Strobist Boot Camp 3 – Project 3

I submitted my entry for the third project in the Strobist Boot Camp challenge.  The brief this time was simple.  Think Big.  Basically, the challenge was to kiss some light off an object that was too big to light with just 2 small strobes.  Using the ambient was essential.  It was a great task – it gets you thinking of how to best use the light that is always around you – the ambient light around you.  Then you can augment it with your small strobes and pull off great photos. For a brief on my submission, I’ve copied below what I wrote on the Flickr Page.

I’ve learned a lot from David Hobby (the man behind Strobist). He doesn’t know me personally, but I feel like I know him. He has taught me about lighting, composition, engaging subjects, telling stories and having fun with my camera.

I decided yesterday afternoon, that I’d venture down to the local Fair today to capture my photo for the boot camp challenge. DH uploaded a very similar photo to this as his entry for Boot Camp 3, and I knew that the Fair would give me similar opportunities. I scouted around for a few hours with my girlfriend, snapping photos of people, animals, food and rides. But I kept coming back to this ride – part of me wanted to make a homage to the Strobist himself, but part of me wanted to take a photo that reminds me of my childhood visits to a similar Fair.

When I was young, I used to love the petting farms, the show bags, the wood-chopping and the fairy-floss, but my favourite part of the show is depicted in the image above. Carnival rides are crazy. They feel unsafe, they flash and make crazy noises, the music is always decades old but really addictive. I loved the Fair. The flashing ferris-wheel and the spinning chairs were two of my favourite rides. I couldn’t afford to go on many rides, but I’d always ask for these two.

While visiting Germany for Oktoberfest, I actually went on a taller version of this ride – it was epic. I had a stuffed Giraffe that was won on a shooting-rifle game… unfortunately for him, he didn’t make it off the ride. At high speeds, centrifugal force ripped him from my pocket. He was never seen again.

Ambient did the heavy lifting but a strobe (SB900) to camera right (roughly 90 degrees) held by my girlfriend on a monopod (triggered with cybersyncs) lit the ride.

I wanted to show the motion of the ride, so I played with the shutter speed and flash power to allow for some ambient to register movement.

My entry.

So you can see what the strobe was doing, here is ambient light only. Just after I shot this, Jas said “It would look better with the lights on the ferris-wheel”… and seconds later, the popped on! The timing was amazing.

I also shot this version – I really like the silhouetted ferris-wheel. It was hard to choose a favourite.

Finally, a few other versions. I went for contrast and sharpness on these – but with little space to work with, it was hard to get the riders lit well.

If you have a camera and you’re interested in learning more about lighting – I highly recommend heading to to look around. Lighting 101 and 102 played a huge role in my learning. You can even do the old Boot-Camps and challenges that are up on the site and submit them to the Flickr group. I’d love to see them!

One Reply to “Strobist Boot Camp 3 – Project 3”

  1. […] It was kinda spur of the moment, but when the idea came up, I instantly thought about completing my Strobist Boot Camp Project 3 there. I’m currently procrasti-blogging/procrasti-editing, but I wanted to share the […]

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