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Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers (Enhanced Audio Book with Photographs)
All Books, All the Time
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About the Author
Top customer reviews
Photography is a hobby to me and I read photography related books to improve my technique. I started out buying the print versions of some of the more popular books and I was happy with that approach until I realized the added convenience of owning their electronic versions instead (I'd get both versions if only publishers would bundle them at a discount). For instance, I could more comfortably read in bed, easily create and share bookmarks, and have a lightweight portable library on multiple devices, including Amazon's online reader. If you're an e-book convert already, you know exactly what I mean.
When I purchased this e-book, I did not have its corresponding print copy for comparison. But it didn't take long before I noticed that there was something very wrong with it. While I was enjoying the book's contents, I was constantly getting annoyed by the book's diagraming and the lack of resolution in the pictures. Any time I'd zoom into one of the small pictures (and there are tons of them), I'd be looking at such a pixelated image that I'd immediately be forced to zoom out and just examine the small version instead. This made it unnecessarily difficult to follow the illustrated examples of lighting techniques presented by the author throughout the book. Then there were the multiple strings of pages with 1-2 small pictures in them which I mentioned earlier. Very frustrating.
The only reason why I'm giving the Kindle version of this book 2 stars is so I don't lower its overall star rating too much. It is a very good book, as confirmed by other reviewers. However, until Amazon allows for reviewing the Kindle version of its books separately, this is the only outlet I have for my complaint that might make any difference. So do yourself a favor and think twice before getting the e-version of this book and don't hesitate to ask Amazon for a refund if, like me, you end up feeling like you made a bad investment.
In this book, Mr. Grey begins with a quick lesson on the physics of light and basic lighting equipment. After that appetizer, he starts in with the real meat, discussing:
1. Lighting ratios and how to represent them in a universal language that is easy to translate to actual flash settings
2. Basic lighting, including broad lighting and short lighting
3. Classic lighting, where he gives specific details on how to arrange your lights to achieve several classic looks such as loop lighting, closed-loop lighting, Rembrandt style, side lighting, and butterfly lighting.
For each of these techniques, he presents lighting diagrams and sample "builds" to achieve the final product.
Following the overview of the specific lighting techniques, he discusses "Portrait Lighting in Practice", where he covers numerous topics including business photography (such as head shots), applying makeup, location photography, bridal potraits, high-key lighting, any many other topics. Whereas the previous portion of the book was written for a universal audience, this section is tailored slightly to the aspiring professional photographer. As an amateur with a minimal set of equipment that I set up in my living room, I was able to appreciate and understand everything he discussed in this area of the book, but there are definitely topics that I don't expect to need. I would imagine that these topics would be of more value to someone looking to become a professional.
I purchased the Kindle edition of this book for my iPad after reading my friend's copy of the physical book. The book presents nice, large, crisp photos that are extremely instructive. In the physical book, you can see the subtle differences that changing a light modifier or boosting the strobe a 1/2 stop has on the end photograph. In the Kindle edition, however, most of the photos are very small, grainy, and lose much of their value because they are so poor. Additionally, the layout of the Kindle edition is awful. For example, with the physical book, a page will show up to 8 different photos that allow you to compare the results of changes in light at a single glance. In the Kindle edition, however, there are at most 2 photos on a page, so not only can't you easily see the subtle differences in the photos all at once, but the text describing the differences is often 5 "pages" away. Finally, the Kindle edition conversion does not seem to be able to handle displaying fractions other than 1/2, as any time Mr. Grey uses a quarter-based fraction in his text (e.g. 1/4 or 3/4), all that you see in the Kindle edition is a square.
One would think that when converting a book about photography, whose value is as much tied to the actual photographs as the content, that there would be an emphasis on great photos in the Kindle edition. Sadly, this is not the case. I do not know if Amazon or Amherst Media (the book publisher) is to blame, but the quality of the Kindle edition is really unacceptable and if I could return it I would. Perhaps I should take some of the blame for not downloading a sample of the book first, but, please Amazon, improve your Kindle editions of these books.