Strobist Lighting Cookbook



NOTE: Links to individual lessons are below.


Latest post: 1L-05: Living in the In-Between

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The Strobist lighting Cookbook is an ever-growing practical manual for how to use your flashes. For SLC, we will assume you have read Lighting 101 through Lighting 103. (If not, start here.)

Unlike On Assignment, which was haphazard and chronological, the SLC will build out to be an organized resource. You'll be able to find a solution set for yourself if, for example, you just own one light.

The examples will be mostly speedlight-based, and grouped by the equipment it takes to make them. This way you can learn what you can do with your present gear, and/or make a more informed decision as to whether to add another light to your bag.

The categories for the Strobist Lighting Cookbook are:


No Lights (0L)

Having a better understanding of ambient light will make you a better lighting photographer. Ideally, you want to get to a point where ambient and strobe are seen as virtually interchangeable. If you don't own any lights, 0L is for you.

0L-01: Flash or Continuous, Light is Light
0L-02: Shiny Object, iPhone and the Sun


One Light (1L)

Combined with a good grasp on ambient light (and how to balance it) even just one light gives you some cool options. But you have to work within some creative restrictions. Shooting with one light is usually compromise between what you'd like to do, and what you're equipped to do.

1L-01: One Light Outdoors—Find Shade
1L-02: One Light, Inside the Frame
1L-03: Use The Edge of Your Box for Better Light
1L-04: Useful Hack for Manual Flash at Sunset
1L-05: Living in the In-Between


Two or More Lights (2L)

Adding a second light is the sweet spot for most photographers. A second light lets you add separation, either on your subject or on your background. Or it can let you control the shadows created by your first light. And if you want to add a third light (or more) we'll explore that here, too.

2L-01: Owning The Sun With Two Speedlights
2L-02: Two-Speedlight Daylight Group Shot
2L-03: Use Your Second Light to Hide Your First Light
2L-04: Use a Tight Grid to Create Color
2L-05: Thank you [BTS/360]


Odds and Ends (OE)

If it doesn't fit well anywhere above, it goes here: DIY, cool hacks, connective tissue for the gaps above, and the like.

OE-01: $20 DIY Portable Doorway Diffuser
OE-02: Off-Label Compact Lighting Bag, for $23 Shipped
OE-03: How to Choose a Softbox for your Speedlights
OE-04: Cheap, Portable Outdoor Light Source


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How to Follow Along

The Strobist Lighting Cookbook will grow in size and usefulness as new posts drop in. There is, however, no set schedule. If you are on the mail list, you'll get a heads-up anytime a new idea or technique is published. Or you can also keep tabs on new SLC posts via Instagram.

As for scope, the Lighting Cookbook is totally open-ended. We'll see where it goes when we get there.


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New to Strobist? Start here | Or jump right to Lighting 101
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