UPDATE: Strobist was archived in 2021.
Here is what I am up to now.


Welcome to Strobist

Strobist is a blog that was published from 2006 to 2021 by former Baltimore Sun photojournalist David Hobby. Available here in archive, it remains world's most comprehensive source for free photographic lighting education.

New to lighting? Welcome. Start with Lighting 101, linked below, as millions of other photographers have done before you. Or scroll down further to access Strobist's other free courses.

Strobist's Free Online Lighting Courses:
Lighting 101, 102, 103, and Lighting Cookbook

Lighting 101 is the core foundation of Strobist. It is a free, start-from-zero tutorial that will teach you the basics of lighting and minimalist lighting gear. Lighting 101 will have you up and running in no time—and at minimal expense.

Lighting 102 is the sequel to Lighting 101. Where L101 was about gear and basic concepts, L102 will teach you how to further understand and control the qualities of your light to make it do your bidding.

Lighting 103 is a deep dive into color. It explores the intersection of light and color to help you give your photos more nuance, realism and depth.

Strobist Lighting Cookbook combines the concepts learned in L101-103 to give you more understanding and fluidity with your lighting. We also explore some of the shoots from a 360-degree/ecosystem perspective.

A Baker's Dozen: Here you'll find a sampling of posts to help you understand the scope of the lighting education on this site.

From Classroom to Real World: On Assignment

On Assignment features full walk-throughs of over 170 real-world assignments, complete with discussions ranging from lighting to concept to execution—and even some screw-ups. It (largely) follows my path as a newspaper shooter and beyond, progressing from simple speedlights to more complex studio flashes.

Equip Yourself: Recommended Gear

Sad fact: There are a lot of companies that make some pretty crappy lighting gear, but are still happy to take your money. The Strobist Gear Guide is designed to help you avoid making many of the costly rookie mistakes I made over the first few years of my career. This is the gear that works for me, day in and day out. It is solid, reliable and will get the job done without destroying your wallet.

Feed Your Brain: The Strobist Bookshelf

Books are gear for your brain. Chosen wisely, they represent some of the best value for dollar you can spend as a learning photographer. Featured on the Strobist Bookshelf are my current favorites, winnowed from hundreds of books read over the course of my career. It is a relatively short list, but there are solid selections for nearly any lighting photographer.

And Finally, My Own (Post-Strobist) Project:
The Traveling Photographer's Manifesto

Since 2018, I've been teaching an annual workshop on how to think more like a photojournalist when you travel with your camera. The Traveling Photographer's Manifesto is, in many ways, the book version of this workshop. Learn more, here.