Seattle Flickr Strobists and Aircraft Hangars?!

Over the last several months, the Seattle Flickr Strobists have been cranking it up. This past Sunday was another crazy inflection point for us. In November, the “cheap” studio space that we had been using for shoots closed, and people started looking for some kind of indoor space to shoot in. The space of choice has been an underground parking garage. At the same time, David Hobby, author of the Strobist blog, hooked us up with A-list professional photographer Chase Jarvis. Chase hosted a bunch of us at his studio to find out what we’ve been up to and to explore ways that he could give back to the community by helping us.

So on Sunday, instead of shooting in an underground garage, Chase arranged for us to shoot in Hangar 30 at the old Sand Point Naval Airfield, which is now part of Magnusnon Park in Seattle. This was a very large event for us, 50+ phtographers, 12 models, and almost all of Chase’s crew. There were at least 16 separate lighting setups, ranging from single speedlight on sync cords all the way up to several big studio strobe setups, and everything in between. I was involved in organizing the shoot, trying to make sure that we had enough setups (this is complicated because of all the different wireless trigger systems), and arranging for enough models. It looked like there was going to be so much organization required that I basically resigned myself to not taking any pictures myself. It’s a testament to the nature of the Seattle Flickr community that the setups did end up self organizing (after a bunch of on-line pre organization), and Jennifer stepped in and took over the management of the models during the shoot.

There’s a video of some of the shoot highlights

and you can see all the shots here.

We had several surprise guests, including David Hobby himself, as well as my friend James Duncan Davidson, which made for a great deal of fun. Both David and Chase have written posts about the event from their perspectives (David’s post, Chase’s post – Chase’s folks have done a cool video also.), and Duncan has written his perspective as an “outsider”. After the shoot was over, we all went back to Chase’s studio for conversation as well as many rounds of Guitar hero. Here’s a summary from the Flickrites’ own Guitar Hero, Danny Ngan.

I feel very, very fortunate to be a part of this community, especially at this stage of its development. It feels very much like it did when I got involved in the (relatively) early days of the Apache Software Foundation. There is an incredible amount of energy, sharing of knowledge and equipment, and the blossoming of friendships. The last five months have been wonderful – I almost can’t imagine how things will be a year from now.

Since people stepped up to help, I did end up shooting after all. Seattle wedding photographer Sarah Rhoads and I were working with a model who had a formal dress that could pass as a wedding dress. I want to try my hand at shooting some weddings, so this was a perfect opportunity to do something that would be close to a bridal portrait session. After a break to allow other people to shoot on our setup, I wanted to do a different setup and pose, so I started messing around

with equipment, digging in my bag, etc. The next thing I know, Chase is like “do you want me to hold a light or something”? For the next 15 minutes, Chase (and sometimes his assistant Scott) held my lights, suggested a setup change, and just generally worked with me. It was amazing just watching Chase and Scott adjusting the lights even before I could tell them what adjustment was needed. It was a great opportunity, and gave me a whole new perspective on how professionals work, and how attuned it is possible to become.

Here’s one of the shots from that session:

Seattle Flickrites shoot with Chase Jarvis

Be sure to check out Duncan’s “making of shot” which is embedded in the comments.

Thanks to Chase, David, Duncan, and all the Seattle Flickrites!

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