Focus On Lighting Photos: Focus on the Fundamentals (Focus On Series) 1st Edition
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"The explanations are easy to understand. Concepts are demonstrated by series of photos of the same subject with different lighting. Diagrams supplement the written explanations. I find the use of progressively more intriguingly lighted pictures, of the same subject, very helpful. That technique enabled me to understand concepts better.Focus on Lighting Photos seems to be geared for readers who are somewhat familiar with photography in general. I would say intermediate level. However, there is a very good glossary of the photo terms used. If you have not taken a photo class, it is fairly easy to follow along. The writing style is informal, clear and precise. I really enjoyed Focus on Lighting Photos. The techniques it presents are exciting and inspiring. It is a fairly easy read."--Big Bear Computer Club
About the Author
Robin Reid started out as a classically trained pianist. Her first year in college was on board Semester at Sea, thereby traveling to more than 28 countries. Fascinated by the diversity of cultural color, she spent much of her time making pictures.
While earning a BA in International Politics and the Middle East from George Washington University, she also attended schools and lived extensively in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany for extended times and further added to her photographic portfolio. After working on Capitol Hill for several years, she changed directions and danced professionally for the next 15 years, producing publicity photos for many of her fellow dancers.
Finally realizing that photography was her true calling, she apprenticed at a portrait/wedding studio, starting as a custom color printer and progressing to photographer and retouching expert. At that time, she also participated in competitions for Virginia Professional Photographers, winning various awards, including Best Portrait of Children. After opening her own studio, she has gone on to shoot portraits, not only for local families, but also for various businesses and government entities (including, but not limited to the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the US Tax Court, Time-Life Books, McGraw-Hill, American Management Systems, and HSI). Her work also includes product photography for the US Supreme Court (gift catalog), American Diabetes Forecast, Network Marketing, and others.
She has taught studio portraiture in her studio for years for the Alexandria Art League. She continues to do all her own photographic printing (both traditional darkroom and digital). She is also a graphic designer, with a special interest in book layout.
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The book is written in a casual tone, which is much appreciated and makes the book accessible to photographers of all levels. There is a decent amount of information on DIY (do-it-yourself) lighting, and the author encourages the idea of doing things yourself/cheaply before dropping some serious cash on "real" equipment.
The book briefly touches upon various aspects of lighting in different types of photography (landscape, portraits, etc). There are some good examples of portrait lighting (rembrandt, broad, etc) however the examples are just the photos themselves. I wish the author would have backed up from the scene, and showed the reader the actual set up of the lights. He does do this sometimes, but I personally wish it was more often. It's great to see "before and after" pictures, and in the narrative he tells you what he changed to get the "after" shot, but it could have been much easier to digest/visualize with a picture of the "before and after" set up as well.
A glossary is included and is pretty good if you are unfamiliar with basic photography terms.
As a side note, I found my copy (purchased from Amazon directly) had a lot of weird printing errors (missing pages, missing pictures, etc).
As an introductory read in lighting, I would recommend this book. However, if you have an interest in lighting , you may find this book will leave you wanting more (more in depth explanations, more in depth lighting diagrams, etc).
Top international reviews
Especially helpful are the sequences of photos showing what you get to start with using plain on-camera flash, then successively how the photo improves as you add in the techniques described. Definitely recommended.