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Lighting for dummies

Kier Selinsky , Jan 05, 2007; 10:03 a.m.

As I shop for studio equipment, trying to make sure I'm getting everything I need, and understand all the ins and outs, I'm wondering if anyone can point me towards a good "Lighting for dummies" type of book. I've got books and other resources on how to create different looks and whatever, but everything I've seen skips over the extreme basics. I'd like to have something at hand so that when I'm considering, for example, gels, I don't need to ask how to use a gel filter (like i did the other day, and thanks for the helpful info). I've got a feeling that I'm going to run into lots of mundane tid-bit questions that could be much more easily answered with a book instead of troubling others for the info. Thanks!


W. Smith , Jan 05, 2007; 10:25 a.m.

Hi Kier,

if you Google "portrait lighting", you'll get 75,000 hits.

Denise D (San Francisco) , Jan 05, 2007; 10:31 a.m.

Because I really am a dummy when it comes to studio type lighting, I found "the complete guide to light and lighting in digital photography" by Michael Freeman to be a very helpful introduction-type book.

Ellis Vener , Jan 05, 2007; 10:35 a.m.

"Matters of Light and Depth" by Ross Lowell.

"Secrets of Lighting on Location" by Bob Krist.

Garry Edwards , Jan 05, 2007; 10:35 a.m.

My solution isn't free but it's cheap, and the money goes to a good cause - me!

http://www.photolearn.co.uk which is a series of .pdf tutorials.

Also, take a look at the various Lighting Themes on studio lighting and equipment, archived under 'Administration' in this forum. They're extracts from an old edition of my Studio Lighting & Equipment tutorial. And there are a lot of other lighting themes there too, many of which will be helpful

Dana Gee , Jan 05, 2007; 12:59 p.m.

For portrait work, The Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers by Christopher Grey is good. Also, as textbooks go, Light Magic and Science, 2nd edition, by Fil Hunter and Paul Fuqua is excellent.

Kevin Vinatieri , Jan 08, 2007; 12:56 a.m.

"The Photographer's Guide to using LIGHT" By Ted Schwarz and Brian Stoppee.

"Lighting for Nudee Photography" by Rod Ashford

Both were very good books. They shoud answer a lot of your questions.

Al Robinette , Jul 21, 2007; 09:20 p.m.

Does anyone know which book might have layout maps with distances and heights for the lighting?

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