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Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting / Edition 2

Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting / Edition 2

5.0 2
by Fil Hunter, Paul Fuqua, Steven Biver

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ISBN-10: 0240802756

ISBN-13: 9780240802756

Pub. Date: 02/28/1997

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

No matter how smart your digital camera is, its lighting is hit-or-miss at best. That's still a job for your eyes and brain. Lighting is worth the effort to learn well-there is no other skill that can improve your photography so much, so quickly. This is not your typical how-to book! This is a tried-and-true how to understand book. How to understand and predict the


No matter how smart your digital camera is, its lighting is hit-or-miss at best. That's still a job for your eyes and brain. Lighting is worth the effort to learn well-there is no other skill that can improve your photography so much, so quickly. This is not your typical how-to book! This is a tried-and-true how to understand book. How to understand and predict the size of light, types of reflections, and the family of angles. Master these principles and you can shoot any portrait, any surface, anywhere!

With the third edition of Light-Science & Magic you will: Master shooting metal, glass, and portraiture, Learn how to make educated judgments about where to maintain detail (and losing it where the viewer will not notice) Save time with the post-production fixes given to common lighting problems. Styles of lighting continue to change, but the nature of light will always remain the same. Once you understand the basic physics of lighting your creative potential is endless!

About the Author:
Fil Hunter, has worked for such clients as US News & World Report, Time Life Books, and National Geographic

Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
7.02(w) x 9.98(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

