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Kevin Kubotas Lighting Notebook: 101 Lighting Styles and Setups for Digital Photographers [Kindle Edition]

Kevin Kubota
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £23.99
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Book Description

Get professional advice from one of the world's top wedding photographersCreative use of lighting is a hallmark of quality photography. Kevin Kubota has been listed among the world's top 10 wedding photographers by American Photo magazine and named a Legend Behind the Lens by Nikon. This guide features dozens of his unique lighting and post-production recipes and techniques, each illustrated with a spectacular image.
  • Author Kevin Kubota enjoys a cult-like following among professional photographers and has earned numerous accolades for his talent
  • Includes the author's unique lighting and post-production recipes and techniques that reinforce the theory that good lighting is the key to quality photography
  • Presents a number of shooting scenarios with behind-the-scenes setup, a description of the photographer's objective, the equipment used, and the resulting image for each
  • Features a companion app that will enable the photographer to search and find lighting suggestions by subject, style, budget, equipment, and other guidelines, all while in the field

Kevin Kubota's Lighting Notebook for Digital Photographers is almost like having the famous photographer sharing his secrets with you one on one.

Product Description


′Kevin Kubota’s manual is essential reading for anyone looking to better their use of light. An excellent buy’ .  Advanced Photographer, December 2011

From the Back Cover

Learn the secrets of light from a master of light Kevin Kubota′s creative lighting techniques are legendary. Now, the master invites you to look over his shoulder and share his secrets. Learn the essential lighting skills that create a mood, define your subject, and give dimension to your images. Then experiment with Kevin′s lighting diagrams for a hundred or more specific situations, all indexed for easy reference. Finally, review the basic post–production techniques every photographer should know. Kevin′s notebook may just become your bible. Complete diagrams for lighting more than 100 situations mixed light fun & funky light classic glamour light Learn about significant lighting trends through history Understand how to use the essential rules regarding quality, quantity, and ratios Gain the most from your light meter and histograms Compile your own lighting kit for every situation Make your images magnificent with Aperture, Lightroom, or Photoshop Featuring a detailed index that enables you to quickly find diagrams for a particular subject or scenario Check out the companion app on iTunes!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 21993 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (23 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005PETXT0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #567,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay for rich beginners 18 Jan. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must admit I thought this would be a book that covered the absolute basics of one, two, and three-point lighting, and work on from there. It certainly starts in the right place, with a few interesting observations about appropriate equipment.

Where I have to differ with the five-star review is that the book goes very little towards what it purports to do. Instead of being 101 lighting styles and setups, although there are quite a few, the vast majority of the images can only actually be achieved by buying additional plug-ins marketed by the slick Mr K. Pseudo cross-processing, and all the other "click my plug-in" tricks are promoted on nearly every example, when what is actually implied by the title, and actually needed, is just what it says on the tin.

I can see how Mr K came to be regarded as one of the leading practitioners of wedding photography. The unashamed marketing of his other services is stock in trade to photographers in that line. A little more honesty and substance is what is actually needed. The book looks beautiful, a huge amount of effort has been put into the design and presentation of every page; too often a sign of lack of substance.

I can hear Karsh turning in his grave.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A christmas presi 8 Jan. 2012
By jmg
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a christmas presi that was exactly as requested a bit over my head but for a very keen photographer just the thing
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
110 of 124 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware! 26 Nov. 2011
By wdwpsu - Published on
I'm surprised with all of these 5 star reviews that there isn't one negative review. While this book is great at showing off lighting techniques (And why I gave it 2 instead of 1 star)... This book is also a giant ad for Kubota actions. Buying Kevin Kubota's dashboard, lightroom presets, and photoshop actions (also available at his website) end up costing you hundreds of additional hours to achieve the look of the images in this book.

So, if you already are waist deep in Kubota's tools, fantastic, buy this book. You'll soar.

