Announcing: All-New Lighting 101

By the time you read this I'll be on vacation with the family. We're taking a road trip north into New England and Canada, where none of us have ever been before. (The above is in Maine, on the way to Prospect Harbor on Saturday night.)

That doesn't mean Strobist is closed. In fact today we're announcing a completely updated Lighting 101, among other things…

First off, please excuse any slow comment moderation this week as we'll frequently be out of both cell and wifi. I'll probably get the shakes from withdrawal between access points. I know the kids will.

After a quick stop in Boston, it is on to the Acadia/Schoodic region in Maine. (A summer squall moving into Bar Harbor is seen here.) From there we drive to Moosehead Lake, before finally heading up to Quebec City. And yeah, we're gettin' some poutine. Finally, a straight shot back home.

But about those site updates…

Lighting 101 Relaunch

Written in 2006 under the heavy influence of the flu, Lighting 101 was long overdue for a refresh. So I have been working on under the radar for a few months now. So if you have just read it very recently, you might not notice the big changes from the previous version.

(Photo by Strobist reader Sam Simon)

The update includes some gorgeous photos from Strobist readers, added diagrams, many completely recast posts and some current gear suggestions for beginners. After 7+ years, it was painful to look at it before. Things have changed quickly, and it had become so dated. (The PocketWizards were still blue.)

There are even some special discount codes embedded for longtime Strobist gear favorites. Please give the updated Lighting 101 a look, and please spread the word (link is for a pithy tweet) if you think it would be helpful to other photographers. Many thanks.

+1 For More Like This

You may have noticed recently that there are now Google "+1" buttons on the archive pages (i.e., the click-throughs, not the pre-jump on the home page) of each post. If you have a Google account, this is an easy way for you to keep track of favorite pages on the web or to share them.

But for our purposes, and since Google +1's are damn-near impossible to game, I am henceforth using them as a voting mechanism. It will be a real-time way for me to see which of the site's posts are your favorites and/or preferred subject areas.

So, if you like it, +1 it. I'll see it and most definitely take those numbers into account when deciding what to write about in future posts.

Major On Assignment Thread Update

The other major pillar of Strobist's educational archive is of course the On Assignment series. I have just threaded an additional 40 or so OA posts to the main archive page, bringing to almost 150 the number of link-threaded On Assignment posts.

They are chained together so you can eat them like peanuts if you like. Just click on any one from this huge list and go from there.

And we are on vacation. Seems like I just I blinked and Ben (a preschooler when the site launched) is two months away from being a teenager. And don't even get me started on "little" Em, who will be a sophomore in high school later this month. (What kind of bat works best for persistent sophomore boys, wood or aluminum?)

Not many opportunities left for summer trips. So thanks much for your patience as we enjoy a few lazy summer days as a family.



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Blogger John said...

Hope you and your family have an excellent vacation David!!

As far as sophomore boys go (I'm starting to deal with freshmen), I've found that having them over while cleaning your stainless steel, double barrel coach gun works wonders. You don't even need ammo for it, just a glimpse of it inspires Sith-like fear.

August 05, 2013 9:01 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

David, the rewrite of Lighting 101 is great. Congratulations.

Enjoy the north!

August 05, 2013 9:06 AM  
Blogger Cher Ping said...

Hi David,

re: persistent boys -
here you go. maybe you can use some of Bruce Cameron's ideas.

enjoy your vacation!

August 05, 2013 11:02 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Which "bat", for domestic applications ( US A ) I would suggest English cricket bat, lack of recognition will allow you to work closer to the "subject" there by making your "hits driven home" more effective. YMMV.

August 05, 2013 11:09 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the update AND keeping this important resource online for us to access.

August 05, 2013 11:22 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the update AND keeping this important resource online for us to access

August 05, 2013 11:24 AM  
Blogger Thomas Marvel said...

My daughter (who is now 27 with her own brood) used to say:
"Daddy you scare all my boyfriends"
To which I would respond:
"Just doing my job"

Upon meeting for the first time each boyfriend du jour, I would casually mention:
"I may not remember what I was thinking 10 minutes ago but I remember exactly what I was thinking about when I was 17"

August 05, 2013 11:36 AM  
Blogger Ernie Fenn said...

David enjoy your vacation. Still wondering if you would like some sample OM-HV58 Omni-Bounce units for the YP180?

August 05, 2013 1:21 PM  
Blogger Peter de Rooij said...