How to Learn Lighting     3
What Are "The Principles"?     4
Why Are the Principles Important?     4
How Were the Example Subjects Chosen for This Book?     5
Do I Need to Do These Exercises?     6
What Kind of Camera Do I Need?     7
Should I Shoot Film or Digital?     8
What Lighting Equipment Do I Need?     10
What Else Do I Need to Know to Use This Book?     11
What Is the "Magic" Part of This Book?     11
Light: The Raw Material of Photography     13
What Is Light?     14
How Photographers Describe Light     17
Brightness     17
Color     18
Contrast     19
Light versus Lighting     22
How the Subject Affects the Lighting     24
Transmission     24
Direct and Diffuse Transmission     26
Absorption     27
Reflection     28
The Management of Reflection and the Family of Angles     31
Types of Reflection     32
Diffuse Reflection     32
The Inverse Square Law     36
Direct Reflection     37
Breaking the Inverse Square Law?     38
The Family of Angles     39
Polarized Direct Reflection     41
Is It Polarized Reflection or Ordinary Direct Reflection?     45
Turning Ordinary Direct Reflection into Polarized Reflection     46
Applying the Theory     47
Surface Appearances     49
The Photographer as Editor     50
Capitalizing on Diffuse Reflection     51
The Angle of Light     52
The Success and Failure of the General Rule     55
The Distance of Light     57
Doing the Impossible     59
Using Diffuse Reflection and Shadow to Reveal Texture     62
Capitalizing on Direct Reflection     65
Competing Surfaces     68
Try a Lens Polarizing Filter     70
Use a Still Larger Light     71
Use More Than One Light     72
Use a Gobo     73
Complex Surfaces     74
Revealing Shape and Contour     79
Depth Clues     81
Perspective Distortion     81
Distortion as a Clue to Depth     82
Manipulating Distortion     83
Tonal Variation     84
The Size of the Light     85
Large Lights versus Small Lights     86
Distance from the Subject     86
The Direction of the Light     87
Light on Side     89
Light above the Subject     90
Fill Light     91
Adding Depth to the Background     95
How Much Tonal Variation Is Ideal?     97
Photographing Buildings: Decreasing Tonal Variation 99 Photographing Cylinders: Increasing Tonal Variation     100
Remember Surface Detail     101
The Glossy Box     102
Use a Dark Background     103
Eliminate Direct Reflection from the Box Top     104
Eliminate Direct Reflection from the Box Sides     105
Finish with Other Resources     107
Use Direct Reflection?     109
Metal     111
Flat Metal     112
Bright or Dark?     113
Finding the Family of Angles     113
Lighting the Metal     116
Keeping the Metal Bright     117
What Is a "Normal" Exposure for Metal?     120
Keeping the Metal Dark     120
The Elegant Compromise     124
Controlling the Effective Size of the Light     126
Keeping the Metal Square     130
Metal Boxes     132
A Light Background     135
A Transparent Background     136
A Glossy Background     137
Round Metal     140
Camouflage     141
Keeping the Light off the Camera     141
Using a Tent     142
Other Resources     144
Polarizing Filters     144
Black Magic     145
Dulling Spray     145
Where Else Do These Techniques Apply?     146
The Case of the Disappearing Glass     149
The Principles     149
The Problems     150
The Solutions     150
Two Attractive Opposites     152
Bright-Field Lighting     152
Dark-Field Lighting     156
The Best of Both Worlds     160
Some Finishing Touches     162
Defining the Surface of Glassware     162
Illuminating the Background     166
Minimizing the Horizon     166
Stopping Flare     168
Eliminating Extraneous Reflections     170
Complications from Nonglass Subjects     171
Liquids in Glass     172
Secondary Opaque Subjects      176
Recognizing the Principal Subject     179
An Arsenal of Lights     181
The Single-Light Setup     182
The Basic Setup     182
Light Size     183
Skin Texture     185
Where to Put the Main Light     185
Left Side? Right Side?     191
Broad Lighting or Short Lighting     192
Eyeglasses     194
Additional Lights     195
Fill Lights     197
Background Lights     203
Hair Lights     205
Kickers     207
Rim Lights     209
Mood and Key     210
Low-Key Lighting     211
High-Key Lighting     212
Staying in Key     215
Dark Skin     215
Available-Light Portraiture     216
A Window as a Main Light     217
The Sun as a Hair Light     219
Combining Studio and Environmental Light     220
Keeping the Light Appropriate     223
Setting Rules?     223
The Extremes     227
The Characteristic Curve     228
The Perfect "Curve"     228
A Bad Camera      230
Overexposure     232
Underexposure     234
A Real CCD     235
Using Every Resource     238
White-on-White     238
Exposing White-on-White Scenes     241
Lighting White-on-White Scenes     243
Subject and Background     243
Using an Opaque White Background     245
Using a Translucent White Background     250
Using a Mirror Background     253
In Any Case, Keep the Background Small     254
Black-on-Black     254
Exposing Black-on-Black Scenes     255
Lighting Black-on-Black Scenes     255
Subject and Background     257
Using an Opaque Black Background     257
Using a Glossy Black Surface     260
Keep the Subject away from the Background     261
The Histogram     263
Preventing Problems     266
Overmanipulation     266
Curves     268
New Principles?     269
Traveling Light     273
Choosing the Right Strobe     273
Getting the Exposure Right     274
Letting the Strobe Determine the Exposure     275
Using a Flash Meter      275
Calculating the Exposure     276
Calculating the Guide Number     276
Using the Guide Number     276
Getting More Light     278
Focused Flash     279
Multiple Strobes     279
Multiple Flash     280
Improving the Quality of Light     282
Bounce Flash     282
Feathering the Light     285
Lights of Different Colors     287
Why Is the Color of the Light Important?     288
Nonstandard Light Sources     289
Do the Colors Mix?     292
The Remedies     295
Lights of Different Duration     297
Is Studio Lighting Possible on Location?     299
Index     301

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Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an amateur photographer this book is indispensible to me in really learning more about how light works with regards to photography! Best book I've found on the subject - and I've looked/owned a bunch of them! Highly recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is NOT a book with a bunch of recipes for lighting specific subjects.

Instead, this is a book on what photographers really need to know to effectively light just about anything in the studio.

This book talks about types of reflections and the nature of reflected light. You will learn how to light people, very reflective metal, transparent glass, and and various combinations.

I am a professional photographer and this book gave me a better foundation on WHY to light things a particular way. I feel much more confident in my lighting skills and I think my work has improved. (If only someone would write a similar book on how to get clients to pay faster!)

The book flows from simple to complex in a very logical and easy to follow way. There are plenty of relevent diagrams and example photos too.

If you do any studio work with artificial lighting this is the very next book you should by.