Registration Opens for Jan. 19th San Francisco-Area Lighting Seminar

UPDATE: The San Francisco-area lighting seminar for Jan. 19, 2008 is sold out. Info and class details follow after the jump. Discussion thread link is here.


Two things to note right off the bat:

1. I realize this is a little ways south of San Francisco proper. But this trip coincides with a visit to the nearby headquarters of a very large, unnamed internet-based company. I am scheduled tightly both before and after this seminar, which will preclude the normal Saturday-Sunday combo. So, Saturday it is.

2. Annoyingly, PayPal offers me no way to limit the number of seats in the transactional process. So I will be monitoring incoming the sales realtime and will pull the PayPal link from this page as soon as we get close to the limit. There is a chance that some of you may still apparently be able to register after it fills if you were already into the process when it filled. I will have to issue refunds for those people. It will be first-come, first-served as delineated by the time stamp on the emailed PayPal receipt. Refunds will be issued ASAP, and you will know via an additional email from me. I apologize in advance for this if it affects you. PayPal is very imperfect.

Seminar Info and Registration Details

The class is to be held at the Santa Clara Marriott, at 2700 Mission College Blvd. in Santa Clara, CA.

Here's a map:

View Larger Map

With these seminars, my goal is threefold: To refine your approach to creating light, to fill you with as many ideas as possible in a day's time and to have fun doing it.

We'll start with a roadmap for the day, which I will do my best to keep us on. But each session will take on somewhat of a life of its own. Which is a good thing.

Our Anticipated Schedule

Morning check-in/setup: 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Please plan to arrive between these times, as we will still be setting up before then.

Morning session: 9:30 a.m. - ~12:30 p.m.

We'll talk about gear (I'll have a good gear selection there for a petting zoo) and take an extended, integrated look at what is essentially the Lighting 102 material in it's entirety. The focus will be on taking all of the things we talk about on the site in a day-to-day sense and integrating them to gain more of a holistic approach to lighting. Everything really is interrelated.


On your own, approx. one hour, and we'll be looking for your nearby suggestions in the Flickr discussion thread related to this seminar. Link to a discussion thread will be posted shortly.

Afternoon Session:

~1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Assuming we have finished the theory stuff, we'll move into the practical/demo session. (Sometimes we go into a little overtime on the theory.) We'll get into some real-world lighting exercises photographing some of the absolute, best-looking lighting-website-reading models in the world.

(You look mahvelous...)

This is basically a lighting version of "Whose Line is it, Anyway?" with a focus on improvisational lighting based on available gear, the room, found objects, lighting mods, etc. I never know what ideas we will come up with, which is what keeps me equal parts interested in and petrified of the afternoon session. It's a good thing.

Shortly after each shoot, we will view each setup and discuss the results onscreen. This instant feedback in a group environment is an amazingly efficient way to drive home the thought and technique process. We can read and write all we want, but for photographers there is nothing better than "monkey see, money do."

(No offense.)

The goal will be to incorporate lighting theory, room environment, assignment constraints and our available gear to create a photo that seeks to produce an photograph that is an appropriate response to our situation.

Working within that framework will allow us to concentrate on better freeing ourselves in the other areas: Creativity and subject/photographer interaction.

The entire day will be a non-stop flow of ideas and techniques, punctuated by spur-of-the-moment Q-and-A. I want you to bring lots of questions, and to feel free to voice the ones that pop into your head throughout the day. In fact, if you do not ask me enough questions, I will start throwing some questions at you.

(Anyone? Anyone? ... Bueller?)

You might want to bring a notebook and pen. (I will have a URL to download the presentation, so you can relax and listen.) And bring a camera if you want to shoot the setups as a visual reference. And dress is casual, so you won't feel out of place if I show up in shorts.

As with my philosophy for the website there will be no secrets and no posturing. This stuff is not rocket science. It's light. And the first step in learning to light is to realize that anyone can get very good at it.

We will plan to wrap up at about 5:00. But if we are still going (and they don't kick us out) who knows. Normally, a fair number of people come back to the hotel bar after dinner, where we discuss lights, darks, ambers -- whatever. Always fun.

If, for some reason, you require a cancellation after booking, refunds will be granted up until January the 10th. After that time, you would be responsible for transferring your seat to another attendee.

Very Important: If, through events beyond my control, I am unable to present this seminar, refunds will be limited to the ticket price. As I already have airfare, hotel room and our venue rental paid in advance, I do not anticipate this happening. But I just wanted to cover all of the bases, in case I get run over by a bus tomorrow, or one of those Big Macs catches up to me.

Bases covered, I have to say that I am very much looking forward to this trip and especially to meeting many of you. As I do more of these seminars, I find that each session develops a vibe of its own. You put a few dozen photographers who are all eager to learn in a room, and what starts out as a simple stack of talking points turns into a rich, organic discussion that ends with everyone - including me - having a head swimming with new ideas.

Registration Details

The cost for the seminar is $159.00. (This seminar is sold out.)

To register for either seminar (with any major credit card) please click on the link at the bottom of the post, which will take you to PayPal. A PayPal account is not required to register. You will be returned to this site after successfully registering. Again, if you are in the process of registering and the seminar sells out, your fee will be refunded by the end of the day. Make sure your PayPal email address is one at which you can actually be reached.

Please leave your name and phone number (and a working email if different from the PayPal address) in the info box on the PayPal page, in case I should need to contact you. There is a discussion thread set up in the Flickr group, here.

I look forward to seeing you there.

(This seminar is sold out.)


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