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Lighting Essentials: Lighting for Texture, Contrast, and Dimension in Digital Photography Paperback – April 1, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Lighting Essentials: Lighting for Texture, Contrast, and Dimension in Digital Photography
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  • Lighting Essentials: A Subject-Centric Approach for Digital Photographers
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  • Don Giannatti's Guide to Professional Photography: Achieve Creative and Financial Success
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Don Giannatti has been a professional photographer for more than 45 years. He teaches workshops for photographers across the United States, Canada, and Bermuda, and is the author of "Lighting Essentials: A Subject-Centric Approach to Lighting for Digital Photography." He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Amherst Media (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608954595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608954599
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jan Klier on April 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book for photographers who want to take a more methodical approach to lighting. Building upon the earlier book about subject centric lighting, it's a detailed discussion on how to lighting interacts with different subjects, leading to intentional artistic choices and image design. Each aspect of light/subject interaction is explored with discussion and example images, in some cases different variations on the same subject. The area of subjects is fairly broad, from people, to food, to still life, and environmental - showing that when one understands the theory, it works in all those areas. The book does not really go into specific lighting equipment or modifiers, but really focuses on the core parameters of light and its qualities.

The book is a good refresher for experienced photographers - who may know most of this inherently, but may not have put it into a framework. It's definitely a good read for advanced amateurs interested in taking their lighting to the next level and beyond following a set formula. But it assumes a solid knowledge and experience with studio lighting equipment, and there is no discussion on how to use the lighting gear, just what the results will be (a good thing).

I'm glad to see this book published. It's refreshing to see books that cover the theory in an approachable way, and as a quality read.

My only gripe would be that the layout of the book is awkward at times. Because of the topic, some of the image captions are lengthy, and that disrupts the page flow.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stumbled upon Don's Lighting Essential website at the beginning of 2012 and when I saw that he was writing a new book, I was eager for my copy to arrive.

There are several good lighting books available but Don's approach is not a regurgitation of the same old approach. He starts with the subject and works back to the camera. In taking this approach, it is not what will happen if I put a light here but rather what of the subject do I want to reflect back to me. This deliberate approach takes you from a haphazard approach and gets you closer to being able to visualize the end product.

If you want a book that rounds out what others teach you and gives you plenty of ah hah moments, this is the one.
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Format: Paperback
Don Giannatti did not dissapoint with his first book - Lighting Essentials: A Subject-Centric Approach for Digital Photographers. It was a simple and pragmatic way of teaching and illustrating a relatively complex subject. In this second edition to the Lighting Essentials library, Don again set out to teach something that is very dear to him. Before getting into the technicals of the book, I want to elaborate a bit about what Photography means to Don. He has been a photographer for many years, and his deep passion for the craft comes through in his writing. It is not just another book about photography, and how to. It reads like an old master passing on the torch to the next generation. His grounding in the old school of photography along with his understanding and mastery of modern techniques and technology, coupled with his love of the subject, enables him to articulate and demonstrate his teachings in a way that almost anyone with a rudimentary understanding of photography can easily grasp, and assimilate into their own photography (deep breath).

In "Lighting for Texture, Contrast, and Dimension in Digital Photography", Don continues on his theme from the first book, but goes deeper, and in more detail (but still keeps it light, and easy to understand). Defining what each area of light presentation is (true subject value, specular, specular transition, shadow transition, and shadow) with both clear, concise, and articulate description; and visual demonstration with real life imagery, and annotated diagrams and images.
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Format: Paperback
Overall impression: great book that should be on every photographer's shelf.

I have been practicing photography for five years and have amassed a varied collection of books and DVDs over that time. This book is the first in a long while that wasn't simply reaffirming what I already knew, or repackaging the knowledge and presenting it in a different way.

That being said, this book is geared towards the intermediate/advance shooter that already knows about lighting and how their camera works and is looking to supplement their technique. Though the majority of images in this book are studio-lit, all the lessons apply to natural light shooting as well.

Don Gianatti's "Lighting for Texture, Contrast and Dimension in Digital Photography" challenged me to see light in a new way. My favorite line from the book sums it all up... "We see the light as it is presented by the subject, not as it is presented to the subject. Without a subject, there is no light as we know it." With the all important subject in mind, Don explains how and why to choose certain modifiers, determine their distances from the subject and, all importantly, sculpt the image that is in your head with the never ceasing focus on the subject itself.

Don started off teaching lighting workshop to photographers, and this teaching style manifests in the book. The actual text explains his thoughts and what he is doing, and the beautiful imagery shows the effects of what is discussed. The majority of images have a 'build-up' approach, where there are multiple iterations of the same general image, but with a background light here, now a reflector added, now with a hair light. This is a great learning tool.
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