Discussions (52025)

OT: Secret Ingredients of Seattle Strobist Group Success

aloof board [deleted] says:

The Seattle area seems to be leading the pack in the Strobist movement.

What are some things that other groups can do to improve the excitement / participation levels in their areas?

Thanks Seattle Keep having fun and producing good work....
8:56AM, 19 May 2008 PST (permalink)

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Darien Chin says:

you need an olgathorpe..

and coffee. lots of coffee.
ages ago (permalink)

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Darien Chin says:

and a chase jarvis wouldn't hurt...
ages ago (permalink)

spotted rose [deleted] says:

Is an Olgathorpe anything like a Holgathorpe?
ages ago (permalink)

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

Yes, an Ogalthorpe certainly does help things.
ages ago (permalink)

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MikePerrault says:

Ogalthorpes are wily critters though and you have to be really careful around them especially when using off camera flash because they tend to become giddy and giggle with excitement when off camera flash is used or spoken of.
ages ago (permalink)

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VibrantPhotographs says:

Cause it's always bleeding raining, so they have more time indoors with nothing else to do then the rest of us :-))
ages ago (permalink)

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

That's not true. It doesn't rain as much as people think it does.
ages ago (permalink)

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Darien Chin says:

Seattle is actually only the 41st rainiest city in the US. The top ten are listed below.

1. Mobile, Alabama
2. Pensacola, Florida
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
4. West Palm Beach, Florida
5. Lafayette, Louisiana
6. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
7. Miami, Florida
8. Port Arthur, Texas
9. Tallahassee, Florida
10. Lake Charles, Louisiana
ages ago (permalink)

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Steve.Korn says:

You probably won't believe this, but the secret ingredient is oregano. I know, I couldn't believe it when I found out either.
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JeffStewart says:

Secret ingredient is luring newbies into the light by teaching classes/seminars on lighting, basic camera info, etc. It makes the teachers and the students improve.

Plus having a wealth of amazing photographers sure doesn't hurt.


PS: We hope to lead the pack in Elinchrom Skyport users very soon as well so that we can continue to grow without limiting the number of set-ups or spending Multi-max level money. continuousdrive.blogspot.com <----Review of the triggers
ages ago (permalink)

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VibrantPhotographs says:

Yeah I know... like Chicago is not really the "windy-est" city..... but it's the general perception.... besides little bits each day equal what FL gets in an hour :-)
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eduardo_frances says:

@Darien: and yesterday at a mall I saw an advertising that said "welcome to the sunny land of fun: Florida" -scratches florida from his dream list-
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rpsip says:

Not only does Seattle get less rain than 40 other cities in the US, we also have a natural outdoor softbox (overcast sky) almost year-round. Moreover, the dark weather up north (less light in fall/winterspring than most of the rest of the country) makes us practice our artificial lighting skills more frequently.
ages ago (permalink)

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mullenite says:

eduardo_frances Miami is on the list because when it rains it pours, but there is a long period where there is no rain at all.
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geowulf says:

Umm.. Are you sure THAT it IS oregano? When you burn it, it certainly smells like some other Herb. (Which has nothing to due with the 'Tiajuana Brass', more like the Mari- but not the Tia-).
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
geowulf edited this topic ages ago.

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

Ogalthorpe. Code-name: Oregano.
ages ago (permalink)

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Chris[topher] Lin says:

3. New Orleans, Louisiana
5. Lafayette, Louisiana
6. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
10. Lake Charles, Louisiana


Nice--the four major cities on the I-10 corridor in Louisiana.
ages ago (permalink)

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swanlefitte says:

That same part of the I-10 also gets the least snow.
ages ago (permalink)

aloof board [deleted] says:

all right i see one of the ingredients is to have a good sense of humor, another is to enjoy what your doing......

yea but how do yall attract people and keep them coming back all while staying organized?

Strobist seems to be big out there in Seattle....hmmm

It's almost like you all are the photography renaissance center.

I think everywhere has pockets of Strobist....but Seattle seems to have the Strongest community right now.

I suppose it might be the Oregano
ages ago (permalink)

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number95 says:

Besides oregano, I have no idea. Someone just posts an idea for a meet-n-shoot, and it snowballs every time. The last garage shoot a few weeks ago had 40+ people I think. Everybody is getting creative too. It's like this every time. There's currently 37 photographers and 9 models signed up this weekend for a trash the dress shoot. It's crazy!
ages ago (permalink)

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Axle Adams says:

Problem is you have to keep the Ogalthorpe fed, or it gets angry. You don't want to see Ogalthorpe when he's angry.
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Jon_Senior says:

My outsider viewpoint is that a part of it comes down to numbers. The clear enthusiasm means that they don't need thousands of potential attendees, in general, only a certain proportion of a group will meet at any one time, so the more potential attendees, the more people will be at any given meet.

