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


Ecosystems 101: Intro

This site exists mostly for one reason: to help you to get comfortable with learning how to use your flashes. But what then? What next?

Some people are off to the races, applying their new skills to their already-meaningful path as a photographer. And from my perspective, that's the coolest thing to see: photographers using lighting skills to amp work that already had a strong compass point before they got to the lighting part.

Others seem to be content to just learn the skill, maybe buy some new gear, and move on to the next skill. It's as if it is not even about photography, but rather about collecting skills. And gear, of course. Don't forget the gear.

You can even distill this down to a single question, one that I am asked regularly:

"When are you going to do Lighting 103?"

Lighting 103? There is no Lighting 103. That's like saying, "When do we get to learn more of the alphabet," when what you really need to do is to figure out what you want to say and start writing with the 26 letters you already know.

When are we going to learn more about hammers? You know plenty about hammers. Hit the nail straight. Don't hit your thumb. Now build something.

But what? And why? These are both more important than the "how" part. The how is easy, and by definition usually comes first. But without the why, the how meaningless.

And if serially collecting skills and leading a happy-but-directionless life as a photographer is just fine with you, no need to keep reading. Go watch another tutorial instead. Or buy a lens. Or maybe another flash.

But for those who want to try to nurture a more purposeful life as a photographer, Ecosystems 101 will try to spark that discussion. If Lighting 101 is the how, the E101 is the what, and the why.

This is the v1.0 incarnation of E101. It'll grow and it'll get refined, just like Lighting 101 did. But as with all things, you gotta start somewhere.

Next: Who Are You and What Do You Want?


1. Intro
2. Who Are You and What Do You Want?
3. On Manufactured Opportunities
4. Photography as Catalyst
5. Mind the Gaps
6. Photography is a Currency
7. Forging a Sustainable Path
8. Play the Long Game
9. Saving Florida's Springs


New to Strobist? Start here | Or jump right to Lighting 101
Got a question? Hit me on Twitter: @Strobist
My current project: The Traveling Photograher's Manifesto