Donnerstag, 2. August 2012

Book review: Light - Science & Magic by Fil Hunter

Lighting is the language of photography:… that's how the authors explain the meaning of light to photos. But first of all they just explain that every reader – not only the profis - could use their hints. Nobody has to be afraid of a secret-science. Lighting is just (understandable) physics. And one essential advice they give: try every example they gave in this book, only that's the way to learn a correct lighting. That's basically right, but I think not many of the readers have a large light for a proper illumination at home.

But first thinks first: Every book about „doing things“ or procedures has to talk about basics. And so did the authors: What is light, what is contrast? What are colors? What about shadows? What is the relationship between light, the subject of the photo and the viewers? What is reflection and much more basics you have to know. But it's only a short view of the basic physics. Quick they go into practical photography and how to light several objects or situations. So it's much more a practical than a theoretical book.

This book contains not only hints for beginners, it although addresses the experienced photographer and points out devices like a gobo (Do you know what a gobo is and how to use it? No? Go and read the book?) or how to use large lighs. All this they do by explaining concret situations: how to light objects with uneven surfaces, how to reveal the shape of an object, working with metal and much more. The authors use a lot of common objects for their example pictures, like cigar boxes, glasses or metal spatulas, so everybody should be able to repeat their photographing at home. Even the correct lights in portraits is an aspect in this book.

The writing is very interesting and you will not be bored even when the authors write a lot about technical stuff. But if you want to improve your lighting abilities, you have to know basics things about the physics and behaviour of light and you should know about practical examples.

A real helpful book and I hope I could improve my photographic abilities.

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