If you are new to photography, or just looking for an affordable path to make your photos better, I'd avoid this.. As, you are being led down a very expensive path from the author.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent book with some interesting ideas 13 July 2012
By SerbianWolf - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book twice - first time as a gift for a friend of mine who helped me with photography when I was starting and recently again to show some of my colleagues from photo business how to make a decent studio setups with little effort.

I like this book as it is very descriptive and has a lot of info about used equipment for specific shoots. I'm however a bit confused about its particular targeted crowd - new photogs will probably have problems finding exactly same equipment to use (SB-800 anyone?) and older, more experience photogs will already have their own stuff, probably of different brand and/or type and they generally know most of these setups. I took one star for that one - I know it is an older edition, but still.

Still, there are some really cool samples and ideas within this book so I guess $20 isn't much for it, especially since a decent lens is most likely 100x more expensive anyway...

I removed a second star due to annoying and really cheap way that Mr. Kubota promotes his product throughout the whole book. Pretty much ANY photo he took he sent through Photoshop and used some of his filters (which he, of course, would be more than happy to sell to you), pretty much telling you how you can get a good result without software. Boulderdash.

This shameless self-promotion is pitiful and totally misleading. While I think that Mr. Kubota has some really cool photos in his portfolio and is certainly a man with good ideas, this books tarnishes that reputation somewhat.

After all is said and done, my recommendation is that you look for a different book with similar material. This one is somewhat old and although it has some decent setups and ideas you can find similar material presented elsewhere and with less shameless self-promotion.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 29 Aug. 2012
By DeuceBradshaw - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with this book. Kubotas first item in this "lighting notebook" is a backlit pair of girls. How are they lit? With flashes? With reflectors? Nope... sunlight through a window. Thank you for this extremely obvious and useless example. People buying lighting books are generally more advanced shooters. This example was and is completely unnecessary.

Which ended up being the tone of this book. It ramps up quickly into extremely expensive lighting examples. There are very few examples for the mid-level photographer. Kubotas uses a price indicator and when half of his examples run over $1000, it's pretty obvious that the book is worthless for anyone who owns that much lighting gear.

While a few of the examples are useful, more than half are not. You're better off searching youtube and collecting videos from a variety of sources. Two stars at most.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lighting Recipe Book 5 Oct. 2011
By David Cearley Jr. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kubota is well known as a Photoshop/Lightroom Action guru, and I was actually expecting the focus of this book to be Photoshop presets. I was wrong, but in a good way. Kubota provides dozens and dozens of one or two page lighting recipes shot diagrams, and session photos that make it easy and painless to immediately, and dramatically, improve your portrait lighting. I found it an ideal companion to Syl Arena's "Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites". While Syl's primary focus is speedlites, he provides a bit more technical information, and isn't afraid to recommend specific brands of equipment. Combining Syl's technical background with Kubota's simple techniques, you can advance your skills, and photographs, very very quickly. Highly recommended.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Kubotas Lighting Notebook 14 Sept. 2011
By Debra Ekas - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kevin Kubota has taken his years in the trenchs has a portrait and wedding photographer and put those experiences between the covers of a well thought out book. His time spent teaching workshops is represented as well. The book is thoughtfully laid out, and easy to follow. Key terms are clearly defined and expanded upon so the guide will be useful for newbies and for experienced photog's looking to expand their palette. I have read lighting guides written by just about everyone that has issued one, and so far Kevin Kubota's is the most accessible, in that he approaches the set ups from the perspective of a working portraitist.(Not a photo-rock star shooting a complicated tableau) It also helps that Kevin Kubota's approachable, personality is represented in the writing. It is written with humor trough out. (helpful in what can be a dry subject)
In addition to the notebook of lighting set ups, there is a chapter on Essential Lighting skills, that generously takes photographers just starting out through the concept of photographic lighting, and gives real world explanations.
The chapter on equipment is detailed and offers low cost alternatives to help defray what can be an expensive range of gear for those just starting to build their studio.
The post production chapter is clearly written with helpful screen shots so you can actually find the "curves adjustment" button in lightroom or whatever enigmatic fiddly thing that needs to be tweaked.
I recommend this guide highly.
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