Blogger Henry said...

Finally...been looking forward to this.

June 20, 2011 12:59 PM  
Blogger Harald NL said...

Sounds very educational, especially stepping outside the comfort zone. But sounds like a lot of fun too, so count me in.

I'll be going on a holiday early july, can I complete all assignments with a two week break?

Best regards,


June 20, 2011 1:10 PM  
Blogger nomorspam said...

I SOOOO want a original David Hobby smartass comment!!! :-)

June 20, 2011 1:15 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


The assignments will come with a predetermined schedule and with deadlines. I'd just do what you can.

June 20, 2011 1:24 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Well - As i really don't like flickr I won't participate for the prizes but I do look forward to the challenge. Looking forward to pushing my limits even further!

June 20, 2011 1:25 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Cant wait!

June 20, 2011 1:44 PM  
Blogger Harald NL said...

Thanks, I will. I'm in it for the learning and fun!

June 20, 2011 1:56 PM  
Blogger PaladinPhil said...

Something to look forward to and to stretch the old mind a bit. Been slacking off lately.

June 20, 2011 1:57 PM  
Blogger Ma said...

YAY!!! I can't wait! :) Thank you Mr. Hobby!

June 20, 2011 2:05 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Awesome!! This will be so much fun!!

June 20, 2011 2:08 PM  
Blogger Barrosinc said...

COOLNESS!!! Please give us at least two weekends to do these

June 20, 2011 2:25 PM  
Blogger Juan M. Casillas said...

Time to use these little speedlights :)

David, just a question. People from other countries will get the assigments translated ?

Kind regards ... and thanks for your work !

June 20, 2011 2:29 PM  
Blogger Frank Withers said...

I am glad you are doing this again. I look forward to participating this time around, using my alienbees and sony F58. Bring them on!

June 20, 2011 2:40 PM  
Blogger ScottRandle said...

Looking forward to getting started with Boot Camp III.

June 20, 2011 2:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Amberg said...

Great! I've been working on using strobes in my work, so this is coming along at just the right time for me.

A couple of questions, as I'm going to encourage current non-strobists to get involved as well:

a) Is the structure of BC3 going to require a prerequisite of having gone through the previous "Boot Camps"? Or can I encourage off-camera-strobe rookies - with a little help on getting their equipment initially working - to take part?

b) Two lights max: I'm going to assume a reflector / white bounce does NOT count as a light source? Or would it be "two things requiring _stands_, max?

Thanks much!

June 20, 2011 2:47 PM  
Blogger chivo said...

Sounds great I'm looking forward to it.

June 20, 2011 3:05 PM  
Blogger J-Hob said...

Definitely going to do this one! I like the 2 light limitation, less is more - can't wait!

June 20, 2011 3:38 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for adding those additional OA posts! I love having all of those in one spot.

June 20, 2011 3:49 PM  
Blogger my3demise said...

I have a two month european jaunt planned starting next week, but I am bringing two lights just so I can participate :) I won't have my umbrellas, softboxes, big lights, etc, but I am looking forward to doing these assignments "on location" so to speak and really stretching my vacation photography! I got on the strobist bus too late for lighting 101 and 102 and the other boot camps, so I'm psyched you are running this now, when I finally feel I have a fairly good understanding of light (which I learned on strobist).

June 20, 2011 4:09 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


a. Nope. But I'd be familiar w/L101/L102/OA tho.
b. Don't overthink it.

June 20, 2011 5:13 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


There is an autotranslate button in the right sidebar, courtesy Google.

June 20, 2011 5:15 PM  
Blogger mdstoop said...

Epic! I've been anticipating this because I arrived rather late and only participated in two earlier ones. Very much looking forward to this, I just hope it won't involve making me approach strangers or get people to model for me too much ;)

June 20, 2011 6:01 PM  
Blogger Rod Read said...

Oh man, Excited and scared in equal measure. Last boot camp I had catastrophic surf related gear failure. I had to enter photos taken on my mobile.
ain't gonna happen this time papa!

