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LED Lighting: Professional Techniques for Digital Photographers Paperback – January 23, 2012
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"This book marks the start line of the next big wave of evolution for photographers. . . . The best place to start I've seen." —Will Crockett, CEO of CrockettCo Technologies and FridayPhotoSchool.com
From the Author
The road to my LED Lighting book is a bumpy one that includes twenty years of working in the trenches of advertising photography. The actual book is the distillation of new information about LEDs mixed with a couple years of shooting with them, and my general knowledge of photographic lighting. When I started out I worked as a teaching assistant for several professors who taught commercial photography at the University of Texas. We used 4x5 and 8x10 inch view cameras and, to get deep enough focus, we used small f-stops and very powerful studio electronic flash units. Over time film got better and better which meant you could get nearly as good quality with smaller and smaller formats. Flashes got smaller but the lighting essentials remained the same. You worked with:
Top customer reviews
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I never could have done it without this book. It's allowing me to do in minutes what used to take hours, and the quality is consistent. It's honestly the most useful photography book I've ever read.
If you're struggling with lighting, get this book, get some LED lights, get a gray card (this is important) and prepare to be amazed.
This book is very easy to read and understand, and Kirk lays it all out in a very logical fashion that flows nicely.
He explains what the advantages of using LEDs are, and also clearly lets you know when they are probably not your best choice. Kirk tells about the LED panels that are on the market, and exactly which ones he used in his photography business. The book contains lots of great close-up photos of these panels, too. He walks you through the various accessories you might need (clamps, stands, diffusers, reflectors) to supplement your LED lighting arrangements. Kirk describes the slight color spectrum deficiency, and how it can be remedied with simple "minus green" gel and/or performing a custom white balance in the camera by using a simple gray card.
Kirk then gets down to the real business of showing how to actually use these LED panels in various types of photography (portraits, event, commercial, etc.) and even a little bit on using them for making videos with a DSLR. The resulting photos are excellent - but the portraits are stunningly beautiful! Lighting diagrams are abundant, but more importantly, Kirk explains what the purposed of each light was, why it was positioned where it was, and how it contributed to the overall lighting of the scene.
This is the 4th book of Kirk Tuck's that I have read (I've bought the 5th, but haven't read it yet), and in my opinion this is clearly Kirk's best book. Even if you don't read any of the words, the portraits alone are worth the price of the book. :-)
In some ways I wish I had not read it, because I am convinced that I will be ordering a lot of the gear that Kirk describes in this book. The nice thing to know is that I can get ALL of it for about the same cost as 3 Canon 580EX IIs or a couple Einsteins and a few large light modifiers. But after reading this book, I am convinced that it will be money well spent.
This book is an easy 5 stars if you are new to photography, or off camera lighting in general. If you've been lighting a set since I was a gleam in pappie's eye, well, you're really not going to find much content here in the last half of the book. For you the value is in reading the first half and saving yourself some guess and check time purchasing lights and experimenting. I'd rate it 3 stars for long time veterans of off camera lighting.
Additionally, if you're a reader of Kirk's blog, at least half of the book has been pulled from blog posts, but there is value in having it edited and co-located in an easy to find location. I do not regret buying this book one bit, even if I have been playing with LED light panels for the last 12 months sporadically.