Lighting in Layers Update: Wider Availability, Download Version and a Trailer

First, thanks for the kind words from many of you who already have purchased Lighting in Layers. We worked very hard on the project; the notes, comments and reviews are much appreciated. A trailer has now been posted to give people a better idea of what LiL is about.

The hard copy DVDs are now available at Midwest Photo, Adorama, Amazon, Gulf Photo Plus and

And … the downloadable ($99.95 USD) version is live, here. I know many non-US readers were waiting on this. It is the same drag-and-drop (iPhone/iPad/iPod, laptop, Android, etc.) file set that is included along with the $159.95 hard copy version. They are 640x480 .mp4 files, encoded via h.264 for maximum compatibility file size economy (2.9Gb total) for portable media players.

PLEASE NOTE: If you want to test the CODEC on your machine first, you can download a short vignette in the exact same format via Mediafire, for free.

Alas, the subtitled version is taking far longer (grrr…) than expected. I very much hoped to have it ready by now but the video producer is still working on it. Apologies, and I will post as soon as it is up.

Full information on Lighting in Layers is here; after-the-fact Flickr discussion thread for viewers, here.



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Blogger PeejAvery said...

Is the DVD version also at 640x480 or 720x480?

May 31, 2011 9:57 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


The DVDs are normal DVD resolution (standard, not Blue-Ray). The DL resolution was optimized for a balance of file size and quality, as many people will drag them to portable players. And even compressed to two Gb's, the DL will take quite a while for people without fast connections.

May 31, 2011 10:15 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

My ipad says: Safari can't downlosd this file.

May 31, 2011 12:17 PM  
Blogger DS_Hodgins said...

It's an awesome series, David. Thanks so much.
Only one question: Will the sound track ever come available?

May 31, 2011 12:43 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


iPad/iPhone/iPod is kinda proprietary about the way they handle medial files. You would need to DL the file to a computer and then move it into iTunes for moving onto a portable device. (Same with the full DL version.)

May 31, 2011 12:57 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


Thanks! And as for the sound track ... I would not hold my breath. :)

May 31, 2011 12:58 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

This is THE DVD series anyone who has ever picked up a camera and a flash in each hand, needs. It is out standing. I got my during the Flash Bus tour and I will tell you that I have watched twice and I learn something ever time.

Thank you David!

May 31, 2011 2:15 PM  
Blogger Dominik Schenker said...

As a seasoned photographer I can really recommend to watch "Lighting in Layers". I learned a lot, not only your way of lighting with smal flashes. Thanks. I'm looking forward to your next DVD

May 31, 2011 2:26 PM  
Blogger Patey North said...

David, I was going to say I want to buy this DVD set to support you, but I'm just kidding myself. I'm certain I'll benefit from this purchase more than you ever will. Can't wait to get this!

May 31, 2011 2:46 PM  
Blogger datura-takara said...

You Beauty! finally something priced at it's straight conversion rate (not the same number in UK £ as US $ +30%) Magic!

May 31, 2011 2:57 PM  
Blogger Arno said...

Hey David, thanks for making this available as download. We europeans really appreciate that! (no more locked region-coded DVD drives :-O )

May 31, 2011 4:39 PM  
Blogger Richard Mayrand said...

Thank you David, for this site and the 2 dvd sessions. I enjoy them both tremedously and I try to put what you so gracefully share, in practice. I'm trying, I swear!

I love the idea and concept behind HOCO360 and I'm trying to set-up something similar for my own part of the world, back here on the SOuth Shore of Montreal.

Thank you very much for everything so far and I hope that one day you will bring the Flash Bus to Montreal!

May 31, 2011 4:41 PM  
Blogger David Leadbitter said...

Hi David

Thanks for the wonderful blog!
For about a year now, I have been delightfully sucked into your “vortex of edutainment.” Try as I may at times to move away from “Strobist” and attend to something supposedly useful like cutting the grass, mending a fence or painting a wall ... the blog holds me there in its bottomless pit of creativity.
Your blog continues to teach and inspire!

David Leadbitter

May 31, 2011 5:57 PM  
Blogger sevkpaul said...

Hey David, I've been lurking for almost 2 years now and finally decided to post. :D

I was wondering why you're not using your youtube channel more often? I just discovered it though this video and thought to myself you'd be the perfect person for unboxings, reviews or small tutorials or tips!

Will def order the DVDs later this year.

May 31, 2011 7:29 PM  
Blogger George said...

David, I got the DVD series with my Flash Bus registration. It was incredible. Recently I had a chance to put it to use.

I took a Horizon Photography Worshop on Creativity & Vision over Memorial Day weekend down in Chesapeak City, MD. One of the days we went to Fort Delaware to photograph the fort and the character actors there. Steve Gottlieb, the Horizon director, and given me a brief refresher on building a flash picture which echoed your "Lighting in Layers" approach.

About 5 minutes before we had to meet the tram to leave the fort, I came across the blacksmith shop. While he was giving his demonstration, I started... set the ambient w/just enough exposure to give life to the flames and a bit of backlight from the window, then held the SB700 as far off camera as I could and bounced it off a bit of plaster I found high on the ceiling. Used a combination of tips from you, Joe and the Horizon workshop.