June 20, 2011 6:12 PM  
Blogger EdG said...

I've never tried one of these before, even though I regularly follow the Strobist blog. I'll be good to work outside my comfort zone. Wait, I have to find a comfort zone to do that, don't I?


June 20, 2011 6:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa*Asil said...

I can't wait!

June 20, 2011 7:03 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

Awesome - I didn't participate in the other bootcamps as I was still learning, but now I'm ready so I'm really looking forward to this! Thanks so much for taking the time to do it David!

June 20, 2011 7:47 PM  
Blogger Stephane said...

This perfect! I've been looking for something to motivate me to get out to the community. I'm sure this will be it! Thank you so much for doing this David. After watching lighting in layers I can just imagine what you have in store for us. Actually, I should spend the week re watching it just to make sure I am ready.

June 20, 2011 10:23 PM  
Blogger MrGreenBug said...

Awesome! Love to learn a lot and at the same time have fun! :D

June 20, 2011 10:24 PM  
Blogger MrGreenBug said...

Awesome! Can't wait to start on BC3!

June 20, 2011 10:33 PM  
Blogger Simon Higgs said...

sweet, im looking foward to this.
I jumped in on it last year as a green strobist.
hopefully my practise has paid off.

June 21, 2011 1:37 AM  
Blogger BallardFamily said...

If BC3 is a Flickr 'group', why can I not find it to 'join'? Not available till next week? Don't want to miss out. Just askin.

June 21, 2011 8:22 AM  
Blogger Rex said...

Now I'm pumped for the challenge. By the way, does the two-light rule mean maximum of 2 speedlights or at least 2 speedlights? Coz I only have one speedlight.

June 21, 2011 9:27 AM  
Blogger kristin said...

looking forward to this! would love to start documenting my local area but some other HoCo photog beat me to it ;)

June 21, 2011 9:32 AM  
Blogger Vince Edward said...

I'm really excited about this. I came around to the "Strobist Movement" a little too late to participate in the boot camps. Thanks David!

June 21, 2011 9:49 AM  
Blogger Jim Fury (Furious Ideas) said...

I'm relatively new myself to strobist. Started playing around March of last year and this has had a major impact on my work. I can barely stand to look at the on camera flash previous to my introduction to this site. Not to say that there aren't other incredibly important factors but you know...

I am looking forward to participating. It just so happens I only have 2 speedlights so I'm excited!! lolz

Thank you for everything so far!

June 21, 2011 11:34 AM  
Blogger Petteri Vilkki said...

Oh yeah. I am ready!


June 21, 2011 11:47 AM  
Blogger Berger said...

Bring It!

June 21, 2011 12:11 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Sweet. I'm so ready to PWN a bootcamp assignment.

On a side note: Remember me David? I'm that one guy who took a picture with you at the Flashbus stop in St. Louis!!!!!!!!Awesome!!

June 21, 2011 12:49 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

@Rex- 2 speedlights max.

June 21, 2011 1:48 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

@Ballard Family-

The BC3 flickr group? Huh?

Oh, yes. It is in the supply closet, next to the left-handed broom.

June 21, 2011 1:50 PM  
Blogger kwkw said...

Looking forward to the bootcamp, I was so inspired after the Flashbus Tour in Chicago.

June 21, 2011 2:01 PM  
Blogger BallardFamily said...

Hum! Somehow the 'Jethro Gibbs' slap in the head didn't have the nostalgic feel I thought it would.

Tags, got it now!

June 21, 2011 3:30 PM  
Blogger W2 said...

Nice, I can't wait. I've been following this blog but never posted. I'll try my hand at these assignments.

June 21, 2011 4:58 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I'm so ready to get my learn on... Thanks for arranging this David!

June 21, 2011 7:08 PM  
Blogger Clement said...

All right!
Can I use 3 speedlights if one of them has no batteries in it?

June 21, 2011 7:40 PM  
Blogger John McClumpha said...

