Strobist Trading Cards, Vol. 1

I’m a self-admitted non-Strobist — “fake” light scares me when it comes to photography, and I haven’t yet taken the initiative to learn my way out of this phobia. So anything that can bring lighting techniques down to my level is welcomed with enthusiasm. I’m fairly certain that these trading cards from Zeke Kamm and David Hobby are the best way to reach (and teach) people like myself.

What’s that? Trading cards? Yup — bite sized gold nuggets of wisdom! These guys put together a pack of 24 cards (same size as baseball cards) with amazing photos on one side and lighting diagrams on the other. This is a great way to teach the subject — one example, one diagram, and one explanation. Each card displays a unique setup with unique results.

The really cool thing about the cards is that they cover a wide variety of setups. We’ve got everything from strobes, softboxes, gobos, umbrellas, flashlights, gels, bounce cards, natural light, and lights from the hardware store! The cards not only show you what equipment you need, but how to position it to achieve the effect displayed on the opposite side of the card. This is super-handy because positioning is just as important as the actual equipment.

Sample Card 1-0 Sample Card 1-1

The images on the cards mainly cover subjects such as portraits, still life, product, and food photography. But they even include a few macro, landscape, and various other topics. Hey, if nothing else, the photos are pretty amazing by themselves!

Sample Card 2-1 Sample Card 2-0

I would recommend this deck of cards to any photographer wanting to learn about “Strobist” techniques in a simple and straightforward manner. You basically get 24 different lighting lessons for less than $1 each. Not a bad deal! Visit the following link to get your own set!

STROBIST TRADING CARDS

Disclaimer: Zeke sent me a pack of the cards at no charge for the purpose of reviewing them and providing feedback. I was not payed for this review and I’m not in any way affiliated with the product owners or distributors. I just think they’re dang cool!

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Fake light scares me too Brian! These look pretty handy. Maybe if ever I go over to the ‘light’ side …

June 4, 2009 1:56 pm

While these look neat, it’s the very complexity of the setups that I think intimidates the average photographer. As someone who has done a lot of studio lighting–from tabletop to still life to fashion to products–I can tell you that the actual process is NOT complicated. I learned this approach from Michael O’Neil, a New York photographer, at a Maine Photo Workshops class many years ago: you start with one light. You set it up and shoot a test….How does your test look? Do you need to move the light? Add another light?
You slowly “build” the light, based upon the results of the tests. Simple, and simple to think about.
These how-to diagrams show the results of just-such lighting construction. It’s intuitive and not hard to learn, once you know how to approach it.
I’m working on some lighting articles right now that’ll be up on my blog soon, http://TheDiscerningPhotographer.com.

Andrew Boyd
The Discerning Photographer

July 4, 2009 4:32 am


The cards do sound useful but I imagine that they would have to be pretty simple instructions to help someone like me for example. Also they would have to keep me interested, I am not sure I could force myself to stay motivated for 24 cards to provide me the instructions but hey who knows!! Maybe I will check it out because every shot I try lately has a terrible light composition.
Thanks for the review regardless, at least now your readers have a few more options.
Regards
Adirec

July 27, 2009 2:28 am

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