You Got Questions, We Got Answers.
I'm David Hobby, a 20-year career newspaper shooter. I studied photojournalism at the University of Florida. I have shot for the Leesburg (FL) Commercial, the Orlando (FL) Sentinel, UPI, and lots of other publications as a freelancer/stringer/intern. I have been a staff photographer at Patuxent Publishing (Columbia, MD) from '88-'99 and at The Baltimore (MD) Sun from '99-'08.
I left The Sun in 2008 to blog and shoot full-time.
When/why did you start this blog?
Originally, Strobist was launched in April of 2006 as an excuse to get out of lecturing to my friend Gail Burton's photo class. I figured I would try to save some time by just writing it down once. In that sense, Strobist has been a spectacular failure.
How much time do you spend blogging?
About eight hours a day. There's a lot more behind-the-scenes work that you would think. Certainly more than I expected. I have met The Devil, and his name is "e-mail."
Dude, why Blogger.com? Why not your own URL?
I think Blogger rocks. It's free, Google indexes it better than any other platform (they own it) and it is very robust. Plus, being Google, I know it will be around in five years. Bandwidth is not a problem on this free platform either. I contacted them and asked if we were getting too big for the free service and they had a nice chuckle over it and sent me a shirt.
Seriously, they are great folks and I highly recommend them and their free platform. Without it, there would not be a Strobist.
What Blogger template do you use?
I use Minima Black, an old-style blog (not the drag and drop, widgety version) and it has been heavily modified a little at a time. I am not a coder. I completely suck at it. I just learn enough to do the little thing I am trying to get it to do by looking at other site's source pages.
If you are thinking of choosing a Blogger template to customize, I think Minima Black and Minima White offer solid, simple platforms from which to start.
How do I subscribe to your blog?
I make my entire post available over RSS feeds. You can subscribe by clicking here.
How much traffic does Strobist get?
As of November, 2007, over 1.5 million page views a month, from over 300,000 photographers around the world. The RSS and email feeds typically add another 1 million+ views per month.
My company makes lighting-related stuff. Can I advertise here?
Possibly! See here for more information on rates and reader demographics. But you should know the advertising has been full for some time, and people almost never leave. There's a wait list if you are interested.
Hey, I just saw this cool thing you should know about for your blog. What's the best way to tell you about it?
Leave me a comment on any comment-enabled (most are) post. I will see it. I get over 100 (non-spam) emails a day, so I have long since given up on trying to respond to every email. I wish I had time to, but it just got way too crazy. But I very much appreciate tips to anything lighting related, and I can promise you that I will see it.
What kind of stuff are you most interested in?
Anything that shows lighting technique used to get cool shots, if that particular technique has not been heavily covered here. Of particular interest are shot/setup articles, and especially videos. The preferred host is YouTube, although anything we can embed is acceptable.
Hey, I have, like, 300 porn sites. Where is the best place to spam links to them? In your comments?
(This, good people, is why your comments have to be moderated.)
Can I link to my own blog generically, in a comment?
The short answer is yes. But there is a fine line between comment spam and information flow. A link to your site raises the bar for the information that should accompany it in your comment. The more on-topic and discussion-oriented your comment is, the more likely your link-bearing comment will pass moderation.
For instance, this kind of comment:
"You has a nice blog. I has nice blogs to (Link, link, link, more links, link)..."
...ain't gonna make it.
Can I use your material in my site?
You may quote small amounts of material (one or two paragraphs) or abstract material, as long as you provide a link to the original post. You can get a "permalink" by clicking on the time stamp at the bottom of any post.
What about translations to other languages?
There is a blog that is following Lighting 102 in Spanish and Flickr groups which discuss Lighting 101 in Italian and German. I am an admin on all of these sites, which is a requirement as I do not permit content to be translated into sites that I do not control. It is a safeguard against infringement.
It is the only way to make sure all of the work I put into this site doesn't diffuse into the ether. Thanks for understanding. You can find more info on various policies in Strobist's TOS page.
Can I steal your entire posts for my automated scraper blogs that are pretty much designed to be Adsense link farms?
No, you may not. And if you do, the black helicopters will come for you. Or, I might just DMCA your website's ISP and they will fix the problem very quickly. But you won't like how they do it.
I am shooting a wedding on Saturday. What kind of flash should I buy?
No kidding. That is a verbatim question I have received. For gear and technique questions (hopefully better reasoned than that one) try the Strobist Flickr Discussion Threads. There are over 75,000 photographers ready to help you and learn from you.
Seriously, I do not think there is a more civil and helpful photo group on the 'net. Of all of the neat things Strobist has spawned, I am most proud of our group's friendly, knowledge-sharing ethic.
75,000 people? Are they any good?
You tell me.
Have a question to add to the FAQ? Hit me in the comments. If it is helpful to a broad number of readers, I will add it. Thanks!
(Last update: 10/17/2012)