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Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers Paperback – April 1, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher Grey is the author of Creative Techniques for Nude Photography and Photographer's Guide to Polaroid Transfer. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Amherst Media; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584281251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584281252
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a third year commercial advertisment photography student and I have to say that I wish I had found this book in my first year. Christopher Grey really knows his stuff. He has diagrams along with his photographs to explain each type of lighting situation. I actually learned quite a bit about different lighting accessories used for various lighting like hairlights, and different ways to show separation from the background. This is definitely a great book to have around to review a few pointers before a shoot. I'm half way through the book and I just got it yesterday night. It's very easy reading. The format just flows. The techniques and suggestions are great building bases. If you've already taken portraiture classes, some of this will be review (Part I-The Principles of Portrait Lighting), but I still think this is a great book to have. Part II is Portrait Lighting in Practice. It gives one or two examples in each category. Editorial, corporate, ...etc. If you have any hesitation on your technique and possible outcomes, this is a great book. It'll reaffirm your confidence in the way you do things; moreover, you may be reminded of something that you might have forgotten.
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Format: Paperback
Christopher Grey is a master of photographic lighting, and this expertise shines through in his latest book, appropriately titled, Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers. Grey eases his readers into the topic with a discussion on the properties and quality of light and a review of modern lighting equipment, both store-bought and homemade. Then, after an informative chapter on lighting ratios (a frequently misused and misunderstood term) he embarks on an instructive and comprehensive journey that covers everything from classic lighting styles to the advanced lighting methods used by today's top studio photographers. Beautiful color photos and helpful diagrams complement each scenario.
Grey's writing is conversational and witty, which is a blessing when one is digesting material that, in duller texts, can quickly veer off into technical mumbo jumbo. In addition to his lighting information, he sprinkles every chapter with plenty of useful advice - things he's learned during his 30-year career - for saving money, choosing backdrops, building trust with subjects, capturing better expressions and much, much more. I'd recommend the book to anyone interested in portrait photography. The photographs alone are well worth the purchase price, but the lessons enabling readers to create similarly stunning photos make the book an extremely good value.
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Format: Paperback
This is a powerful, concise, and well written book.

With his diagrams, accompanying photos, and explanations, Mr. Grey has opened my eyes to light and lighting options in ways I hadn't realized...and now makes me look far more carefully at portraits than ever before, to appreciate how the lighting and well placed shadows emphasize the client's best qualities.

I confess I hesitated before buying a "mere" 128 page book, and quickly realized he cuts out the usual fluff and shares "secrets" freely. One must savor each page's wisdom, rather than rushing through it, to greatly enhance your skills.

Learn about key light characteristics, softboxes, hair lights, different umbrella effects, lighting ratios and so on...you needn't use some or all on every session, it's there to just let you know how to use these when and if a situation arises...and you'll have the knowlege of how to use them without recreating or reshooting the wheel!

Whether you are a film or a digital photographer, this gives knowledge that benefits either medium, by encouraging you to creatively previsualize the lighting of finished product, long before you click the shutter.

While it's far easier for me to properly light a subject before shooting (I am comfortable with film and slowly learning digital/Photoshop) it gives hints that can be used creatively in "Photoshopping" an image later, in the computer, to enhance a mood, or de-emphasize a highight accordingly. (Katrin Eismann's Photoshop Restoration & Retouching, 3rd ed. is quite helpful, as is Scott Kelby's comfortably cookbook aproach in his Photoshop CS book for Digital Photographers).

This is a pearl that deserves to be read appreciatively, savoring each page at a time!
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Format: Paperback
To set the stage for my comments, I'll offer that I am a mature man and a long-time engineer who has started taking classes in portrait photography.

First of all, for some photography books, a technical background like mine is a must. Not so for this book- it is full of information that is very clearly presented without techno-babble.

This book is an engaging read which is both instructive during the first read, and a great reference every time you pick it up.

I found it very valuable that there were pictures that showed the result of lighting a subject in many different ways with a particular light modifier. It was almost as if I had a studio with all that equipment and could experiment on my own. By the time I got to my studio-based class, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do and how to do it.

A great buy because you will need many books to replace the insight that this single book provides!
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