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Basic Studio Lighting: The Photographer's Complete Guide to Professional Techniques Paperback – July 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books; Subsequent edition (August 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817435506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817435509
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony L. Corbell is currently director of photographic education and senior photographer for Hasselblad U.S.A. and is known as the “dean” of Hasselblad’s educational efforts, Hasselblad University. Mr. Corbell lives in San Diego, California.

Customer Reviews

I've read (and learned from) many photographic lighting books prior to this one and can say this is the finest book I've yet seen.
James W.
If you are one of them then you don't mind taking old tired photos and shouldn't read a book's review--- just buy the one with the 'coolest' photo on the cover.
RSB
There are many, many nicely lighted portraits and product shots in this book but they are like teasers..."Try and figure out how I lighted this one!"
Bill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Rebel POW on December 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
There is no question that Tony Corbell takes wonderful photographs. Go to his website at [...] to see for yourself. But, as we've often seen, raw photographic talent more often than not does not translate into teachable talent or competent writing skills.

In `Basic Studio Lighting' Corbell tackles a needed subject, writes in an agreeable fashion and delivers with beautiful examples. Yet one finishes this book, while thankful for the nuggets of valuable information, ultimately disappointed.

Disappointed at the missed opportunity. Corbell might very well have delivered a photographic knockout punch. He could have written the definitive textbook on studio lighting. Instead his book falls into the "out of 144 pages, I picked up three new ideas" category that too often describes photographic instruction books.

How do you possibly write a book on basic studio lighting without a single lighting diagram connected to an individual photograph? Tony Corbell did.

He even knows the importance of conveying that information. Consider, on page 128, Corbell writes "Placement of the separation light is of key importance..." yet no diagrams. As in none.

Didn't early on somebody, anybody (maybe an editor who should have known better) say, `Uh Tony? You might want to diagram those lighting setups, just in case someone might actually want to use your information"? This omission alone takes this book from the keeper category and lands it into the `read once and discard' category.

This book reads like Tony's lectures might sound if they were written down with a slideshow of images behind him, not like a book written from scratch.

Such a missed opportunity.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Paul Schliesser on April 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most inspiring photography books I've read. There are a hundred books about studio lighting that are little more than collections of photos followed by diagrams of the lighting setups. If you're looking for simple ways to duplicate somebody else's photos, this book is not for you. Instead, the author's intent is to make you understand the underlying principles of controlling light. He takes pains not to dictate rules or give formulas, but tries to help you make your own decisions based on your personal taste and the demands of a particular photo.

This book, although it appears superficially simple, puts demands on the reader that many other lighting books do not. Some people would prefer to follow diagrams by rote; I'd much rather develop the mental tools to design my own lighting setups for my own needs, rather than look at the exact placement of lights that somebody else used.

Corbell's explanation of the Chromazone system (for controlling the effects of gelled light on backgrounds) was more than worth the price of the book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bill on November 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should been titled "Studio Lighting Theory". While I appreciate the theory and concepts described in the book, I was looking for BASIC STUDIO LIGHTING instruction, and this book does not deliver. There are many, many nicely lighted portraits and product shots in this book but they are like teasers..."Try and figure out how I lighted this one!" In another review of the book, the reviewer considers the lack of diagrams a plus, but I surely can't see how holding back information can be beneficial.

I suspect, this was just a money grab by the author. A collection of his photographs--most of which he may not even remember the lighting setup used. The book is a bit dated, too, with nothing but film references and no fluorescents even mentioned in the continuous lighting section.

If you are looking for an introduction to studio lighting, this book will disappoint. I suggest looking elsewhere. That's what I'm doing now.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Laura Cielo on June 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the best studio lighting book I've read... and I've read a few! It explains theories of light, color and photography techniques in detail, which are essential to the understanding of lighting. This book complemented perfectly the lighting class I was taking, and helped me tremendously.
The explanations are simple enough for all to understand and although it doesn't tell you what to do, it teaches you how to light your subjects, according to the result you are looking for. Obviously, you need to practice using the tools and techniques to truly learn studio lighting. But this book will definitely help you and it's worth every single penny.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have little experience with studio lighting and bought this book to help me get started. Over all it was very helpful and provided good explanations on general techniques. What it lacked was specific details on setups. It didn't provide enough diagrams for different lighting situations and only provided general information.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Franco Marcus Bubani on February 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've just bought about 10 top rated studio lighting books. This is the best book I've ever read about studio lighting with much more than basic information.

Tony Corbell explains about all I ever wanted to know about studio lighting: their types (main/key light, fill light, etc); equipment and accessories (and what you get from them); light control (e.g. what happens when you put the light near the subject, etc); measuring light (you will really like to know how to measure an f11.0 key light + f8.0 fill light and all then do it by yourself in all the other situations); one light setup and lighting for deep. Tony Corbell won't give you the fish but you will learn how to go fishing. No photo diagrams and schemas (thank you Mr. Corbell, I didn't want to learn how to copy a lighting schema but did want to learn how to understand them all and how to build my next one) and full of information I've been waiting for. If you want to take the long road do as I did search all lighting books, then search inside this book and also visit the Hasselblad website just to get references on this book and Mr. Corbell work. But if you want to take the short road, just buy it: it's all worthwhile. Oh, just in case you want to take the long road, I could sell you all the other nine books...
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