All of which changes the question to "Why are so many people in Seattle interested in Strobism?" for which there appear to be answers above.
ages ago (permalink)

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

Popularity yes of course. That strobist shit is contagious.

But, we are fun people. We're friendly, open, and happy to help others and share knowledge. None of that pretentious crap you find elsewhere. We just have a different attitude. And we like each other and we make friends amongst ourselves.

Consistency has helped a great deal. Most Seattle Strobists are actually Seattle Flickrites. Our group has regular events twice a month and that consistency is a big factor in our growth. It kept and still keeps the momentum moving forward.

there's more. but it's time for bed.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
fumbling ear edited this topic ages ago.

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JeffStewart says:

I think we're forgetting the biggest part of the equation: organizers.

There is a small handful of people who do most of the organizing for these events. They do it for free and its a lot of work most of the time but our group would be a fraction of what it is without them. I don't know who all the organizers are but I know the biggest ones have recently been Terence and Dave.

www.flickr.com/photos/ttstam/
www.flickr.com/photos/davemcom/
ages ago (permalink)

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Niko R. says:

I was positive that the secret ingredient was thyme.
ages ago (permalink)

aloof board [deleted] says:

Is Jeremy Center's alter ego..... Ogelthorpe?
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
aloof board edited this topic ages ago.

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Steve.Korn says:

doubledee2007 - actually Jeremy Center is Ogalthorpe's alter ego.


You know, I think when you look at the cohesiveness of the strobist group out here, it really comes down to the fact that the Seattle Flickr community has always been really large and really motivated. There are over 1000 members and they have meet-ups all of the time. When the strobist thing got popular here about a year ago, it was just another great opportunity for this enthusiastic bunch to have another reason to meet and dive into an new, unexplored avenue of photography. It's a fun, positive group of people.

I started the Seattle Strobist group in January of 2007, but it really has little to do with the explosion of interest in Seattle. The organization and mobilization of the Seattle strobists has been the work of Jeremy Center (aka Ogalthorpe). He was the perfect guy to do it as he has been a very active and visible member of the Seattle Flickr group for quite some time.

The Seattle Strobist group is really just a nice place where everyone can post their pictures which are directly conected to strobing in the region. Beyond that, it's not much of a group per se.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Steve.Korn edited this topic ages ago.

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timmui says:

*grin* As I watch the participation level for a meet going on this weekend, I am tempted to run to the grocery store just to see if it would help. I wonder if there is a core group of people who work together to keep things going.

I plan to keep an eye on this thread because I'm curious how the seeming apathy I see here on the east coast can be cured.
ages ago (permalink)

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WB - CMH says:

Parsley, sage, rosemary AND thyme.

Heavy on the oregano.
ages ago (permalink)

aloof board [deleted] says:

Thanks Steve
ages ago (permalink)

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

As JeffStewart noted, the key component to the success of the group has been the consistent momentum provided by organizers. Unfortunately the people he named aren't the ones responsible.

We have had anywhere from 6-10 organizers that provide oversight to the group. They plan events, schedule places to meet, etc. And they're the same ones that do it over and over. They put in a lot of time and there are few rewards except seeing where this little group. has gone.

I wrote a blog post about it: ogalthorpe.blogspot.com/2007/12/on-building-better-strobi...

And on a still serious note: I always just wanted to be as good as Steve Korn. Really. He was there before me doing this stuff. I just got people together to pass it on.

Oh, and Steve Korn is taller in real life than he is in pictures.
ages ago (permalink)

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Mista Fitz says:

Vancouver Strobist is rockin' it too - must be a west coast thing?
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Steve.Korn says:

...and better looking.
ages ago (permalink)

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

I wouldn't go that far.

Not as furry, fo shizzle, tho.
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Airchinapilot says:

West coast reprezent!

Must be the dope
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timmui says:

Lol. Ok, that makes sense and explains why I feel like I am running ragged. I need to get five more of me to get this going out where I am.

I'm not sure about wanting to get my PS skills up to what you're doing Jeremy.
ages ago (permalink)

aloof board [deleted] says:

To the artist formerly known as Ogelthorpe

I was thinking that it was some sort of magic pill that I could get and poof we now have a strong Strobist group in Atlanta.

I suppose it's up to the man in the mirror.....to get things poppin !

