SOLD OUT: July 19 NYC Lighting Seminar

UPDATE: The July 19th NYC lighting seminar is sold out. If you are attending, hit the jump for more details, and a link to the discussion thread.

Seminar Info and Registration Details


The class is to be held at the ShootDigital Studios. The address is 23 East 4th Street, in New York City. You can find a Google map here if the one just below is not working in your browser.

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With the lighting seminars, my goal is threefold: To present an organic 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

NOTE: Due to time limitations at ShootDigital Studio, the Seminar will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Morning check-in/setup: 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Please plan to arrive between these times, as we will still be setting up before then and still waiting for the morning caffeine to kick in.

Morning session: 10:00 a.m. until approximately 12:30 p.m.

We'll talk about gear (I'll have a selection of gear there for a petting zoo) and take an extended look at lighting, from a more integrated approach than a blog allows. The focus will be on taking all of the things we talk about on the site in a day-to-day sense and combining them to gain more of a holistic approach to lighting. Everything really is interrelated.

Lunch Break

On your own, approximately 45 minutes, and we'll be looking for your suggestions for nearby good eats in the Flickr discussion thread related to this seminar. Link to a discussion thread will be posted shortly.

Afternoon Session:

~1:15 p.m. - 4:00 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 models I will have cleverly hidden around the room disguised as ordinary attendees. No one is safe.

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. We will be in an actual studio, which for me will be a little strange. Normally, I am used to hotel conference rooms with built-in bad lighting and a half-dead ficus plant.

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 a wonderfully 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."

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.

You might want to bring a notebook and pen. (I will have a URL to download the presentation, so you can skip the copy-everything-on-the-screen thing.) And bring a camera if you want to shoot the setups as a visual reference. And dress is optional extremely casual, so you won't feel out of place if I show up in shorts. Hey, it has happened before.

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 4:00. I have to tear down and be out of there by 5:00, or they will shoot me, stuff me and use me as a prop for future shoots. But there is no reason we could not head someplace nearby and keep the conversation going. I have heard they have beer in NYC, too. We could find out.

If, for some reason, you require a cancellation after booking, refunds will be granted up until July 9th. 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. I have already booked the hotel room in advance, so 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, one of those Big Macs finally catches up to me or Missus Strobist finds out about the new D3 and kills 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.

How to Go for FREE:

Wanna go for free, and go out shooting the day before? One seat has already been reserved.

All you need is access to something that might make a good shoot in NYC on July 18th. I am in town and looking for something fun to light and shoot. Whoever ends up coming up with the best shoot idea for Friday will also attend on Saturday for free.

NOTE: You must have both access and permission for us to shoot.

Scroll down in this post for details on how to suggest a Stone Soup shoot and a link to the Flickr thread for the suggestions.

NOTE: If you successfully register for Saturday and you come up with the top suggestion for Friday, your payment for Saturday will be refunded.

Feedback from Previous Seminars

Post-seminar thread | Extended report

Post-seminar thread | Extended report

Post-seminar thread | Extended report

Silicon Valley:

Extended report I | Extended report II


Registration Details

The cost for the seminar is $159.00. To register (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.

IMPORTANT: If you are in the process of registering and the seminar sells out, your fee will be refunded by the end of the day -- usually within the hour.

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.

I look forward to seeing you there. The discussion thread for this seminar is here.

(The 7/19/08 NYC Lighting Seminar is sold out.)


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