- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Rocky Nook; 1 edition (March 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1937538753
- ISBN-13: 978-1937538750
- Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Picture Perfect Lighting: An Innovative Lighting System for Photographing People 1st Edition
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About the Author
Roberto Valenzuela is a photographer based in Beverly Hills, CA. He has been honored by Canon USA to be one of the few chosen photographers to be part of their prestigious Canon Explorers of Light program. Roberto believes that it is not talent but deliberate practice that is at the core of skill and achievement. He has traveled to every corner of the world motivating photographers to practice and break down the various elements of photography in order to master them through goal-setting, self-training, and constant dedication. He is the author of the bes-selling books Picture Perfect Practice and Picture Perfect Posing.
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Top Customer Reviews
In his book, Valenzuela has distilled his philosophy into three concepts that define every shooting decision he makes. They are The Five Behaviors of Light, The Ten Circumstantial Light Elements, and Benchmark Settings. These three concepts create a system that any photographer can apply to any portrait scenario under any lighting conditions.
In the many color photo examples, detailed with explanation about how these concepts are applied, the results speak for themselves. His photos are remarkable. Valenzuela demonstrates his techniques under natural and flash lighting, and provides a number of practice exercises to help you build your shooting skills and your attention to good light.
His writing style is concise, friendly, and in each chapter he focuses precisely on the lesson being taught. Unlike some other authors, Valenzuela doesn’t waste your time with name-dropping or self-promotion. Every page is written for the reader’s benefit.
Picture Perfect Lighting is not just another book with a photographer’s pretty pictures and his/her camera settings written in the captions. This book provides a simple system that gives consistent results. It’s a great foundation upon which beginning photographers can build their own unique style, or experienced amateurs can use to reinvent their work.
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This book is category 3. Sometimes you just want to know how to take amazing shots in any environment without feeling the stress of the unknown. He shows you that there should not be luck or chance associated with taking photos for money. Why would anyone put themselves at jeopardy when money is on the line?
In summary, it shows you at minimum how to generate perfect Main and Fill light in nearly any setting and any time of day. These are key for excellent photos. It also shows you why you need to shoot manual and remain consistent by forcing the lighting to fit your needs, rather than constantly changing camera settings for available light. This book makes it easy. You'll be like a well oiled machine after reading this and will walk into any shoot feeling like Micheal Jordan.
Over the course of 333+ pages, Mr. Valenzuela reveals several core truths. Not only does he prove that a large crew is NOT needed, nor the most expensive DSLR on the market, or even the most high end lighting equipment, he shows that anyone with a passion for practicing their photographic skills coupled with knowledge of the behavior of light can create professional quality photographs. Early on, he takes the reader through the five behaviors of light with an intuitive explanation of each and easily understood examples. He moves on to explain the process he uses to scout locations with nothing more than a camera and knowledge of light through a system called the “circumstantial light elements.” Through the many behind-the-scenes examples shown in the book and the insistence of the author, it becomes very clear that the quality of the light, not the aesthetics of the location are what make a photograph beautiful.
About halfway through the book, he starts to introduce light modifiers and different techniques readers can use to boost the light in their photos. Objects such as reflectors and speed lights are introduced in light of what he calls the “lighting benchmark test.” The basic idea of this philosophy is, in the paraphrased words of the author, “adjusting the light to your camera’s settings, not the other way around.” He first takes the reader through multiple examples of locations that either pass or fail this test with detailed explanations as to why. However, when the natural light is too weak, something more is needed to help boost the light as opposed to raising the camera’s ISO in order to maintain the cleanest possible files. Mr. Valenzuela offers many tips and tricks beyond the conventional for introducing each modifier into the scene. There is even an entire chapter devoted to becoming familiar with one’s flash unit(s) through hands on exercises that readers can practice over and over again.
The book concludes with several examples of photographs and why each one is successful. By the time the reader gets to this chapter, all of the previous principles taught in the book will have become so ingrained that he or she will be able to recognize why each location has elicited such beautiful light, hence a successful photograph. Such as in the case of the Masked Magician revealing the secrets of his illusions with relatively simple explanations, the reader of this book will no longer be left asking themselves “how?” but rather, “why didn’t I think of that?”
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