Photographic lighting is a topic that will never go out of style, no matter how sophisticated cameras and other technology get. Even with the most high-tech gear, photographers still need to put a lot of thought and vision into lighting their photographs in order to get great results. This key skill has the power to dramatically and quickly improve photographs.
Light Science and Magic provides you with a comprehensive theory of the nature and principles of light, with examples and instructions for practical application. Featuring photographs, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions, this book speaks to photographers of varying levels. It provides invaluable information on how to light the most difficult subjects, such as surfaces, metal, glass, liquids, extremes (black-on-black and white-on-white), and portraits.
This new edition includes:
- All new chapter titled "Setting Up Your New Studio"
- A re-vamped and expanded chapter 8 now titled "Making Portraits"
- New appendix of reliable photo gear sources
- Over 100 new photographs and informational sidebars
- Updated information about advances in flash equipment, LED panels and fluorescent lights
Styles of lighting continue to change, but the nature of light will always remain the same. Once photographers understand the basic physics of lighting, they can apply that knowledge to a broad range of photographic styles.
"This book offers a set of tools that a photographer can use to promote their own sense of art and beauty. While your photographs reflect your individual taste and vision, the tools in this book give you options to highlight or diminish the elements in the photograph and as a result, lift those images to something more, something even better. The authors have done an amazing job by writing about a difficult subject in an easy style that allows the reader to fully understand the concepts of lighting and how it will shape your images." - Apogee Photo Magazine
Table of Contents Chapter 1 How to Learn lighting Lighting Is the Language of Photography What Are the "Principles?" Why Are the Principles Important? How Did We Choose the Examples For This Book? To Do or Not to Do?What Kind of Camera Do I Need?A Word of Caution What Lighting Equipment Do I Need?What Else Do I Need to Know to Use This Book? What Is the Magic Part of This Book? Chapter 2 Light: the Raw Material of Photography What is light? How Photographers Describe Light Brightness Color Contrast "Light" Versus "Lighting" How the Subject Affects Lighting Transmission "Direct" Versus "Diffuse" Transmission AbsorptionReflection Chapter 3 The Management of Reflection and the Family of Angles Types of Reflections Diffuse Reflections The Inverse Square LawDirect Reflections Breaking the Inverse Square Law The Family of AnglesPolarized Direct Reflection Is It Polarized Reflection or Ordinary Direct Reflection?Turning Ordinary Direct Reflection into Polarized Reflection Applying the Theory Chapter 4 Surface Appearances The Photographer As an Editor Capitalizing on Diffuse ReflectionsThe Angle of Light The Success and Failure of the General RuleThe Distance of LightDoing the Impossible Using Diffuse Reflection and Shadow to Reveal Texture Capitalizing on Direct ReflectionComplex Surfaces Chapter 5 Revealing Shape and Contour Depth Clues Perspective Distortion Distortion as a Clue to Depth Manipulating Distortion Total Variation The Size of the Light Large Lights versus Small Lights Distance From the Subject The Direction of the Light Light on the Side Light Above the Subject Fill Light Adding Depth to the Background How Much Total Variation is Ideal Photographing Cylinders: Increasing Total Variation The Glossy Box Use a Dark to Medium Toned Background Eliminate Direct Reflection from the Box Top Eliminate Direct Reflection From the Box Top Move the Light Source Toward the Camera Raise or Lower the Camera Use Falloff Eliminate Direct Reflection From the Box's Sides Put a Black Card on the Table Top Tip the Box Use a Longer Lens Try a Polarizer Used Dulling Spray Use Direct Reflection Chapter 6 Metal Flat Metal Bright or Dark Finding the Family of Angles Position a White Target Where You Think the Family of Angles Will Be Place a Test Light at the Camera lens Aim the Test Light Lighting the MetalKeeping the Metal BrightWhat is a Normal Exposure for Metal?Keeping the Metal Dark The Elegant Compromise Controlling the Effective Size of the Light Keeping the Metal Square Use a View Camera or Perspective Control LensAim the Camera Through a Hole in the Light Source Photograph the Metal at an AngleRetouch the Reflection Metal Boxes A Light BackgroundA Transparent BackgroundA Glossy Background Round Metal Camouflage Keeping the Light Off the CameraUsing a Tent Other Resources Polarizing FiltersBlack MagicDulling Spray Where Else Do These Techniques Apply? Chapter 7 The Case of the Disappearing Glass Principles ProblemsSolutions Two Attractive Opposites Bright Field Lighting Choose the Background Position the Light Position the Camera Shoot the Picture Dark Field Lighting Set Up a Large Light Source Position the Camera Position the Subject and Focus the Camera Shoot the Picture The Best of Both Worlds Some Finishing Touches Defining the Surface of Glassware Illuminating the Background Minimizing the Horizon Stopping Flare Eliminating Extraneous Reflections Complications From Non-Glass Subjects Liquids in Glass Liquids As a Lens Keeping True Color Secondary Opaque Subjects Recognizing the Principal Subject Chapter 8 An Arsenal of Lights The Single light Portrait Setup The Basic Setup Light Size Skin Texture Where to Put the Main Light The Key Triangle Key Triangle Too Large: Main Light Too Near the Camera Key Triangle Too Low: Main Light Too High Key Triangle Too Narrow: Main Light Too Far to Side Left Side? Right Side? Broad Lighting or Short Lighting? Eyeglasses Additional Lights Fill Lights Reflector Cards as Fill Lights Background Lights Hair Lights Kickers Rim Lights Mood and Key Low-Key Lighting High-Key Lighting Staying in Key Dark Skin The Unfocused Spot Using Colored Gels Chapter 9 The Extremes The Characteristic Curve The Perfect "Curve" A "Bad" Camera Overexposure Underexposure Using Every Resource White on White Exposing White-On-White Scenes Lighting White-On-White Scenes Subject and Background Using an Opaque White Background Light the Subject From Above Use a Gobo Above the Subject Add Dimension Using a Translucent White Background Using a Mirror Background In Any Case, Keep the Background Small Black-On-Black Exposing Black-On-Black Scenes Lighting Black-On-Black Scenes Subject and Background Using an Opaque Black Background Using a Glossy Black Surface Keeping the Subject Away from the Background Histograms Preventing Problems Over Manipulation CurvesNew Principles Chapter 10 Traveling Light The Lights We Use Heavy-Duty Portable Strobes "Hot Shoe" Flashes LED Panels Getting the Exposure Right Letting Your Flash Do the Figuring Using a Meter Meters and LEDs Getting More Light Multiple, or "Ganged" Flashes Battery Packs Flash Extenders Getting Better Quality Light The Problems Take It Off Bouncing From Hard to Soft The Omni-Bounce a Big Help for a Little Money "Raccoon Eyes" Feathering Your Light Forcing the Shadow Lights of Different Colors Why Is the Color of the Light Important? Tungsten Daylight Nonstandard Light Sources Do the Colors Mix? The Remedies Correcting Mixed Colors Correcting Unmixed Colors Filtering Daylight Correcting Errors in Reproduction Lights of Different Duration Different Approaches Other Useful Gear Chapter 11 Setting Up Your First Studio Lights: An Early Issue Getting Your Lights Right What Kind of Lights? Flash Continuous Lights How Many Lights? Light Stands Booms Light Modifiers Which Do I Need? Diffusers Reflectors Snoots and Grids Gobos and Flags Backgrounds Computers and Associated Gear Miscellaneous Equipment What About Space? EOF