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Light and Shoot 50 Fashion Photos 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0240817224
ISBN-10: 0240817222
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  • Light and Shoot 50 Fashion Photos
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Chris Gatcum, author of Light and Shoot 50 Fashion Photos

Chris Gatcum

Dear Amazon Readers,

Fashion is one of photography's fastest moving genres, reflecting an industry that by its very nature needs to reinvent itself on a continual basis. As a result, fashion photography is also one of the most exciting and "open" genres, offering a much greater opportunity for creative expression and experimentation than many of the other subjects we are likely to turn our lenses on. However, ideas and inspiration don’t necessarily "just happen." It is often the case that looking at other people's work will spark something, whether it's a certain way in which someone has been lit, the overall styling or "mise en scene," or something else altogether.

With this in mind, my aim with this book was simple: to collect and present a selection of stunning fashion images that would be guaranteed to inspire, regardless of whether they came from world-renowned professionals such as Miles Aldridge, Raul Higuera, Perou, or Rankin, or were produced by relatively "unknown" image-makers. This search has taken me around the globe (at least in terms of internet travel), calling in on both established names and relative newcomers.

But this is far more than a diverse showcase of exceptional photographs. The photographers involved have also taken the time to explain how they went about creating their image(s). This willingness to share what are in some instances "trade secrets" is what I feel sets this book apart from its peers, and it is something for which I am deeply grateful. So thank you to everyone featured for agreeing to play a part in this project. It wouldn't have happened without you. Thanks also to you, the reader. I hope this book helps you in some way, no matter how small.

--Chris Gatcum

Review

"This is the inspirational and practical guide to shooting fashion in a wide range of settings and styles, with emphasis on the use of lighting, rather than digital processing, to create a specific feel and look. The fashion genres of photography is arguably the most challenging and competitive. Also, fashion is the subject that most students want to specialize in.Some of the images in this fully illustrated book you will love more, some maybe less, but all these images have a "spark", something inspirational. This book offers you the techniques that you can use to create your shots."--NeoPopRealismJournal.com

"This book is an inspirational and practical guide to shooting fashion in a wide range of styles and settings, with emphasis on the use of lighting, rather than digital processing, to create a specific look and feel. Photography is all about light. Of all the genres of photography, fashion is arguably the most challenging and very competitive. And fashion is the subject that most students want to specialize in. The photography constantly evolving and redefining itself, and inherently more open to experimentation and personal expression than many other genres. Some of the images in this book you will love more, some maybe less, but all of them have a "spark", something that inspires you. This title offers the techniques that you can borrow to create your shots."--Wonderpedia.WetPaint.com

"This book is an asset to any bookshelf but really should be a table book. There are 50 artsy pictures taken by impeccable photographers. The make-up on these models is fabulous, and the clothing creates scenes from different eras, but lighting is the key enabling us to see the beauty. Light creates mood, and fashion photographers are highly skilled at utilizing it - as these pictures expose. This book is an inspirational and practical guide to shooting fashion in a wide range of styles and settings with the emphasis on the use of lighting, rather than digital processing, to create a specific look or feel. Some of the images tap into your creativity, while others may not be for you, but one thing for sure: all of these pictures are exciting and dramatic. It is easy to focus on the eyecatching models, but it's hard to imagine these photos without the exceptionally skilled photographers who control the fashion shoot."--City Book Review.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (April 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240817222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240817224
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard C. Drew TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a semi-pro photog - started out as a hobbyist, went digital, did it for a part-time income, not it's a big chunk of my income. I mention this because there's one thing about the book that really struck a positive note with me. When the author started talking about lighting setups, he did not do what so many others have done. They use these high-end, way-out-of-reach lighting setups. Several $2000 monolights or a $15,000 pack/head setup. This book actually discusses products from Alien Bees and Paul Bluff - totally affordable units. He also touches on beauty dishes and ring-lights (two more important tools in your lighting arsenal) as well lighting modifiers. Even beginners can get a decent start with this book. Pros and semi-pros should get some new ideas and hints on how to simplify your lighting, especially out of the studio!

