Top critical review
121 people found this helpful
Not much help if you shoot outdoors
on September 21, 2011
Matt is a great teacher and there's lots of good stuff in this book, but be warned. If you think it's about pulling folks out of your back yard photos and putting them someplace else, you'll be disappointed. The majority of this book is about how to set up and light your subjects in a studio against a seamless background so they'll look right when you mask them out and put them into another shot. This is all good information for folks with studios and multiple lights, planning in advance to composite the shot.
I was hoping to get a lot more information on masking, and maybe some on color and temperature balance so things looked real. Instead I got "Plan ahead, write down the focal length, f-stop and distance from your subject, then set your camera the same when shooting the background; note the spot where your subject would be if he was actually there, then back your camera off the same distance you shot from in the studio. In my amateur world, it'd be a lot easier to just transport the subject to the location and take one shot.
The book was definitely NOT a waste of money, and I got several good things from it. There were good tips on masking, but masking from a seamless background is not that hard. I'm an amateur with one removable flash, two reflectors, and no studio, I don't get paid for my work, I just wanna have fun in my hobby. I could have got everything of interest to me in far fewer chapters. This book is more for professional photographers and graphic designers.