The best bat is the one you have with you.

August 05, 2013 1:33 PM  
Blogger Wink of an eye Digital said...

I believe you'll be traveling down 91 from Canada?
go to Curtis's barbecue in Putney Vermont
" you'll have what he is smoking"

August 05, 2013 2:45 PM  
Blogger Henry said...

David, I wish you and your family a great vacation! Love the update to Lighting 101.

August 05, 2013 2:53 PM  
Blogger Trucktographer said...

Enjoy your holiday!
I like the sound an aluminium bat makes when you tap it on a post . Preferably one close to the lad so he can hear it clearly... Then say quietly:

August 05, 2013 4:19 PM  
Blogger Gary C said...

Wait, you mean I just finished Lighting 101 a few days ago, and now I have to go back and re-read all that information again to further embded it in my mind?

My step father would warn the guys dating the grandgirls 'I have a 12 gauge and access to a backhoe, and 5000 acres.' Okay, so he didn't have the 5,000 acres, but they didn't know that.

Actually though, the best way is to take them into the kitchen, or whereever the 'trophies' are, and show him how she can put 25 rounds into the 'X' ring at 15 yards with your .45. :D

David, I wish you and your family a great vacation. I hope my lights, stands and umbrellas get here during the week so I can start to play with what you've taught me.

August 05, 2013 7:02 PM  
Blogger Mike Reed said...

Wood. Definitely wood.
Oh and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I found Strobist when I was learning to shoot five years ago and you've probably been the single greatest influence on my career. You're much appreciated.

August 05, 2013 9:36 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Did you intentionally leave the old date on your Lighting 101 course? I can't say I'm seeing the difference.


August 05, 2013 10:03 PM  
Blogger Mathew said...

@Mike Reed - Do you mean 101 was the greatest Influenza on your career?

August 06, 2013 1:28 AM  
Blogger Iain Anderson said...

What Mike Reed said. Seriously.

August 06, 2013 2:30 AM  
Blogger Admin said...

Awesome photos. Enjoy your vacation.

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August 06, 2013 3:42 AM  
Blogger MSGDLD said...

Enjoy yourself and your time with the family David. A beautiful area of the country. I hope to make it back up there some day.

Regarding Google +1, I don't think I've ever met a post on Strobist I didn't like. Some were more relevant to me, but all have been GREAT.

I had all boys, so I can't give you personal experience, but I can tell you that I like the nice thunk sound of a wood bat, but an aluminum bat won't break. Maybe one of each for each hand would work!

August 06, 2013 8:08 AM  
Blogger Stéphan Dupont said...

Enjoy your vacations and for your poutine, go for the real stuff in one of the 'Chez Ashton' franchises. :)

August 06, 2013 8:39 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As to the boys the following "legend" should strike psychological fear into them just say: "Before my current life, I worked for a government agency that doesn't exist any more. We did things, we did things that no one thought we were capable of. I still still talk to some of those guys...Good times."

August 06, 2013 9:12 AM  
Blogger Ian MacDonald said...

Got all excited 'cause I thought you were coming to Québec to also give a workshop. Oh well, next time. Love the changes. Amusez-vous bien au Québec et à Québec!

August 06, 2013 9:34 AM  
Blogger David Sikes said...

Seeing as how I've just started getting my feet wet with strobe lighting and visiting this site for only about a month, I feel positively spoiled to be starting out with your Lynda videos, Lighting 101 and Lighting 102 all available to me at once. Thanks for all the resources.

August 06, 2013 9:43 AM  
Blogger Copper R said...

Great post as usual, "nothing like the feel of good hickory" as per Clint Eastwood worked for me. Enjoy every moment of your kids, they will be off changing the world soon enough!

August 06, 2013 1:08 PM  
Blogger Keith Lewis said...

Lighting 101 was fantastic before, it actually changed my career. I recommend it all the time. I am looking forward to the new and improved version.

August 06, 2013 7:49 PM  
Blogger denton said...

I've been to all of those places and they are all wonderful, you'll come back with thousands of shots!

August 07, 2013 6:47 AM  
Blogger denton said...

I've been to all three of those places and they are all wonderful! You'll have a great vacation and come back with thousands of photos.

August 07, 2013 6:48 AM  
Blogger Steve Fett said...

