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Lighting for Portrait Photography (Revised Edition) [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Steve Bavister
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2007
Lighting for Portrait Photography contains practical, wide-reaching advice from one of the industry's most experienced and respected members, Steve Bavister. He provides an insightful look at the many considerations involved in the lighting of successful portraits and goes on to show an inspiring set of examples from top photographers. Each portrait is accompanies by easy-to-follow diagrams and invaluable tips on how to achieve comparable results. This revised edition features all new, three-dimensional illustrations, plus new images from photographers working with digital technology.

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Rotovision; Revised edition edition (1 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2940378304
  • ISBN-13: 978-2940378302
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 27.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Steve Bavister is one of the most experienced writers on photography in the UK. He has been Editor of Photo Answers, Publisher of Practical Photography, and is currently the Editor of The Photographer magazine.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
One of the most powerful ways of photographing someone with strong features is to shoot them in profile - and this picture shows how effective the approach can be when done well. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Great Photo's 18 Mar 2004
The problem with most guidebooks I've seen is that they don't really explain how the photo was lit and the photos aren't actually very good. This book is different. The diagrams and explanations are very clear and easy to follow. The photos are all very contemporary and of a consistently high standard. I have found this book very useful and would highly recommend it.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I've found so far 17 Sep 2007
I've bought a number of books to try and understand how lighting works for portraits. This is my favourite. Not only are the photos very contemporary but I have found them really inspirational. The book lays out the lighting with a 3D plan and a plan view looking from above. It also talks about styling / stylists as well as the usual equipment explanations. I haven't found a better book yet. 'Nuff said really.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, beautiful pictures 9 Nov 2007
I bought this along with several other books on lighting in general and particularly studio lighting as I am setting up my own studio.

This book is packed full of beautiful and professional images from front to back. If you are looking for a book that shows you a lighting setup and how that translates to the final image this is the book for you.

A simple key is used on all images to show you the type of light, number, lens and aperture and this is consistent throughout. Shows you difference between natural and studio light and how the number of lights gives you more choice. Rather refreshingly though there is a focus on keeping it simple. Most of the images can be recreated with one or two lights and a reflector so even beginners can get started.

I have books on the technical details of light and lighting and they are very useful, but if you're more visual this book will help you along, or at the very least inspire you to shoot some great images.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do you want to take that picture? 3 Feb 2012
By Assisi
This book is terrible. I should have realised looking at the cover image that it wasn't going to be a great investment but the other reviews changed my mind.
So I'd ask you to do the same: would you want to be credited with taking that image on the cover of an out of focus lady and a blurry cat? If the answer is yes, grab it and be happy, if not, then steer clear! Every photo in the book is awful, I was willing to keep it if they were 50% decent but most look like they have been taken with a Polaroid camera, no lighting know how necessary. The lighting set-ups they discuss are pitifully simple and wouldn't cut it in the professional world or suit someone who would like their photos to be profitable at some stage. The diagrams were drawn at bizarre angles and don't follow the standard lighting diagram layout being used today (See Light & Shoot for these, I got this at the same time and am very happy with it). Most of them just show a subject standing by a window and the photographer taking their picture by it - you don't need this book to learn that!
I mostly bought this book to see the lighting set-ups of different photographers and shots so I didn't read much of it before returning. However, for me, photography is a visual process and the learning of it should be the same too. If more than a two light set-up is too complicated for the author to explain in a diagram, that author isn't likely to be able to teach me anything I don't know about photography. If you're a beginner and you are really interested in understanding how to use better lighting but aren't going to be investing in any studio or strobe equipment soon then have a look at Perfect Exposure. It contains the technical know-how to capture great shots with any light available, window or no window ;)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book if you're more advanced 12 May 2008
By Colin
The author is obviously a real pro.

He does give details of the techniques and lighting positions employed in the VERY creative photographs he displays.

However, I prefer other books directed at amateurs which teach a slightly lower level of creative photography together with longer and more understandable explanations and from which an amateur like me would probably benefit more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIghting for portrait photography 24 Oct 2008
I first saw this book in Waterstones, and what a book it is, it has excellent illustrations of the lighting used in the many photos it portrays. It was worth the asking price in Waterstone, but at the price Amazon are charging it is an excellent bargain.

It doesnt just show artificial lighting, it also shows photos with very basic lighting techniques, using windows and reflectors etc, Although it does use some very complex lightning techniques later in the book. In many of the photos it also describes lens used, and the camera settings used to achieve the effect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You get some interesting ideas. 20 Feb 2012
Received this book from a friend, and found that this is a pretty quick read.

The book provides some good ideas on composition, and lighting, which ranges from a single window, to quite sophisticated studio lighting. You may also need to do some very serious post production to achieve some of the effects in the effects in this book.

The book is helpful, as it gives information on what equipment was used, and how the equipment, and subjects were arranged.

Personally, I would have preferred if the images did not span two pages, as parts of the image was lost.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 16 Feb 2008
Great tips for lighting. Great lighting diagrams. If you want to learn about portrait lighting look no further.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I got this book as I have limited experience with studio lighting and wanted to gain some overall knowledge as well as some inspiration. Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by Matt W
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This book provides a good insight into lighting of portraits, and includes a large number of examples of famous people and celebrities to illustrate the points. Read more
Published on 26 Jan 2010 by P. White
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good service.
The service was very good.I got the book delivered next day.I recomend this seller,very impressive service.
Published on 7 July 2009 by C. Harling
3.0 out of 5 stars Glossy but sparse
This is a 90%-picture-10%-prose volume. The photos are compelling and each has details of the setup and a lighting diagram. Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2009 by IDG1973
1.0 out of 5 stars avarage
not overly impressed not much to it good pics but not very in depth
not worth the money in my opinion
Published on 9 Aug 2008 by kevin hunt
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Good book to read, could have a bit more information and what not. but worth the money to add to your collection.
Published on 6 Aug 2008 by Mr. S. A. Slevin
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful
Very well laid out book with good diagrams and illustrations explaining different styles and layouts.

Highly recommended.
Published on 10 July 2008 by C. Macculloch
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not for digital
This book has a few problems and whilst the pictures of the placement of lighting set-ups are very useful the final pictures you see are not a true representation. Read more
Published on 28 Dec 2007 by Mr. J. G. Nattrass
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