L102: You Got Questions, We Got Answers

Thanks for the questions, guys. It is the most efficient way I know to hit all of the things I forgot to explain in the first place. Let's get them out of the way so we can get this L102 party started.

Regarding the suggestions as to (a) where to get the gels, and (b) the admonitions to actually buy them so as to not mooch off of the company, I totally agree. You should pony up for a full sheet of CTO and a sheet of window green. These are the tungsten and fluorescent conversion gels. You will use these A LOT. But, for speedlights, it is hard to justify buying many more. So just ask for a sample pack at every opportunity, and you should be well-covered.

What I'd like to see: A sample pack that had 10 each of CTO and Window Green, 5 each of CTB, 1/2 CTB, 1/4 CTB, 1/2 CTO, 1/4 CTO, 1-stop ND, and a coupla reds for $15 each. Slightly bigger than the current sample packs would be great. They'd make money and we'd be gellin' in style.

There was a suggestion that people shoot their setups on the photo uploads for the assignments. I totally agree with that, if you can remember to do it. Not being without sin in this area, I cannot really insist on it...

Q: Will I be picking example reader submissions to talk about after the fact?

A: Sure will. Probably three or so from each exercise/assignment.

Q: Could you add a Lighting 102 link to the top right side menu of the Strobist homepage?

A: Yep. It'll be up as of the first lighting control post, which will be next in the series.

Q: Should I do Lighting 101 first?

A: That will always be a good reference/foundation. But L102 will be a far more comprehensive approach. I will be referencing relevant posts in L101 as we go along.

Q: How often do new posts (lessons) go up for it? Once a week?

A: That will roughly be the schedule. We'll need time for stuff to sink in, for people to see the latest post, and for exercises to be done. And also, for me to create the posts/exercises while also running the rest of the blog, shooting for The Sun and occasionally sleeping. The exercises will be quick hits, completed from week to week. But the assignments will be more involved. You'll have a minimum of two weeks to complete each assignment. I'll get into a rhythm of posting L102's on or near Mondays. But because of the vagaries of my job at The Sun, that is more of a goal than a promise. (Could be Sunday or Tuesday, for instance.)

Q: I only see one thread for the Lighting 102 discussions. Will there be separate threads for each section?

A: Oh, yeah. Can you imagine all of the L102 discussion compressed into one thread? Yikes. I will be setting up a separate thread for each discussion, exercise and assignment.

Q: (I am) attempting to participate without a hot shoe or any means (that I know of...if there are ways to manually control off-camera flash without hooking it up to my camera directly, please let a newbie know) of off-camera flash....ergo, lamps. Well the principles will still be the same?

A: Uh, yeah... somewhat. But you'll miss out on a lot. If you were learning how to SCUBA dive, you'd want a mask...

Q: I have a new monolight kit (200ws each so small) that I want to get comfortable using, so I think I'll try the sam exercises with them as well.

A: That should work just fine.

Q:I would like to create videos of the exercises/assignments and post them on YouTube. Is this okay?

A: It is more than okay. I think it is a great idea. We are visual animals. Monkey see, monkey do. I will be happy to link to the good ones and archive them so that others may benefit from your efforts. FWIW, the YouTube videos that are linked here tend to get about 10,000 views over the first couple of weeks. Which always helps if you are looking for exposures. And if you are really good, I have a script I'd like to share with you...

Q: I would like to blog about my progress in Lighting 102. Is this cool?

A: Absolutely not! (Kidding.) Of course it's cool. In fact, I would encourage it.

In a broader sense, I think anyone who is into photography should be blogging. It's free, creative, visual - all those things shooters like. Couldn't be easier, really. Heck, I helped my dad start up a blog this afternoon, and he's 62.

I recommend Google's blogging platform, blogger.com. It may not be the spiffiest platform out there, but it is pretty darn good and getting better each day. Besides, with Google owning it, it'll probably be around in five years.

A year ago, I started a blogspot blog just to fart around with lighting ideas and look what has happened. You really never know. And I have never paid a penny for bandwidth, or anything associated with this site. Way cool.

Besides, blogging steadily about this process will mean you'll be more likely to stick to it. Kinda like telling your coworkers you are starting the Atkins Diet. For the 6th time this year.

Next: Control #1, Position | Angle


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