Dave Happy Holiday
Swing by my place in Montreal!
You can try and convince my wife that "Strobist" is not some sort of Cult.
Need advice of what to visit in Quebec City...drop me a line.

August 07, 2013 7:09 AM  
Blogger Oxidd said...

Have fun in my province! Quebec City is a great place! If you have time stop by Montreal!

August 07, 2013 8:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Fourteen years ago, my line to my (future) son-in-law was "I have a shovel and a shotgun, and I know how to use them both". Had to apologize for using it at the wedding, because I only had a shovel...

Daughter and son-in-law now expecting our first grand-daughter. Gonna send him a link to this post!

August 07, 2013 11:27 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Great news about the updates. Like most here, this site has been most helpful as I've ventured into off camera flash this year. Looking forward to the new material and here's to enjoying your vacation with the family. Thank you.

August 08, 2013 7:11 AM  
Blogger Kemp Howland said...

Three cameras, ten strobes, gawd knows how many stands and modifiers... and now, thanks to 101, 102 and I am finally beginning to make pictures that I like, and actually understand what I'm doing. Thank You!!! PS- my preference was a heavy fireplace poker when counselling my daughters' young suitors. Most effective, and you can tape it to your light stand!

August 08, 2013 3:38 PM  
Blogger Zeitgeist Photography said...

Hey. I hope you are having/will have/ have had (depending on when you read this) a good time on your vacation. I hope you enjoy Boston too. If you need any advice on places in the area (and you read this before you are gone) let me know.


August 08, 2013 3:53 PM  
Blogger hotshoeless said...

Dear David -- you've commented a few times about how you wish there was a Gulf Photo Plus in the states and just off Route 1 in Rockport, Maine (just South of Camden) is Maine Media, a place that fits the bill. This year (so far) they've had Gregory Heisler, Lois Greenfield, Joyce Tenneson and many others. A few years ago they did an amazing presentation on the work of Arnold Newman with a bunch of former assistants. Both Heisler and McNally have taught there and we ought to get you, Don and the bearded one out there so they can collect the rest of the lighting guys set.

If you ever swing back out this way, please let us know in advance -- myself and the other locals can point out all of the classic/best spots to hit. Various natural wonders, old forts, lighthouses, places to eat and enough microbrew recommendations that Em would be driving for the rest of the trip. Sea Dog's Blueberry Wheat is a particularly interesting choice but I think our wide selection of summer beers tend to pair better with seafood.

I hope you and your family are having a wonderful time relaxing and enjoy your vacation. Worry about Em dating and driving after you get home.

August 08, 2013 4:36 PM  
Blogger H. Graham said...

Any chance of getting a "Share on Facebook" button so I can reblog choice posts there? Not all of us are interested in moving to Google Plus.

August 08, 2013 11:18 PM  
Blogger fishtoprecords said...

Bats? fooey. Be cleaning and polishing your shotgun when the boys come a-calling.

August 08, 2013 11:26 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


Ahh, but that is only similar for GPP to people who live in the area. GPP brings all of those caliber of people onsite at the same time, which is what makes it worth the effort for outsiders to come, too!


August 09, 2013 10:12 AM  
Blogger Poetic License Photo Blog said...

Enjoy the vacation!! (New England is one of my favorite places to visit -- although it really is BEST in Autumn!)

August 10, 2013 2:09 AM  
Blogger El Gato said...

My wife and I just got back from Quebec City for our honeymoon and the views were beautiful and the food was even better. Make sure you try out Le Lapin Saute which is the best French place in town and for a more contemporary twist, check out L'Escpace MC Chef. They have amazing sandwiches for lunch and an out of this world dinner where you can see it being prepared in the open kitchen. Also if you have a chance, check out Rockport, MA for some great views and better lobster.

I have some pics of Quebec and Rockport:

Hope you guys have a great time!

August 11, 2013 11:04 AM  
Blogger dboesen said...

Aluminum is more durable but I preferred the shaft from one of my old hockey sticks.

August 11, 2013 5:06 PM  
Blogger Paul Colvin said...

A little late to the party here, but about those persistent sophomore boys, there's always the Charles Barkley method: "I figure if I kill the first one, the word will get out." Enjoy your well-deserved vacation!

August 12, 2013 1:49 PM  
Blogger Peter Steeper said...

When young pimply faced guys arrived at our house to date the girls I'd put them to work. The good guys would help out and the useless ones would disappear.

August 20, 2013 1:24 PM  

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