BL Blog Presents: The BL Lighting Cookbook

BL News

Not so long ago, we held a poll on our site that asked the question, “What kind of post would you most like to see on our blog?” By a pretty substantial margin, “Lighting Tips and Tutorials” won out over all the other options.

So, when the idea of creating our first educational iPad app came about, creating an app that housed a series of lighting tutorials was pretty-much a no-brainer. So, without further ado, we present: The Lighting Cookbook.

The Lighting Cookbook

The Lighting Cookbook

For this app, we basically took some of the most popular lighting-related stories from our blog, added a bunch we shot and wrote up specifically for this app, and presented all of it in a single, easy-to-reference package. The goal was to create a resource that you could either flip through at your leisure, or pick up and check the lighting diagram for an image featured in the app.

To start with, we have ten “recipes” for you. Besides the finished image, each recipe has a gear list with easy links back to that item’s rental page, a lighting diagram, and a brief description of the methodology behind the image. For a few select “Featured Recipes,” we’ve gone a step further, showing you behind-the-scenes images, setup shots, and a more detailed explanation of the photographer’s mindset and process.

The app also features a Foreword by noted photographer and educator Syl Arena. Syl wrote what many consider to be the bible of Canon flash photography, and was kind enough to pen a few words to introduce the app.

Foreword to the BL Lighting Cookbook by Syl Arena

Foreword to the BL Lighting Cookbook by Syl Arena

While we’ve started with just ten recipes, this is by no means a static app. We’ve already got an update in the works that will bring you even more ย recipes, behind-the-scenes images, and even videos.

The BL Lighting Cookbook is available now for the iPad only, on the iTunes App Store. Get it now!

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Sohail Mamdani is a writer and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. You can find his portfolio on his website at as well as on 500px and Flickr.

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  • […] just released a neat reference for iPad-toting photographers: The BL Lighting Cookbook. The cookbook is a free iPad-only app that includes several common off-camera lighting situations with examples and behind-the-scenes diagrams for achieving the effects. Of course, there are also links to the gear being used to get the shots to encourage you to rent equipment from the company. (I’ve used them for lens rentals in the past and was very happy with the service.) The company has more to say on their blog. […]

  • Margot says:

    Sounds like a wonderful app….too bad I don’t have an iPad. :(

  • Any chance there will be an Android version any time soon?

  • Philipp Hager says:

    It would be real cool, to have this also as WebApp using HTML/CSS/JavaScript – for those with crappy phones and no tablets ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • averan says:

    seriously. enough of the apple club members only stuff! not all photogs and video professionals work on ipads or macs.

  • lafasta says:

    Where’s the Android version?? Why are the Android users always left out? :(

  • […] First, if you didn’t hear about it last week, our first educational app for the iPad is now out. The BL Lighting Cookbook features a variety of lighting scenarios and tools, and is available FREE form the iTunes App Store. […]

  • […] Very low light portrait at ISO 6400, f/2.8, and 1/30th of a second. Off-camera lighting is often a good idea in these situations. Learn more about off-camera lighting. […]

  • Chris Adval says:

    I’d love to read it but I’m a PC guy… ๐Ÿ˜ … I’ll see about install itunes, then uninstall it for the PDF… should really just give the PDF, i know its free but just a fruit for thought.

  • Chris Adval says:

    seems like a slap to everyone else who don’t own iPads… and saying iPad owners you are the only important customers we got… here you go ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • A A says:

    This sounds wonderful. Is there any way to get it without getting the evil Apple Inc richer? I’m not an iDiot and am not planning to become one ever. Please, seize the power from the all-controlling, way overpriced, compatible-with-nothing Apple. They are EVIL.

  • Don’t bother downloading until they get it fixed. The app keeps crashing. I even deleted it and re-installed it. Same result.

    Seriously, it’s not a big document. Save it as a PDF and make it available for download. In its present form it is rather useless.

  • Hello all,

    Just a quick update on the Cookbook: we’re working on re-tooling the app with a cross-platform framework so we can release it on Android as well. It will also be updated with new lighting recipes, behind-the-scenes videos, and more.

    We are also looking at releasing a less interactive version of it in PDF format, as Debbie suggests, and may do that ahead of the release of the cross-platform app, so stay tuned for more info on that.


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