Most of the results are over-the-top for my taste, and are not what I would consider "Fashion photos" - more along the lines of "Art-House" photos. That said, this is a step by step instruction manual on duplicating these photos. I have several books on lighting - this is one of the clearest and easiest to follow. It's literally as simple as "Put light A here. Put light B here. Put your camera here. Put the model here. Use these settings. Shoot." Each photo has a "Perspective view" and a "Plan view." The plan view is an overhead illustration showing the placement of lights, model, backdrop, etc. The perspective view is similar, but more of a 3-D rendering to give a better depiction of the shoot.

What's really cool is that several of the shots use available or natural light - light from a fixture, window, etc. So if you don't have the lighting gear, you can still experiment with some of the shots - grab your camera, find a model, and go.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an important book for any photographer.

A. It assumes you are familiar with and own studio lights.
B. It also assumes you are a pro photographer.

It is very well written in terms of lighting, angles, modifiers, camera settings, etc. nothing is left out. You are able to see the finished image as well as the set-ups. The book is short on theory as it is very practical book.

Bottom line: If you want to shoot fashion or learn how to achieve "The Look" this book is a necessary start, and worth every penny.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Any photographer who is serious about the subject will appreciate this book. It is both a menu and manual of lighting technique and worthy of being on any photographers required reading shelf. To appreciate this book, you will need to have a fundamental understanding of photography and lighting however. And, since this book addresses fashion photos, the landscape photographer may not appreciate it (but any portrait photographer will).

The book is beautifully presented and well written. I never heard of Focal Press before (the publisher), but will surely check out their other publications. The first chapter of this book provides a beginner guide to equipment that existing strobists can skip. But, for those venturing into "strobism" fof the first time, it will prove valuable and necessary. The book is broken down into the following sections:

-Introduction
--Lighting Essentials
---Flash
---Continuous Lighting
---Location Lighting
---Lighting Glossary
-Studio
-Location
-Mono
-Reference

The book provides 50 stunning image examples. Each example is accompanied by a narrative, explanation, plan view, and perspective view. Within a half hours, I replicated the lighting on page 30 exactly. Now, let's be clear that's not to say that without this book I would be unable to achieve the results. However, part of photography is the deconstruction of images and replication. All part of the learning experience. And, unlike simply viewing an image on the web and then trying to figure out how to do it, this book provides a step by step guide to make it a thorough learning experience with guaranteed results.

In short, I believe this book is a very strong buy, especially for those just undertaking flash (and multi-flash) photography.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Light and shoot 50 fashion photos.Works on aesthetic, technical and instructional level.

To start off, photography is about capturing light, once you master that technique all your projects, not just fashion photos will become better.

I have found the Focal Press series of books to be extremely valuable because they take a so called holistic view of the photography experience. The book starts out with a very technical description of the equipment used to obtain the photos in the rest of the book. The Alien Bees, Pocket Wizards, Snoots and Beauty Dishes quickly move from the esoteric lingo to a useful accessory. Each light "tool" is assigned a symbol which is then utilized throughout the book in 3D (perspective and plan) diagrams which illustrate their placement.

The rest of the book is devoted to one or two page spreads of the photo projects. The projects for the most part are indeed spectacular. The nice part is that each project also includes the description of the camera equipment used as well. Here you can learn that while most of the shots are taken with professional level full frame or film cameras, that also many were taken with prosumer (40D) or even entry level DSLRs (100D). There are the obligatory background paragraphs about the scene, the photographer's or the model's biographies and any special notes.

These special notes are very valuable as they include pointers on working with the quirks of the equipment or the photo. For example we learn why a certain f-stop or shutter speed was used, and which cameras have good software based ISO noise reduction profiles allowing you to use a high ISO speed setting.
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