The Best of Photographic Lighting: Techniques and Images for Digital Photographers / Edition 1

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Bill Hurter explains the characteristics of light—both natural and artificial—in this in-depth guide. Fully exploring color balance, exposure, and light ratios, the handbook expands on skills learned in the studio to explain how to harness the beauty of less predictable lighting situations, like those shot outdoors or on location. Packed with tips from more than 30 top professionals on wedding, portrait, and commercial photography, this resource is sure to both educate and inspire.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is a must for anyone interested in creating portraits that are both marketable and memorable."  —PhotoStockNotes

"From the basics such as posing and composition, to technical aspects of focusing and lighting, this handbook addresses concerns for both amateur and professional photographers"  —

"A behind-the-scenes look at how the world's finest wedding photographers are using digital to shoot in more creative ways."  —PhotoGRAPHIC

"Packed with practical tips and truly dazzling images, this book will inform and inspire."  —Rangefinder

"A complete, fully comprehensive guide for portrait photographers. Packed with invaluable information."  —Light and Shade

"Hurter's wonderful tips are certain to push your images over the top and away from the ordinary. I highly recommend exploring the benefits of this book for yourself."  —Shutterbug

Art Book News Annual
The material is presented in detailed chapters beginning with the science of light and then covering lighting basics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584282174
  • Publisher: Amherst Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Edition description: Second edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 8.67 (w) x 10.98 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Hurter is the editor of "Rangefinder" magazine, the former editor of "Petersen's PhotoGraphic," and the author of "The Best of Wedding Photography," "Group Portrait Photography Handbook," "The Portrait Photographer's Guide to Posing," and "Portrait Photographer's Handbook." He lives in Santa Monica, California.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Simplicity is Essential 9
1 The Science of Light 11
What is Light? 11
Photons 12
White Light 12
The Behavior of Light 12
Reflection 13
Scattering 13
Refraction 13
Absorption 15
Light Intensity 15
The Color of Light 17
Color Balance 20
2 Lighting Basics 21
Two Primary Lights 21
Key Light 21
Fill Light 21
Size of the Light 21
Lighting Ratios 24
Determining Lighting Ratios 24
Lighting Ratios and Their Unique Personalities 26
Metering 27
3 Studio Lighting 28
Studio Strobe Systems 28
Monolights 28
Power-Pack Systems 29
What to Look For 30
Power 30
Flash Duration 30
Recycle Times 30
Modeling Lights 30
Color Temperature 30
Fan-Cooled Generator 30
Multi-Voltage Capability 30
Computer Control 30
Open-Flash Function 30
Head and Accessories 30
Types of Studio Strobes and Accessories 30
Barebulb 30
Barn Doors 31
Diffusers 31
Flats 31
Gobos 32
Grid Spots 32
Mirrors 32
Reflectors 37
Parabolic Reflectors 37
Scrims 39
Snoots 39
Softboxes 39
Strip Light 40
Spotlights 40
Umbrellas 40
Umbrellas, Shoot-Through 40
The Perfect Fill 42
Refltect Light Values 44
Specular Lightlights 44
Diffused Highlights 44
Shadow Values 44
Tabletop Lighting 45
Light Tents 46
4 Basic Portrait Lighting 48
Basic Portrait Lights 48
Key and Fill Lights 48
Hair Light 51
Background Light 51
Kicker Lights 51
Broad and Short Lighting 51
The Five Basic Portrait-Lighting Setups 52
Paramount Lighting 52
Key Light 52
Fill Light 52
Hair Light 52
Background Light 52
Loop Lighting 54
Key Light 54
Fill Light 54
Hair and Background Lights 54
Rembrandt Lighting 54
Key Light 55
Fill and Hair Lights 55
Background and Kicker Lights 55
Split Lighting 55
Key Light 56
Other Lights 56
Profile Lighting 56
Key Light 56
Fill Light 56
Hair and Background Light 57
The Fine Points 57
Overlighting 57
Key-Light Distance 57
Fill-Light Distance 57
Multiple Catchlights 58
Setting the Lights 58
Background Light 58
Hair Light 61
Fill Light 61
Key Light 61
Fuzzy Duenkel's One-, Two-, and Three-Light Setups 61
One-Light Setup 61
Two-Light Setup 64
Three-Light Setup 64
Favorite Lighting Setups 64
Bill McIntosh 65
Monte Zucker 65
Stacy Bratton 67
Larry Peters 68
Vicki Taufer 68
5 Indoor Location Lighting 70
Continuous vs. Instantaneous Light Sources 70
Lighting Groups 71
Types of Lights 71
Even Lighting 72
Light Positions 72
Feathering 72
Focus 72
Window Light 72
Advantages 72
Challenges 73
Direction and Time of Day 73
Subject Placement 74
Metering 74
Fill Light 77
Fill Cards 77
Room Lights 77
Bounce Flash 77
Custom White Balance 78
Diffusing Window Light 78
Mastering One Light 79
Handheld Video Lights 80
Diffused "Straight" Flash 82
Bounce Flash 82
Bounce-Flash Accessories 83
Bounce Flash Exposure 83
Multiple Lights 84
Remote Triggering Devices 84
Bill McIntosh: Multiple Strobes on Location 84
Gene Martin: Combining Light Sources on Location 86
Extending Depth of Field 88
Reciprocity Failure 88
Multiple Strobe Pops 89
Painting With Light 89
6 Outdoor Lighting 90
Finning the Right Light 91
Shade 91
Working at Midday 92
After Sunset 95
Controlling the Background 96
Depth of Filed and Diffusion 96
Retouching 96
Subject-to-Background Distance 96
Separation 96
Reflectors 98
Positioning 98
Natural Reflectors 100
Fuzzy Duenkel: Multi-Purpose Reflectors 100
Subtractive Lighting 101
Too-Diffuse Light 101
Overhead Light 101
Diffusion Screens 102
Spotty Light 102
Direct Sunlight 102
Backlighting 102
Metering 104
Flash Techniques 104
Barebulb Fill 104
Softbox Fill 105
TTL Fill 105
X-Sync Speeds 106
Metering and Exposure 106
Flash-Fill with Studio Strobes 106
Saturating Backgrounds 106
Flash Key 107
Flash Key on Overcast Days 107
Flash Fill with Direct Sunlight 108
Cool Skin Tones 108
Low-Angle Sunlight 109
Fuzzy Duenkel: Garage Light 111
Painting with Light Outdoors 111
The Photographers 112
Glossary 117
Index 121
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