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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> book recommendations
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01/13/2004 02:10:20 PM · #1
For anybody wanting to understand how lighting works and how you can use it to to your advantage in your photography, I can strongly recommend this book : Light : science and magic

Once you read this you move away from guessing how to light your shot to actually being able to think it out beforehand and predict how it behaves. It is rather theoretical to read, but an absolute great book to understand the basis of all photography : light that is.

It uses simple examples to explain the basic principles of size of light, three different types of reflections, surface behavious, positions etc and then these principles can be applied to any shot you want.

(I suggest you read the description on amazon.com to find out whether this is something for you, you can even browse through its contents).

I have also two books on product and still life shots which I can recommend,
new product shots and
still life and special effects photography

Both are the same concept, showing a great picture and describing how it was made, with a drawing of the lighting setup. (the second one is certainly better value for money, cheaper and more pictures, but same concept).

These are both more for inspiration but also to learn by example. If combined with the first book it all falls into place.

Have fun.

p.s. I have no commercial interest related to these books, just want to share my experience.
01/14/2004 11:56:08 PM · #2
Thanks for the recommendations, the first book on light seems interesting. I might have to check it out.
01/14/2004 11:58:23 PM · #3
Yup, thanks for the info there.

I've reviewed a couple of books previously as well.

I still think it would be a good idea if there was a forum for book reviews.
01/15/2004 04:51:51 AM · #4
The best photo book I ever read is the National Geographic Photography Field Guide.

Great.
01/15/2004 08:13:47 AM · #5
An incredible value to us like digital photographers is th book of Tom Ang: Digital Photographer's Handbook //www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0789489074/qid=1074172350/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-8790311-4686536?v=glance&s=books

It has many photography techniques and a lot of digital issues on PS to work around in all that things that bump digital photos. Is very useful. Did you read this book?
01/17/2004 07:32:28 PM · #6
Hey GoodEnd, based on your recommendation I looked at the book at Borders, and ended up buying it. From what I have seen and read so far, it looks really good.
01/23/2004 05:15:50 PM · #7
I bought Ang's book a few weeks ago. It's informative and full of ideas. I bought mine at Borders since I had a gift certificate, otherwise I could have saved about 25% buying it online.
01/23/2004 05:25:02 PM · #8
Both Tom Angs' book and John Hedgecoes' The New Manual of Photography are available at Costco for $23.99 each.

The New Manual Of Photography is mainly non-digital photography but all the concepts including, lighting, composition, terms, etc can be converted into digital.

Thanks to this book I have a new way of looking at pictures. Definitely worthwhile to look through a copy if you're at a bookstore.
05/20/2021 08:56:15 AM · #9
I just want to repeat my book recommendation from 2004 here. I am re-reading my version (2nd edition)

The book "light science and magic" (featured in my shot in the challenge "still life with two light sources") is highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand light, lighting and how to use it for various subjects depending on shape, surface and desired results (especially in controlled environments like your "studio")

It is now available in 6th edition, updated for developments in equipment, although the basic principles of light and lighting stay the same.

Originally posted by willem:

For anybody wanting to understand how lighting works and how you can use it to to your advantage in your photography, I can strongly recommend this book : Light : science and magic

Once you read this you move away from guessing how to light your shot to actually being able to think it out beforehand and predict how it behaves. It is rather theoretical to read, but an absolute great book to understand the basis of all photography : light that is.

It uses simple examples to explain the basic principles of size of light, three different types of reflections, surface behavious, positions etc and then these principles can be applied to any shot you want.

(I suggest you read the description on amazon.com to find out whether this is something for you, you can even browse through its contents).

I have also two books on product and still life shots which I can recommend,
new product shots and
still life and special effects photography

Both are the same concept, showing a great picture and describing how it was made, with a drawing of the lighting setup. (the second one is certainly better value for money, cheaper and more pictures, but same concept).

These are both more for inspiration but also to learn by example. If combined with the first book it all falls into place.

Have fun.

p.s. I have no commercial interest related to these books, just want to share my experience.
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