Light Science Magic...

Scatterbrained

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It is absolutely worth it. There's a reason why photography programs use it as a textbook. ;)
If you want to learn lighting, LS&M is the foundation of knowledge you need to understand everything else you'll do in a studio.
 

tirediron

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Absolutely! My very-well thumbed copy lives on the corner of my coffee-table is my 'go-to' reference for lighting, espcially product work.
 
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jwbryson1

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Absolutely! My very-well thumbed copy lives on the corner of my coffee-table is my 'go-to' reference for lighting, espcially product work.


Okay, fair enough, but can you give me some details on what types of lighting it is useful for? For example, does it get into portrait photography? Is it for still images of items? Details please....

Thanks!
 

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It covers lighting. Period. That said, MOST of the information and techiques are more appropriate and relate to product/still subject lighting.
 

runnah

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I got a copy from my local library...remember those places?
 

Scatterbrained

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Absolutely! My very-well thumbed copy lives on the corner of my coffee-table is my 'go-to' reference for lighting, espcially product work.


Okay, fair enough, but can you give me some details on what types of lighting it is useful for? For example, does it get into portrait photography? Is it for still images of items? Details please....

Thanks!
It's a book about lighting theory. How light works. Why it does what it does. It's not a book that will say "put the light here to get this look". There are far to many of those books already and they aren't worth the paper they are printed on. The market is flooded with books on photography, because photographers have realized that pushing out crappy books is a good revenue stream. Sorta like the glut of "workshops" out there. A large portion of them don't really say anything other than "this is what I do", which is useless.
As far as I'm concerned, it's more important to know how something works and how to make it work than to know how someone set up a particular shot. It's like people who always want to see the Exif data, as if they'll be able to just write down the values and go get the same shot.
LS&M is a great foundational text. If you are looking to learn portrait lighting/posing in particular, I'd advise starting with something like "Monty Zucker's Portrait Photographers Handbook". It covers traditional lighting and posing and gives the "why" behind the methods, not just a "do this" text. Portrait and wedding photography are quite popular, so you have to be a bit more careful looking for useful books in those genres as they are flooded with crap. :shock:
Also, check used listings on Amazon. I've seen some great deals there. I know Amazon is constantly sending me e-mails looking to buy back books I've bought that are used as textbooks in schools (LS&M being one of them) so I'd imagine they should have a collection of budget copies.
 

Scatterbrained

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Absolutely! My very-well thumbed copy lives on the corner of my coffee-table is my 'go-to' reference for lighting, espcially product work.


Okay, fair enough, but can you give me some details on what types of lighting it is useful for? For example, does it get into portrait photography? Is it for still images of items? Details please....

Thanks!

I'm pretty sure Amazon has a fairly inclusive preview of this book, you could always zip through and get an idea for yourself. It's always easier to see first hand than to take the opinions of people who may be coming from a different perspective than your own.
 
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jwbryson1

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Absolutely! My very-well thumbed copy lives on the corner of my coffee-table is my 'go-to' reference for lighting, espcially product work.


Okay, fair enough, but can you give me some details on what types of lighting it is useful for? For example, does it get into portrait photography? Is it for still images of items? Details please....

Thanks!
It's a book about lighting theory. How light works. Why it does what it does. It's not a book that will say "put the light here to get this look". There are far to many of those books already and they aren't worth the paper they are printed on. The market is flooded with books on photography, because photographers have realized that pushing out crappy books is a good revenue stream. Sorta like the glut of "workshops" out there. A large portion of them don't really say anything other than "this is what I do", which is useless.
As far as I'm concerned, it's more important to know how something works and how to make it work than to know how someone set up a particular shot. It's like people who always want to see the Exif data, as if they'll be able to just write down the values and go get the same shot.
LS&M is a great foundational text. If you are looking to learn portrait lighting/posing in particular, I'd advise starting with something like "Monty Zucker's Portrait Photographers Handbook". It covers traditional lighting and posing and gives the "why" behind the methods, not just a "do this" text. Portrait and wedding photography are quite popular, so you have to be a bit more careful looking for useful books in those genres as they are flooded with crap. :shock:
Also, check used listings on Amazon. I've seen some great deals there. I know Amazon is constantly sending me e-mails looking to buy back books I've bought that are used as textbooks in schools (LS&M being one of them) so I'd imagine they should have a collection of budget copies.


Dude, you have some AMAZING images on your website! :shock: WOW. Great stuff!!! :thumbup:
 

pgriz

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I know KmH raves about this book but does anybody else actually own it and think it is worth the $35 investment?

Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting: Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua: 9780240812250: Amazon.com: Books

If "they" charged four times more the price, it would still be worth it. But only if you actually work through the examples and practice. Otherwise, it sucks at character development and fails as convincing period piece. Rather skimpy on the sleigh-of-hand magic too.

;) :biggrin::biggrin:
 

Big Mike

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To be honest, the first time I tried to read it...it seemed overly technical and boring. But after I started to understand the principles from various other sources...I re-read it and it all made perfect sense.

I now teach a course that is quite closely based on this book. And yes, both the book any the course deal a lot with 'product' type photography...but mainly because that is a great way to visualize and practice the principles involved. You have to learn to walk, before you learn to run.

And yes, the principles do apply to portrait photography...but I think it's best to learn them on simple objects before applying them to portraits.

So yes, I do highly recommend this book for any photographer. It teaches the principles of using light, so that once you understand them, you should be able to light anything (or at least understand how it would best be lit).

And after all, to really be a master of photography, one must have an intimate knowledge of light. Photography literally means 'drawing with light'.
 
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hopdaddy

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I think my copy is 25-30 years old ,
 
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jwbryson1

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Just bought on Amazon.
 

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Absolutely! My very-well thumbed copy lives on the corner of my coffee-table is my 'go-to' reference for lighting, espcially product work.


Okay, fair enough, but can you give me some details on what types of lighting it is useful for? For example, does it get into portrait photography? Is it for still images of items? Details please....

Thanks!
The last 3rd of the book is devoted to portrait lighting.

If you go Amazon.com, you can look at the table of contents for the book - Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

I was recently looking at a 4 hour portrait lighting seminar. The cost to attend was $2000. $35 is cheap by comparison.
 

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