Great stuff... I missed out on the previous bootcamps so can't wait for bc3 to kick off :)

June 22, 2011 2:56 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

David what amount of photoshopping is allowed? no limit?

June 22, 2011 7:19 AM  
Blogger Ramón said...

Thanks a lot for this one more opportunity. You´re definitely a master for me, in many senses (photographically, ethically, socially etc). I have a lack of these here in Brazil, specially in my city. Will try to do my best.

June 22, 2011 10:08 AM  
Blogger builderlee said...

Ok, guys and gals, I'm new here. I'm looking for the Strobist Flickr Group so I can join. Can't wait to see these challenges. But there seem to be about 1,000 Strobist groups, which one is THE Strobist Flickr Group?

June 22, 2011 10:19 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


Uh, this is the lighting/photo boot camp. The heavy-use-of-Photoshop boot camp is down the hall on your right.


Really? Um, maybe try the one linked in the post.

June 22, 2011 11:04 AM  
Blogger Darina Boycheva said...

Very excited for Boot Camp III. Can't wait for the first assignment.
Thank you Mr. Hobby!

June 22, 2011 8:30 PM  
Blogger ej said...

Yo boss, can't wait..... Browser super speed to the flickr group!!! Haha lol

June 23, 2011 8:20 AM  
Blogger killy said...

In it to win it. Ha! Can't wait!

June 23, 2011 10:54 AM  
Blogger Anna Nguyen said...

This is going to be exciting! I will try my best to keep up with all assignments! Thanks so much for doing this again!!

June 23, 2011 1:14 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Geiger said...

Does the popup flash count as a speedlight? In other words, can I use it as part of my lighting, beyond simply triggering my external lights?

June 23, 2011 4:24 PM  
Blogger p. said...

Remember when you were in high school how there was always that one kid? Somehow the entire class seemed to understood the directions that the teacher had just given, except that one kid. The teacher would clarify, but that one kid would seek further clarification. Then the teacher would say something like "Don't overthink it", which only seemed to confuse that one kid even more! Now that one kid would continue to ask even more questions until eventually someone in the back of the class would yell "SHUUUT UUUP! We've already been over this! TWO LIGHTS MAX! DON'T OVERTHINK IT!".

I wonder what ever happened to that one kid?

June 23, 2011 7:08 PM  
Blogger Imran said...

I'm very much new but already read L101 and 102. Secondly anyone from anywhere can join?

June 25, 2011 5:49 AM  
Blogger Imran said...

I'm very much new but already read L101 and 102. Secondly anyone from anywhere can join?

June 25, 2011 5:50 AM  
Blogger rickdallasphoto said...

Awesome, I can't wait to see what you want us to pull off with two speedlights....Could I get a smartass comment in silver sharpie?

June 26, 2011 11:35 AM  
Blogger Wing Tang Wong said...

Awesome! Ever since BCII, I've been waiting for BCIII! Woot!

Got one working HSF, so let's see what I can do. ^_^;

June 27, 2011 3:12 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Geiger said...



June 28, 2011 7:14 AM  
Blogger Mthorbourne said...

Thank you for doing this. I've followed the blog for about 2 years now and its really cool. I am participating in BC3.

June 29, 2011 8:50 AM  
Blogger Smehaff said...

I'd like to participate, but Flickr sux. It's horrible! Why do you all like it so much?

July 04, 2011 9:14 PM  
Blogger xxxxxx said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 07, 2011 7:19 AM  
Blogger Wing Tang Wong said...

@Smehaff, not really a big fan of Flickr myself... but am a member again, out of necessity and because I'd rather spend my energy being creative. To support the sites that do not suck, I join and subscribe to their paid plans, ala 500px.com.

July 08, 2011 9:18 PM  
Blogger Kristian Rocha said...

but, I don´t have Speedligth flash units, it´s fully necesary to be Nikon units?

July 17, 2011 3:44 PM  
Blogger Shelley Shearer said...

Is it too late to jump in?

July 28, 2011 11:42 AM  

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