Why can't there be a magic pill for anything?
ages ago (permalink)

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WB - CMH says:

There's always brownies.
ages ago (permalink)

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Ted Leung says:

I'd echo what Steve and Jeremy said. Our success is a function of scale. With 1000+ people in the Seattle Flickrites, it's really not that big a surprise that we can turn out 40-50 people for a shoot or seminar. That's just 5%. Also, within the Flickrites group, there is a pretty good sized social core, and those folks tend to show up to lots of events, and bring a few folks with them.

Regarding organizers, while the organizers help to maintain order, I think that we've done a good job of encouraging people to just start something, without waiting for an organizer to do it for them.

Finding other people who are interested, have some skill, and are willing to give back (we have some people who just take and don't give back) is really important. I don't think that you can underestimate the importance of the human/social factors. If you put a bunch of light geeks in a room, you're just as likely (or more) to get a bunch of arguing and chest beating as you are to get a warm friendly helpful bunch of people.
ages ago (permalink)

aloof board [deleted] says:

Do you guys charge a nominal fee for any of the events....like renting a cool warehouse space cost money...seems like everyone would have to pitch in to share some of the cost.
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mizz maze says:

40-50? Wow. And I thought we were doing well with 10 or so photogs showing up to the last LA meetup. We did have a great day, though :)
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timpweb says:

i thought Ogalthorpe was that chocolatly drink stuff that's supposed to be so good....
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evolved photography says:

DD2007.... for our Ohio meet we're charging $30 a head to rent the building.... the haunted house sets the price though, not us..... It's the price you pay for an ultra cool location though.
ages ago (permalink)

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

The smaller stuff is held in a university parking garage. And yes, normally about 50 peeps show up.

When there is a cost associated, we share the cost. Our first "big" event was rental of a studio for 4hrs. We had the run of the place. Several rooms, different setups, etc. We had a limit of 25 I think and it came to about $40/person. People understand this going in.

But basically we try to do alot of free stuff. A couple of the guys that JeffStewart mentioned (Terence and Dave) have been doing alot of instruction. Both Camera101 and Lighting101. They will get a room in one of the branches of the county library.

I'm still figuring out how to put together a Lighting102 thing.

As for our large hangar meetup. The one that has 30,00 sq. ft. Well, we have this anonymous benefactor. His name is Chase Jarvis. His people arranged that location. They took care of everything from reservation to insurance and they footed the bill. Props to the whole team (Kate, Rebekah, Dartanyon, Cody, and Scott) for supporting Chase and us in doing these events. We're currently in talks for a 2nd and 3rd.

We use flickr for informal discussions, but organize officially through Meetup.com. Here are some links:

Meetup - flickrfan.meetup.com/11/
Flickr Group - www.flickr.com/groups/seattlemeetups/
Seattle Strobist - www.flickr.com/groups/seattlestrobist/

And timpweb: I'm milky goodness but you gotta add the chocolate yo self.
ages ago (permalink)

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Darien Chin says:

I only show up for the brownies..

Add the chocolate yourself?? Is this turning into 2 Ogalthorpes 1 cup?!?
ages ago (permalink)

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rpsip says:

Is your cup half Ogalthorpe or half empty?
ages ago (permalink)

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

there is too much Ogalthorpe for any cup to hold.
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Wink of an Eye Digital Media says:

I thought you guys out in Seattle were just wanna be grunge band members? None of you really could make it in music...so....here we sit.....cactus wizards.and some delusional use of a cameras




LOL
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Wink of an Eye Digital Media edited this topic ages ago.

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WB - CMH says:

Oh.

Thy cup runneth over.
ages ago (permalink)

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Steve.Korn says:

Darien, we know all about your "special" brownies.
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Black English says:

what's a "gringe" band member?
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timmui says:

Lol. That would be a typo.

Edit: The parking garage idea sounds really interesting. I wonder if there are any in Suffolk county besides SUNY SB.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
timmui edited this topic ages ago.

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Steve.Korn says:

No, gringe is the next big thing. Trust me.

Wink just needs to take the oven mits off when he's typing, that, and realize that grunge ended, like 15 years ago. Come on, Wink, join the mid-90's.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Steve.Korn edited this topic ages ago.

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Wink of an Eye Digital Media says:

Definition: Gringe

Photographers facial expression when with to much coffee and or Mountain Dew is consumed and preceeds secondary strobe failure.

Tendency to grit ones teeth when Cactus Wizard fails

"He was so pissed when the strobe didn't go off he just Gringed"
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Wink of an Eye Digital Media edited this topic ages ago.

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