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Captured by the Light: The Essential Guide to Creating Extraordinary Wedding Photography 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321646873
ISBN-10: 0321646878
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

IMAGINE THE ADVANTAGE YOU'D HAVE IF ONE OF THE WORLD'S TOP WEDDING SHOOTERS SHARED HIS SECRETS WITH YOU
World-renowned wedding photographer, and one of the most widely acclaimed instructors in the industry today, David Ziser brings his no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point teaching style to a book that totally rewrites the rules for how wedding photography is taught.
This groundbreaking new book is the first of its kind to focus on the exact areas that wedding photographers have been begging a top pro like David to cover, including how to create professional quality light and beautiful images in every situation, how to compose wedding images that sell, and how to create amazing images in the limited time and at the fast pace of a wedding.
But David doesn't just stop there. He covers every aspect of what today's brides and wedding couples want from a wedding photographer, including poses that work every time and can't-miss lighting setups you can use again and again, and everything is laid out in a brilliant step-by-step method that makes learning these techniques so easy, you'll be able to pull off these same looks yourself (without spending thousands on expensive equipment). Plus, the book is packed with David's tricks of the trade that he's picked up in a career shooting all over the world.
LEARN HOW THE PROS REALLY DO IT
Each year David trains thousands of photographers on how to shoot weddings like a pro. He knows the problems and challenges today's wedding photographers face, and that's exactly what he covers in this book. You'll learn everything on the list here and much more:
Professional posing and composition tipsSimple on-location lighting setups that are specially designed for the wedding photographerHow to get gorgeous images using a minimal amount of time and equipmentCreative lighting techniques that anyone can use to create dramatic wedding portraits that will set you apartDavid's own camera settings and lens selections (which lenses to use when, and why), and how to get the best results with your existing gearHow pros use on- and off-camera f lash, and a host of tricks of the trade that will make you more profitable and have you delivering the type of wedding shots you've always dreamed of!Plus, the book includes the complete cover-to-cover layout from one of David's wedding album designs to help spark your creative juices and give you ideas to take your own layouts to the next level.
The wedding photography industry has been waiting for a landmark book that would become "the book" that finally changes everything, and that's exactly what you'll be getting with the purchase of this book.

About the Author

David A. Ziser, an internationally renowned portrait and wedding photographer, has shared his knowledge with tens of thousands of photographers in five languages, and in 14 countries worldwide. His Digital WakeUp Call tour was acclaimed as one of the best-ever seminars on digital photography. David is a regular featured lecturer at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), and Imaging USA/Professional Photographers of America. He also provides training classes on DVD and online through Kelby Training, writes a daily photography blog, and writes for Professional Photographer magazine. David has been honored as a Kodak Mentor, and is one of 98 people worldwide who holds the distinguished honor of Fellow, bestowed by the American Society of Photographers.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (February 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321646878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321646873
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Thompson on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've scoured Amazon.com for wedding photography books that encompass the perfect blend of inspiration, technique and overall workflow. And finally, this book arrives. The layout is excellent, with logical chapter breaks, informative call-out boxes, and full sections devoted to natural light, on camera ETTL flash, off camera flash, ceremony workflow, reception workflow, and a few more. Also, some books are pretty dated as far as equipment, but the author refreshingly describes using his Canon 5D Mark II AND 7D. That might not seem like a big deal at first, but in many places he talks about leveraging the amazing high-ISO capabilities of cameras like this with your other settings. For example, in the off camera flash sections, he talks about the use of these high ISO settings to cut flash power by half, thus conserving battery life. There's not a lot in here about pricing/contracts, but that's not what I was looking for. If you know what you want to charge, but want to take your wedding photography to the next level, this is the book. Buy it.
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I don't normally buy wedding photography books, but after flipping through this one I couldn't resist getting it. The author, a former engineer, gives very specific advice on how to get certain looks, defines his terms, and shows example pictures both using and not using his techniques, very helpful.

I liked the simple description of "loop" lighting and why it is desirable for this type of photography. The composition chapters, which very specifically list things to look for to set up a good shot, are also excellent. The author's advice on how to work with assistants to dynamically position off-camera lights to add depth and separation is also great, although unfortunately this technique requires at least one full-time assistant, so don't expect to duplicate the author's work going solo.

Some minor nitpicks: I thought the advice for making a snoot out of a rolled-up magazine was silly, it looks unprofessional and there are many inexpensive, sleek-looking snoots on the market that don't risk damaging the flash unit or present a fire hazard. Also, the author repeatedly uses the word "perspective" when I believe he means "cropping" or "framing" as on page 25 when he says he stays in one place while zooming to change perspective. Additionally, I thought his equipment recommendations were strange since they involve low-end zooms that change aperture based on zoom settings, I would think this would interfere with the manual flash control the author uses.

The book doesn't focus on gear but be warned the author uses Canon equipment so don't expect any Nikon CLS tips or anything but passing references to other brands.
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Format: Paperback
I have been a professional photographer specializing in weddings for over 30 years and have NEVER read any book with such intense information! Check for yourself: search the other "instructional" books listed on Amazon, Borders or any bookstore and you'll come to the same conclusion as me- there is nothing that even comes close to Mr. Ziser's "how to" approach. We as photographers, enjoy delving into a beautiful image and explore the impact and composition, but rarely are provided the insight in order to obtain those outstanding results. David's approach comes across to the reader as if he is in front of the class giving a seminar. The book is written in a very easy to understand and conversational language that any aspiring photographer to the most advanced can comprehend.

So often, many books written by photographers illustrate specific points, but rarely do the accompanied images reflect such depth and dimension as Mr. Ziser's. The quality of the photographs almost "jump off the page" and the cool thing is, he explains the technique to achieve it! There are many "starving" photographers out there, wondering why they can't make a good living at their craft. By its very nature, once the photography improves, they can raise their prices with confidence. What David teaches in his book will make one's images stand out! He opens the door to unbelievable lighting techniques that include everything from nature's light to creativity with a simple "flashlight."

After just reading a few pages, the reader will start to view wedding photography as truly an art. The information revealed in "Captured By the Light", along with the beautiful photographs will never be out of date.
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I have been shooting weddings for a long time. I always feel like I could learn something new and love reading books related to this type of work. This book is one of the few books that I have found very helpful on the topic. The book is well written and starts out on the basics of lighting.

It covers what kind of lighting to use during your portrait shoots and how to achieve flattering lighting including:
-Exposure techniques and how to get it right without using a light meter.
-Using options such as bounce flash vs umbrellas and all the points between.
-Creative lighting methods including backlighting your subjects.
-Natural lighting without a flash.

Composition:
-Rule of quadrants and thirds
-Horizon Lines
-Repeat elements and framing a scene.

Equipment:
The author covers what kind of equipment he uses including why he uses a 17-85 4-5.6 (canon) lens and even non f2.8 premium glass. This is an important section because while he is using good gear, he is not trying to tell you to buy premium gear. In fact he recommends a lot of common sense glass that is within reach of even a starving artist. The idea here is that he is not trying to shove 2.8 glass down your throat and tell you that is what you "must have". He has great sample of work using a 7D (not that it is a point and shoot) and some basic f4 or 5.6 glass. He covers why he would rather use the high iso of the new cameras and stick to 5.6 when he can. You also learn about why he uses a wide lens at times and the proper way to do it. You learn about his lighting kit which is quantum flash and monolights at times mixed with on camera direct flash or bounce flash.
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