Creative Lighting: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques


How to make digital photography lighting more creative—and less challenging!

How do you master the art of lighting your photographs? Go beyond the basics, go beyond the "rules," and get creative with the help of renowned photographer Harold Davis. In this book, Harold shows you how to break the boundaries of conventional wisdom and create unique, lively, and beautifully lit photographs.  Packed with tips and tricks as well as stunning examples of the author’s creativity, ...

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How to make digital photography lighting more creative—and less challenging!

How do you master the art of lighting your photographs? Go beyond the basics, go beyond the "rules," and get creative with the help of renowned photographer Harold Davis. In this book, Harold shows you how to break the boundaries of conventional wisdom and create unique, lively, and beautifully lit photographs.  Packed with tips and tricks as well as stunning examples of the author’s creativity, this book will both inform and inspire you to create your own lighting style.

  • Teaches you when and how to control the light in your photographs
  • Reviews the basic “rules” of digital photography lighting and shows you how to break the rules to create your own uniquely lit images
  • Helps you start building a lighting style of your own
  • Includes stunning examples of the author’s photography and lighting techniques

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned digital photographer, you'll find ideas and techniques to spark your creativity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470878231
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/22/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 663,025
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Harold Davis is an award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Creative Portraits: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques, Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques, and Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques. Harold writes the popular Photoblog 2.0,

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Table of Contents

8 Introduction

10 Seeing the Light

12 Quality of Light

12 Understanding Light

16 Characteristics of Light

18 The Golden Hour

22 Intensity of Light

28 Direction of Light

34 Color of Light

40 Diffusion

44 Backlighting

46 High-Key and Low-Key Lighting

50 Chiaroscuro

52 Understanding Reflectivity

56 Transparency versus Opacity

60 Lure of Shadows

64 Light and the Monochromatic Vision

68 Exposure and Lighting

70 Understanding Exposure

74 Overexposure and Underexposure

78 Using a Histogram 82 Aperture

84 Aperture, Depth-of-Field, and Focus

86 Working with Shutter Speed

92 ISO

94 Causes of Noise

98 Using Exposure Controls with Lighting

102 White Balance and Color

108 Pre-Visualizing the Impact of Lighting

112 Working with Ambient Light

114 Understanding Ambient Light

120 Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

122 Landscapes

126 City Light

132 Close-Ups and Macros

136 Using a Fill Lighting

142 Using Flash as Supplemental Lighting

146 Using Window Light

150 Night Photography

158 Light Painting

162 Lighting in the Studio

164 Continuous Lighting

170 Setting the Stage

174 Using Natural Light

176 Integrating Natural Light with your Still Life

178 Creating Transparent Effects

182 Working with Shadows

186 Reflections

190 Refractions

192 Metal

196 Strobe Lighting Equipment

200 Lighting People in the Studio

206 Studio High-Key and Low-Key Lighting

210 Lighting in the Digital Darkroom

212 Multi-RAW Processing

215 Controlling Exposure with Multi-RAW

220 Creative Effects using Multi-RAW

224 HDR and Lighting

234 Enhancing Lighting with Adjustment Layers

238 Light Quality and Blending Modes

242 Using the Lighting Effects Filter

246 Third-Party Plugins that Enhance Lighting

250 Notes and Resources

252 Glossary

254 Index

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Creative, Practical and Smart

    Harold Davis has written a great "Creative." series of books (Black & White; Night; Close-Ups; Artistry; Composition; Landscapes). I started reading "Creative Lighting" after a perfect segue in completing his "Creative Portraits: Digital Tips & Techniques." This library of books are a must have from beginning photographers looking to stretch their skills to experienced photographers looking to enhance their expertise.

    "Creative Lighting" is not just about flash, softboxes and the like. It is about understanding light in all its permeations, the complete spectrum from natural available light to sophisticated illumination set-ups. For a photographer, it is critical that you understand the quality of light. Photography's prime ingredient is light. Quality of light is influence by brightness, temperature, distance, angle, time, duration, reflection, reflective surface behavior and size of the light source. This is a smart, practical text presented in a very approachable format. Understanding the weight of highlights and shadows in influencing the appeal of an image is critical for a photographer. As Davis points out that although it is subjective, "good lighting is the key to good images, great images."

    The book is set up into five distinct sections: Seeing the Light; Exposure and Lighting; Working with Ambient Light; Lighting in the Studio; and, Lighting in the Digital Darkroom. This contributes to the utilitarian nature of the book that serves as a handy resource to return to when questions arise. In addition, each topic is illustrated by excellent images that demonstrate the technique or concept being explained.

    What I like most is that the subjects explained and demonstrated are real world situations. This is not a book extolling how extraordinary images were created with a multiple light sources enhanced by a troupe of assistants. The text gives you the tools to understand and visualize an image then move ahead to create using resources commonly available to most photographers.

    Light is the language of photography and this fine book will help you become fluent in understanding, interpreting and expressing your unique vision.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Lighting at its Creative Best

    Harold Davis has done it again this time with Creative Lighting: Digital Tips and Techniques, the latest in his Creative: Digital Tips and Techniques series. Harold teaches us to understand light and then to use the light in photography and then to use the light artistically or creatively. The title of this book Creative Lighting at first lead me to believe this would be about controlling artificial light however the majority of the book is teaching about and using the ambient and existing natural light. Harold names the models that he photographs and several are his family members, kind of gives the reader a sense of knowing the author on a level greater than that of just of writer/reader, I enjoyed that. Reading this book has made me more aware of the light around me both with and without a camera in hand. Using the information in this book has improved my photography, which is the reason that I buy books about photography. It is my opinion that a photography library is incomplete without one or more of the books from the "Creative" by Harold Davis.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Please Don't Tell Me My Photo Is Nice

    Why? Because nice is the worst word a photographer can hear. Why is it the worst? Let me paraphrase Eddie Wilson taking about music. "What's nice mean. If I was at a club and heard you play, I'd enjoy myself, but then I'd go home and forget all about it. That's nice." To further paraphrase Eddie, "If you want people to remember you, you have to have something to say, not just show. If you have something to say, they'll remember you because you spoke to them. They can wrap themselves up in your music."

    Music and photography have a number of things in common. Both are creative endeavors, both are better when there is an audience and both are based on emotions.

    Harold Davis states in the book, "The most important idea is to understand the emotional response you want to engender in someone looking at your photo." If you reach a viewer emotionally, you then have something to say, not just show.

    So how does Mr. Davis help you to have something to say with your photography. By showing you how to not only see the light, but to understand how to use it effectively to generate an emotional response in your photos.

    Mr. Davis not only provides an excellent review of exposure and lighting, but covers the use of ambient and studio lighting. The book finishes up with a look at how to use the digital darkroom to further enhance the lighting in your photos.

    Harold provides a wonderful selection of his own photos as examples of the creative use of lighting. If you have any doubt about whether or not Mr. Davis can use lighting effectively to reach an audience, take a look at his online photos and I believe you will be convinced he knows what he is talking about.

    This book is another in the Creative series and all have helped me become a better photographer. As I said in a previous review, I like the way Mr. Davis writes. He uses a very conversational approach which resonates with me. I find that there is little overlap between his books and, like this one, each passes on not only very usable techniques, but also wonderful lessons in creativity. This book works for me, and I believe you'll find it works for you as well. Let Harold Davis help you take your photography from forgettable to memorable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

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