Lighting Digital Field Guideby Brian McLernon
One of the most important aspects of photography is lighting, but getting the lighting right is tricky. When should you use flash? Are a camera’s automatic settings dependable? Should you use reflectors or diffusers and where do you place them? This handy, portable reference will show you
Essential lighting guide for users of compact cameras and dSLRs
One of the most important aspects of photography is lighting, but getting the lighting right is tricky. When should you use flash? Are a camera’s automatic settings dependable? Should you use reflectors or diffusers and where do you place them? This handy, portable reference will show you when, where, and how to create and capture perfect light, every time. The book includes a color checker card to help you maintain true color, as well as examples of stunningly-lit photos of people, wildlife, and landscapes to inspire you.
- Walks you through the essentials of lighting for digital photography
- Helps beginning and intermediate photographers leave the safety of automatic settings and confidently control lighting themselves
- Shows how to evaluate natural light, decide when to use flash, and how and when to use diffusers or reflectors
- Includes a tear-out color checker card to help you maintain true color in your photographs
- Comes in the handy, portable Digital Field Guides size, perfect for camera bags
Create and capture the perfect lighting every time, with Lighting Digital Field Guide!
Meet the Author
Brian McLernon is a commercial freelance photographer, educator, and writer based in Portland, Oregon. Originally from New Jersey and educated in Arizona, Philadelphia, and New York City, he shoots primarily for editorial, commercial, corporate, and lifestyle clients. He is the author of three previous Digital Field Guides, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Field Guide, the Canon Speedlite System Digital Field Guide, and the Canon PowerShot G11 Digital Field Guide.
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My experience with photography began decades ago when I inherited my father's M-3 Leica. I now use a Canon dSLR and have had some success with it, so I consider myself an experienced photographer. I bought Brian McLernon's Digital Field Guide book on Lighting to improve my general understanding of how good photos are made as well as to learn how to make good photos myself, and in both areas, the book succeeded beyond my expectations. McLernon presents his subject clearly and with a collegial approach that is never preachy. He explains the field in a way intended to help photographers make better photographs, so he begins with sections on the different qualities of light a photographer actually encounters (direct, indirect, shade, diffuse, diffracted), then goes into the color of light, which appears way different to the camera than to the eye, and finally some of the pitfalls of misunderstanding the light and then moves into dealing with neon, fluorescent and tungsten light, the things that make the colors in your photos come out far different than they appeared when you took them. With that basis, McLernon moves on to how the camera handles light, especially focusing on what the photographer can and should do to control the camera's interpretation of the light. Things like the relationship between shutter speed and aperture for stopping action versus depth of field are commonplace to many, if not most, photographers, but how about when you combine the relationship of those two functions with focal length? What about the effect of using a macro lens? When's a good time to use one of the programmed or scene modes? How about spot versus center weighted versus scene metering? I, for one, always used spot and set my meter accordingly; now I know there's a better way. And what's a histogram really for and how do you use it? Now I know that, too. McLernon also devotes considerable time to the use of flash in photography, including the ubiquitous pop up and on camera speedlight, moving to multiple flashes, off camera remote setups, etc., each time giving advice and instruction on things you need to take a good picture: if you want to use off camera flash, what items do what things, what stands should be considered, what happens when you use reflectors, diffusers, etc. and how to achieve desired results. This section really opens up new areas in photography. Armed with these basics, McLernon moves on to advise on how lighting must be considered in making effective photos in numerous specific situations: wildlife, night photography, product shoots, weddings, portraits, concerts, sports... in short, each of these later chapters is a primer on an important area of photography, one which interests many photographers, with an emphasis on how photos can be improved with proper lighting. In short, this is a book that people who want to be good -or become better - photographers can use with immediate, satisfying results.
If you are looking for a book that is simple to understand on digital lighting you have come to the right place. It's an easy read and full of useful tips from set up to types of equipment you might need. Broken down by chapters that covers everything from portraits, still life, wedding photography, landscapes (in other words the usual suspects) to how to control and use different types of light and what is neeed to optimize your picture, whether by controlling the light with your camera by adjusting the shutter speed or aperture or using flashes or strobes. An added bonus is the free gray & color checker card. Like anything your photos will improve with practice and the same goes for lighting. Using Brian's book is extremely useful and small enough to carry with you in the field.