BC3 Assignment #4: 36 Hours

Welcome to the final -- and most difficult -- assignment for Boot Camp 3.

This one will be more involved than the other three, but the prizes have been amped up to reflect that. And I can honestly say that I do not know a single editorial photographer who would not be happy to receive this exact assignment.

First, The Prizes

Previous BC3 winners have had the choice of a Lighting in Layers Boxed DVD Set or a LumoPro LP160 speedlight. This assignment's winner will receive both. Plus a new Honl Baby Bounce, a Honl CTO Kit and some extra goodies thrown in for good measure.

36 Hours In...

This assignment is a riff on the New York Times' regular travel feature, 36 Hours in [Wherever]. The basic assumption is that someone arrives on Friday afternoon and leaves Sunday midday. I know, the number of hours don't quite match up. But that's what they call it.

Generally, a writer is assigned to suggest an itinerary and a photog mops up after them. But we are going to swap that. So here's the assignment, as you could expect to receive it.
Dear [photog];

We are doing a travel piece on [your town/city/county/etc.] based on a weekend trip. We need three photos -- one lead, two supporting -- and an itinerary from Fri. afternoon to Sun. midday.

Photos should gel w/itinerary. Writer to follow behind you and do piece based on your supplied sked and pics.

You are local, writer is not. So we are counting on you for good inside info for the piece. This could go as a section front, so make sure lead can hold up if run big.

So that's pretty realistic. Or could be, at least, if you were local and the writer wasn't. Here's something that is totally not realistic. You are going to get a good chunk of time to complete it.

Typically, a photog would be very happy to get a few days to knock this out. You get several weeks. Because of this, your photos -- and itinerary -- should be given some thought and well-executed. You have both the chance and the time to give a local's inside track to a visitor.

As my college photo professor, Fred Parrish, would say when he handed me a significant assignment, "Fuck up not, Hobby."

(Fred had a way with words.)

Some Tips

The deadline for the assignment is Saturday, October 29th at 1700 hours GMT. That's almost six weeks. Which means to every single procrastinator out there, the deadline is too long. You're screwed.

But ~6 weeks is enough time to plan out a cool Friday evening, full Saturday and a Sunday morning then make some cool images to support it. Don't just go out and vacuum up photos willy-nilly. Think it through. Chase some light.

You can easily Google a number of NY Times 36 hour features to get the format, but think a little more ambitious with your own photos. Create three images and a schedule that would make someone want to go to your town.

And if you feel you do not live someplace exciting, challenge yourself to find beauty and interest in your location. Maybe the feature is solitude. Hell, lots of people are looking for that.

Want some visual inspiration? Check out Miller Mobley's take (which was more of a "city portrait" than a 36 hours piece) on Mobile Bay, Alabama for Garden and Gun magazine.

He did this in four days. Seriously, take a look.

Assignment Details

You only need three photos. You can do more if you like. Two images have to make use of off-camera flash in some way. The other(s) can be available light if you like.

Ideally, cut-and-paste your photos together into one composite image. If you do not have software that can do that (or you do not know how) put your photos in a set and link to the set on Flickr with one image that you submit as detailed below.

If you are turning in one image and pointing to a set of the others, make sure the submitted image is one of the lit photos. You can link to the others' set in the caption.

Composite or single image, your caption should include your location, your lighting info, and your itinerary for visitors (i.e., schedule for Friday eve., Sat., and Sun morning.)

To submit your photo, you will need to be on Flickr and in the Strobist Group. Tag your photo with the tag "BC34" (do not use the quotes). Submit your photo into the Strobist group. Caption the picture as detailed above. Be sure to include lighting information in the caption.

You can see your submissions and those of others here.

If you have trouble with submitting, tagging, your photo not showing up, please reread the BC3 Introduction Post for help.

Want to discuss it? Trade ideas? Get peer feedback? The BC3.4 discussion thread is here. And to not split the discussion into two locations, I am closing comments on this post.

Remember, the winner for this assignment gets a Lighting in Layers Boxed DVD Set, a LumoPro LP160 speedlight, a Honl Baby Bounce, a Honl CTO Gel Kit plus some other goodies.

Good luck!


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