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Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0240818276
ISBN-10: 024081827X
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age
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  • Complete Digital Photography, 8th
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Light and Lens' is an ambitious work in that it presents an immense amount of complex technical information very clearly and succinctly without leaving anything out, weaves historical information throughout, challenges students (everyone!) to 'think critically' about the photograph and their own work at every turn, coaches, encourages, and it is also beautifully designed -- giving each artwork featured a real presence that inspires students." -- Laurie Turner, Santa Fe Community College

"Robert Hirsch clearly pitches Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age as an introductory college-level photography textbook that is foremost an idea book rather than a software or camera manual. In line with this
philosophy, Hirsch ensures that critical seeing and aesthetic values are amply addressed alongside the technical. Thus, chapters on the history of photography, visual foundations, and symbolism lead off the book, and he closes with thoughtful chapters concerning seeing with a camera and thinking and writing about images. This emphasis is a refreshing and stimulating approach for a photographic textbook." -Excerpt from Afterimage, Vol. 36, Issue 1

"Hirsch's Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age is a valuable resource for information about skills, basic to advanced, for a new photographer or an experienced teacher. The text is written with knowledge of history and its importance to contemporary ideas and images. With its ambitious coverage of a broad range of skills and ideas, the text is applicable to students at a variety of levels and useful as a reference throughout a student's academic career." - Excerpt from Exposure

About the Author

Robert Hirsch is a photographer, writer, and the Director of Light Research (lightresearch.net).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024081827X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240818276
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is being as a texbook for my college digital photography class. It is a really good book on the subject, and very up to date. It covers many topics such as aesthetics, lighting, even some Photoshop areas. I have already taken Photoshop and have that book, but it does touch on it. I skipped that part to be honest as I've had the class on it, but a few students felt they needed more material and got the actual Photoshop manual or Photoshop for Dummies. All in all though, I think this is a good book, full of good information.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a textbook, make no mistake about it. If you are taking a college course on the history of photography, this is a nice companion. It is NOT , however, anything that will help you take pictures or be of any practical help. If you want to learn how to use light and lenses to achieve practical effects and how to use your digital camera to the best of its abilities, by something else.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers a variety of areas that you will need to create beautiful images that you'll be proud of...... I love his books because he explains his techniques in a way that most anyone can or will understand.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Had to pay for the stupid (hate having to pay for paper reading material that has to be lugged around when THERE ARE E-VERSIONS AVAILABLE) textbook for class but if I can swing it I try to get an e version. This one is really nice, illustrations are accurately recreated and hey, that's what its all about in photography - the visual.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is everything an excellent photography book should be - it is well printed, well bound, generous in its page count, and thorough in its scope. The book is massive- way too heavy to hold comfortably for any length of time. My gripe with this book is the lofty, scholarly way that the author has written its text. It is hard for me to describe, but the author talks in terms that I cannot begin to understand or relate to. The opening chapter includes photographs by some of the most avant garde photographers in the contemporary art world, and describes them and explains them in a way that seems partly well-informed, heavily contrived, and mostly as though the author's main intent is to make sure the reader understands from the outset that the author is omniscient in all things photographic which were produced by artists full of angst, riddled with meaning, dripping with symbolism, and redolent of the snobbish New York artworld that is as much a state of mind as anything else. Perhaps I am just the village idiot, but I simply couldn't relate or understand, or comprehend, or agree/disagree with anything that was written in the first chapter. That is as far as I have gotten. Many others have reviewed this book very well, and I believe that somewhere in the depths of this book that there is value, if only because it is so massive, that there must be value in it for the publisher to have printed it. And I know that this is used as the textbook in many college photography courses, so I know it must be good. But I cannot relate to the written aspect of the book. Yet, I really want to like it, and I want to "get it". I cannot defend my 4 star rating, either from the perspective of having taken off one star, nor from the persepective of having given 4 stars. All I can say is that I am committed to reading it from cover to cover, even if it takes me a lifetime.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was required for my photography class at AAU. Great reading! Couldn't of completed my class without it. Very informative and well written for easy understanding.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first chapter seems to go on FOREVER! I love to read, especially photography books. I tried this book on a recommendation from Amazon. I started reading the first chapter and felt as though I was reading a boring text book from college. So much detail but it didn't tell me anything about what I really wanted to know...how to take better pictures.

if Hirsch would have skipped the history lesson and went straight into chapter 2 I may have actually bought the book.
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Format: Paperback
For many years I suspected that that strange intersection of ontology, epistemology and semiotics called "photography theory" might be of some use to practicing photographers. I was surprised when I encountered photography theory in the guise of a "how-to" photography book.

I was quite excited when the book began by explaining that photography was communication. I expected the book to show me how technique could be used to enhance communication. Chapters followed on composition, the mechanics of the camera, exposure, light, how to look, the relationship of the image to time, the digital darkroom, presentation, a bit more on composition, how to think and write about images, types of assignments, particularly portraits and a couple of addenda on safety and careers. The book contained many illustrations by many photographers together with what appeared to be extracts of the photographers' artists' statements.

Unfortunately none of this information told me how to use the material under discussion to further communication. For example, the chapter on the mechanics of the camera explained what physical effects occurred when various controls were employed, but not how to use these effects for communications. The chapter on the digital darkroom described various tools and panels in Photoshop, but not how to use them to enhance an image. The chapter on thinking about photography described problem solving techniques that sounded like the most basic self-help book. On the other hand, occasionally there would be a surprising specificity as in a description of how to use the timeline facility in Photoshop.

The photographic illustrations were small and seldom appeared to have any connection to the textual material.
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