Digital Photography Lighting For Dummies (For Dummies (Lifestyles Paperback))

February 29, 2012 by  
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Digital Photography Lighting For Dummies (For Dummies (Lifestyles Paperback))

Improve your lighting technique to produce better quality photographsDigital Photography Lighting For Dummies features the tools, concepts, and steps you need to give your subjects a high-quality look and feel. Everyone from advanced beginners to aspiring professional photographers will improve their understanding of lighting basics as well as the parts and functions of their camera.Explains the different kinds of lighting that different situations require and guides you through changing the set

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3 Responses to “Digital Photography Lighting For Dummies (For Dummies (Lifestyles Paperback))”
  1. Robert S. Tobias says:
    13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A clear, easy to follow, guide to lighting for the “rest of us” photographer, March 3, 2011
    By 
    Robert S. Tobias (Arlington, VA USA) –
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    There are a number of books on lighting produced by world-class photographers. One very popular example is The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes. However, as interesting (and unquestionably worthwhile) as those books are, not many of us typically roll up to a job with a half dozen TTL flashes, cases of light modifiers, and a group of assistants/groupies to setup and hold stuff. The examples provided are not directly or immediately useful and must be “extrapolated downward” to situations we are more likely to face.

    The writer of this book, Dirk Fletcher, is a skilled photographer and accomplished instructor. That combination allows him to present real world advice that is actionable and methods that are accessible to photographers working alone within somewhat smaller budgets than would allow reserving football stadiums or renting elephants (that never got used). He is also the author of numerous books including Tall Timber Trollop (Spur Giant Special Edition), though I suspect that’s a different Dirk Fletcher. However, *this* Dirk Fletcher is, in addition to being an accomplished photographer, an excellent writer and teacher. This combination has resulted in a great introductory book on lighting. It is also a book that the accomplished photographer would find valuable.

    The book starts where all books on lighting should, describing light, the different kinds of light and how to use it. Following that is a discussion of equipment, everything from flashes to put in front, behind, and on top of them. In this section, as well as elsewhere in the book, I liked that many or the recommendations were for “simple things” that work well but don’t cost a lot. There are also some recommendations for specific products and I would have liked to see more of that.

    There are several detailed sections on measuring, adjusting, and creating exposures with a fair number of examples to demonstrate these principals. One of the things I likes was where the author used before/after examples to demonstrate the principles he was discussing. One of the shortcomings of this book was that I wished he had done that a lot more and that the examples were available on line for increased clarity.

    Next comes sections on lighting specific situations. It covers things like events, interiors, sports, night, the “Magic Hour” (when I’m either sleeping or eating supper), and a bunch more. I particularly liked the section on portrait lighting where you get a rough layout of light positions and subject positioning to cover most of the classic portrait configurations.

    Bottom line: A must read for anyone new to photographic lighting and even some experienced photographers.

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  2. JMR says:
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A great book on how to turn snapshots to beautiful images, September 24, 2011
    By 
    JMR (Columbia, MO United States) –

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    I bought this book several months ago, and am only now reading it. I wish I’d started sooner! Mr. Fletcher does a remarkable job explaining lighting concepts and techniques.

    I’m not a professional photographer, just someone who likes to take photos. My significant other IS a photographer, and has tried for a long time to get me to improve my skills. But since I don’t intend to be a professional, I haven’t wanted to spend a lot of time honing skills I’ll only use when I’m taking pictures of my cats, the wildlife that walk through my front yard, family and friends, or the occasional beautiful scenery.

    This book is perfect for my needs!

    It is packed with great information, AND it is a lot of fun to read. In what seems like a conversation with a knowledgeable friend, I’ve learned 1) to take advantage of ambient light, 2) adjust for fluorescent bulbs, 3) use lights — not just my built-in flash; all helping to make my photo subjects look their best. So without becoming a `professional’ (or spending the time required to be professional) I am taking much better pictures.

    Early in the book, you get a refresher course on basic camera settings (which I can never keep track of!) so it was nice to get a reminder on f-stops, shutter speed, ISO, and the different modes available on a digital camera. But after that brief section, it’s all about how to improve your creative vision. And with lots of photographic examples that illustrate differences you’ll see when using the techniques.

    If you already know how your camera works, and you’re looking for tips on how to make your photos even better, then this is the book for you. Personally, I’ve enjoyed trying all of these techniques, and am very proud of the photos I’ve been able to create!

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  3. J. Dassaro "Dassaro Imaging Photography" says:
    5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Intro to Lighting, March 20, 2011
    By 
    J. Dassaro “Dassaro Imaging Photography” (Tennessee, USA) –
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    I am a Nikon shooter and shoot only in raw (limited exceptions). My status as a photographer is best described as part-time professional in that I have a day job but make low level money on nights and weekends using my skills. My workflow involves SHOOT>transfer & tag using NIKON VIEW> Basic raw file editing in NIKON CAPTURE NX2> advanced editing in CS5> and general image management (watermarking) and output via LIGHTROOM 3. Granted, my workflow can be streamlined by using LightRoom instead of Nikon View. But, I am still working on my best solution and uncomfortable ditching Nikon at this point (even though Capture crashes regularly in Win 7). My lighting solutions are mult-fold. I use numerous Nikon SB-900’s and SB-600’s when on location. For stationary event photography and studio photography, I use a mid-range set of Interfit monolights (EXD400’s) and a back-light (EXD200).

    Advanced digital photography is all about lighting and lenses. This book completely covers the lighting aspect, typically very difficult and hard to understand, in such a way that it is a fantastic transition to more complex reading such as Hot Shoe Diaries. In that sense, consider this book foundational in scope. It could never replace Hot Shoe Diaries. Special note, Fletcher is in the same league as McNally and Kelby in terms of photographic skill. He just managed to write a book that is intended to target the lighting beginners.

    Unlike many other books, youtube training materials, etc.., Fletcher does not compel you to want to go and buy tons of gear. Instead, he shows that nearly anything can be used as a light modifier and relies on a simplistic approach (not that having 8 SB-900’s fire at once is not an awesome feeling). The before/after photos really drive home his points as it can be very difficult to visualize outcomes if you are not exposed to it on a daily basis. He assumes a more reasoned and practical approach. As lighting is a very technical subject, Fletcher does a good job avoiding being overly technical, which is real easy to do when discussing this subject. In fact, I argue it is a lot easier to use technical terms between power users.

    From describing what light is to discussing specific lighting scenarios and critical differences between controlled versus uncontrolled environments (such as event photography), the book is packed with valuable information that even serious photogs would refer to. However, it is perhaps best suited for the advanced shooter that is now ready to move into the next level of shooting as many shooters get into lighting only as a “last resort”, preferring the natural light solutions, which are far easier and of course free of tons of gear.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone serious about photography or just wanting to explore whether they want to get into lighting aspects.

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