"Each chapter is almost like a tip in a tip book, except that rather then tell you what to do without providing understanding, the author explores each subject in great detail." Nikonians.org
About the Author
Christopher Grey is a noted photographer, author, speaker and instructor who has written numerous books on photography, lighting and camera systems. He’s the recipient of national and international awards for his work, and considers each day another opportunity to ask his favorite professional question, "What if ?"
NOTE: I wrote this review from the perspective of someone who read the first book and then bought this book to learn new things. If you have never read the first book you might find this book more useful than I did. Depending on your level of expertise, however, you might want to buy the first book over this one. Complete beginners will find the first book easier to follow. That being said I find the quality of content and presentation in this book to exceed the first. Therefore, if you are more comfortable with lighting and or would like to take a deep plunge into lighting go with this one. Now for the review
This book is much better than the first book by the same author titled Master Lighting Guide. It offers a more in depth higher quality presentation of studio lighting. Hence, the author attempts to provide the reader with a solid understanding of studio lighting principles. The first section focuses on explaining, with plenty of pictures, the relationship between light physical size and relative size, distance, spread depth, and feathering.
The second section consists of 20 topics or so that put the principles stated above into practice. Some are very unique and new like the inverse relation between specularity and size of softbox or the nature of umbrellas and how they differ from softboxes. That last topic is a full departure from the previous book in which the author leaves the impression that both modifiers -softboxes and umbrellas- are very similar when in reality they are not. Another great topic is about how to position a light meter for proper reading. That topic can eliminate much frustration with aiming light meters.Read more ›
Here's an excellent book aimed at a very narrow segment of the photography market. It should be of interest primarily to studio portrait photographers who use strobes, although there may be other applications for which it might be useful.
Grey covers a number of lighting techniques that are beyond the basics, like shaping the background light, or using an incident light meter, or feathering a light, or using a beam splitter. These techniques will be of interest to people already comfortable with photographing with studio lights, but will be of little help to novices. Each chapter is almost like a tip in a tip book, except that rather then tell you what to do without providing understanding, the author explores each subject in great detail. For example, in discussing the use of a hair light he presents several different sources, like large and small softboxes and strip softboxes, illustrates the application and effect of each, and even shows the difference in effect with slight changes in the direction in which the model faces. There are plenty of subtly varying images and every technique is supported by lighting diagrams.
Because this is such a fine-tuned book, I feel compelled to tell you the things it does not cover. There is no explanation of the basic lighting set-up of main, fill, hair and background light (in fact Grey doesn't even use traditional fill lights); no discussion of equipment, either cameras or lights, other than some light modifiers which the author has constructed; and no discussion of exposure, except to the extent that modifying exposures when using some of his techniques will change the effect. The lighting is limited to strobes, so if you use speedlights or hot lights, you will have to convert the author's advice.Read more ›
As a classroom instructor of photography for twenty years, I appreciate the basic info that Chris Grey has compiled in his two lighting guides. This studio guide was a natural addition to my classroom required reading and reference book collection. Customers should consider his first book "Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers" as "part 1" of this collection.
This book is the perfect companion to Grey's book Master Lighting Guide. All of the same features that made his previous book such a delight are here: tons of lighting diagrams, tons of set-up shots, progression shots, very beautiful pictures, and lots of great examples for utilizing all the various techniques presented. There is a real depth-of-knowledge in Grey's writing that comes across in this book. I really couldn't give this a higher recommendation if you are looking to not only understand lighting but really control it and how it can radically change the quality of your photography. Wonderful stuff!
This is a basic book... Saying that, there are some basic principles that most of the professionals do not know. I believe that some of the concepts explained in the book will be always in my background when using artificial lighting in a photo. Besides these conceptual lessons, there are also some interesting "tips and tricks" that everyone can repeat. Definitely a book that deserves a reading!
I agree with other reviews about the narrow target for this book, but after all the title is "Studio Lighting Techniques." I've been shooting for ages but am in my first year in my own studio space. I consider this book not only important to have on the book shelf as a reference, but an important tool in my lighting arsenal.
Grey has an exacting approach to lighting. But he encourages growth, "fun" and "play with (your) toys." This book and his earlier "Master Lighting Guide" are a great foundation and, hopefully, launching pads.
The print quality of the book is great which means photos show exactly what the text describes. They often show a progression of lighting changes, not just a final shot, so the results of subtle lighting changes are clearly seen. To me, that's an important way to learn.