Oh, a bit of lucky timing helps...


May 31, 2011 10:12 PM  
Blogger Skavoovie said...

BAM! A hundred bucks just mysteriously jumped out of my wallet and ran out the front door about 30 seconds after I read the post.

Thanks for the alternative purchase option David -- the price point really helped justify what was just a bit too much for me to be able to spend on videos right now, as tempting as it was during the FlashBus tour.

Speaking of the FlashBus, how about hinting around a similar idea to Joe? :)

Excited to start watching!

May 31, 2011 11:31 PM  
Blogger evansb2 said...

Any chance this'll be available through the iTunes Store? The quality would be a tad better (I think, after an informal head-to-head comparison) and playable across all Apple products.

June 01, 2011 1:24 AM  
Blogger Per said...

The page where you order the downloadable version gives the impression that you're ordering the boxed 7 DVD set. Had I not come from this blog post I would have thought I was ordering the physical DVD's.

June 01, 2011 3:08 AM  
Blogger Box of Frogs said...

@David - just want to make sure, being the tech dullard that I am!, that the download version is perfectly acceptale to play on my windows PC and I don't need to drag it to itunes to watch it?

Also, once downloaded can I archive it to a DVD (s) in case of computer failure?



June 01, 2011 4:23 AM  
Blogger Aussie Girrrl said...

Really looking forward to buying this but getting this message: "Your customer information could not be processed on the current order. "
I'm in Australia and trying to pay by PayPal. Help!

June 01, 2011 5:19 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Lighting in Layers doubled what I knew about photography. I can't recommend it highly enough. It gave me invaluable tips on how to light the interior of my neighborhood library in preparation for its upcoming 50th anniversary celebration.

June 01, 2011 8:33 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


Usually a matter of not having enough time. I am more efficient with writing, typically...


Ha! Cool shot -- and that is some pretty darn specific pre-help via the DVDs. :)


Probably a good idea...


We considered iTunes, but then went w/FastSpring on several different recommendations.


THat's a good point. THank you -- I'll fix that.

@BoxofFrogs -

THat is exactly why I made a test file downloadable for free -- see link in post. And yes, the full set will fit on a DVD_ROM for archiving (it is 2.9Gb) but those would just be archived files, not a DVD that you could just stick in a player.


Any support Q's should go to FastSpring -- I know nothing about that end! There should be a pop-up dialog box for tech support from FastSpring. Or you could email if that does not work.

June 01, 2011 11:17 AM  
Blogger David said...

Awesome... I've been waiting for a portable version. Just ordered it now... I can't wait. My wife will hate you :-)

June 01, 2011 12:59 PM  
Blogger Alberto said...

Love it, now just tell McNally to do the same with his language of light. I have to carry my DVDs around in my bag and now I can watch your dvds on my ipad!

June 01, 2011 9:21 PM  
Blogger gavz said...

Hi David, thanks for providing a downloadable version, living in Canberra, Australia this makes it a much quicker (and cheaper) purchase. I have just finished watching the first disk (and just started the second). The production quality is awesome - much more professional than the previous seminars. Excellent communication during the shoot and terrific breakdown afterwards. I'll be recommending this to all of my friends!

As I was watching the start of the second disk I was wondering how you were lighting it - sure enough you talk about it too - brilliant!

June 04, 2011 3:31 AM  
Blogger Nikon Coach said...

Yes, I blame it all on the Flash Bus tour! Thanks, Mr. Strobist (and JoeM).

After attending the seminar in San Francisco, I watched the earlier DVDs, "Strobist Lighting Seminar". Having been a regular reader of this website, I kinda knew what goes on behind the scenes but seeing Mr. Strobist explain and then demonstrate them crystallized the concepts and techniques.

I have recently ordered "Strobist Lighting in Layers". I am curious to fidn what the these DVDs will contribute to my new found hobby. Can't wait to learn from them!

June 14, 2011 11:40 PM  
Blogger The Madman said...

Just FYI, if your computer won't play any one type of video file because of a lack of a codec, download VLC Media Player. I have yet to find something it can't play, including the downloadable version of these vids.

June 16, 2011 2:18 PM  
Blogger Kalare Studio said...

Hi Dave,
One of the most, if not the most, useful DVD sets I've ever purchased. Quick question, can you or someone else following this point me to a link for the boom setup you used?



June 17, 2011 4:39 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

Thanks, Dan-

Gear links and info for the whole set are here.


June 17, 2011 5:07 PM  
Blogger Lisa*Asil said...

Will the version with subtitles cost the same as the version without subtitles?

June 24, 2011 1:08 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


Yes, both in hard copy and download versions.


June 24, 2011 4:59 PM  
Blogger Henry said...

David, in addition to the great information on lighting, there were a few music tracks in the DVD's I really enjoyed. Especially the one where you used the Orbis on the girl in front of a red back drop. How can I get (and pay) for a copy of that music.

July 26, 2011 4:39 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


Thanks! As for the music, it was from a commercial package of what is called "library music," designed for use in background to video and TV projects. I liked that one, too, but I am pretty sure it is not commercially available. (It was a 2.5-minute loop, if I remember correctly.)


July 26, 2011 8:58 AM  

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