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On-Camera Flash Techniques for Wedding and Portrait Photography [Paperback]

Neil van Niekerk
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
RRP: 28.99
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Book Description

10 Sep 2009
Photographers are always searching for perfect light, however availability and location often don't conspire to create perfect lighting conditions. This is especially true on location at weddings. This is where portable, on-camera flashes can be invaluable, but only if they are used properly. Acclaimed wedding photographer van Niekerk shows how to avoid the pitfalls of flash photography to produce professional, vibrant imagery. Readers will learn howe to use simple accessories and how to enhance, rather than overpower existing light sources.

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On-Camera Flash Techniques for Wedding and Portrait Photography + Off-Camera Flash + Direction and Quality of Light
Price For All Three: 51.65

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  • Off-Camera Flash 16.99
  • Direction and Quality of Light 14.95

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Amherst Media, Inc. (10 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584282584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584282587
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 22.9 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Ideal as a top up guide for the professional wedding photographer, and it will also serve as a good manual for the inexperienced photographer looking to better their photos through lighting. --Ephotozine

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Camera Flash 22 Nov 2009
I recently bought the title from Amazon and basically read it in one night!
I have many books on Photography and Photoshop, Lightroom etc.
I have got to compliment Niel on the extremely clear and informative content of the book, just the right balance between over simplified and over complicated, he "nailed it"
Everything in the book was spot on, the photographs perfectly illustrated all of the points and concepts that Niel was attempting to put accross.
As i say i have many photography books on a wide range of photography encompassing all of the disciplines from Landscape to photojournalism to Wedding photography etc, including all styles of writing from the highly techinical, (Charlie Waite, Ansell Adams) to the "recipe" style from (Scot Kelby) to titles from Joe McNally, (like Niel's title biased towards Portrait flash photography), in my humble opinion i think this title is the best in respect of explaining the art of flash photography!
I will deffinitelly be looking for future titles from this talented Photographer.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
For many photographers, even experienced ones, the use of the speedlight flash gun remains something of a dark art (no pun intended!). Even with the current interest in "strobist" methods; the many choices/combinations of camera and flash modes, and the availability of a plethora of light modifiers and various other accessories suggests that flash photography is just too difficult a subject to conquer. Many will still simply take "pot luck" with the speedlight and hope things turn out OK.

I've read a lot about flash and speedlight photography and can say without hesitation, that this is the pick of the bunch. Written in a very readable style, all the concepts are well illustrated; many with before-and-after examples. I read it cover-to-cover without having to miss out chunks that were "too difficult" or not relevant; like in some other books I have read (and struggled with). This book de-mystifies basic flash photography, and although concentrating on wedding and portrait work, the concepts and techniques are valid (I would suggest), to all.

I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this book. If only he had written it earlier!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for weddings! 28 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the important messages that comes out of this book is that it is possible to light a subject effectively with just one flash. By learning how to bounce flash correctly, combined with the appropriate exposure settings, there is no need for complex lighting set-ups. This book explains clearly when and how to use flash indoors and out, when to use diffusers and bouncecards, and provides lots of images with the relevant settings to show the effects of taking pictures with and without flash. Many of the images are wedding shots, but it is NOT about wedding photography - it's about balancing ambient light with flash, for images of individuals and groups in a range of settings, so that the use of flash not obvious.
I have avoided using flash until now because I've never understood it properly, and I didn't think I had enough gear. But now I am looking forward to using my (solitary) flashgun with confidence!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for any photographer, with no doubt 17 Oct 2009
You can really tell a photographer worth his salt when you look at how he uses flash, especially indoors... are there huge shadows behind his subjects, unflattering "deer in the headlights" style stunned faces, complete washed out skintones? If that guy claims to have 30 years experience... then laugh and move on. I've seen sites like that... what they need is this book!

In fact any photographer, new or experienced, would benefit from this book.. except for those crazy "purists" who don't use flash at all... and prefer to fight with uneven shadows and low light!

It's not an easy thing to get right, there are so many gadgets out there that prove it. Although I learned a lot from the authors website, I knew this book would sit well in my reference library and I'm very pleased I bought it. I personally couldn't afford/budget for Neil's workshop when it came to Birmingham and was gutted but really this book is a no brainer.. if you're not making money from photography yet.. learning these techniques will help you master the art of using flash correctly.

I posted this brief comment on DWF forum recently after opening the book the first time:

First impressions, very well laid out, well illustrated ... really it stands out as THE book for anyone needing a flash technique reference.. and that is almost every photographer!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic detailed guide to using a flash 25 Jun 2010
By Narly K
There are loads of books on lighting out there, but none of them give you the clear guidance that Neil's book does. Other books by pseudo-celebrity photographers have lots of lovely pictures and sometimes fascinating backstories to photos, but they are completely free of useful detail for the person who actually wants to learn from the ground up.

Neil's book is just perfect. He's not using it as a front to showcase his collection of photos - he includes as many (intentionally) "bad" photos as "good" photos so that you can see for yourself the difference between proper flash use and bad flash use. He also includes EXIF and flash data on every single photo so that you know *exactly* how he got certain results.

He covers a wide range of topics - starting with basic flash information, using modifiers, using a flash in tricky situations, using flash outside, bouncing, not bouncing... the list goes on.

Neil makes it all extremely simple to understand, and the way he sets out the various chapters makes it incredibly easy to have your camera and flash handy so that you can experiment for yourself as you read through his teachings.

I've read a few instructional books on flash photography, and this one is far and away superior (and more useful) than the high profile photographers' books on similar topics.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Let there be light...
Excellent book that gave me some different directions to think about flash shots which proved very useful.
Published 1 month ago by J. R. Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars ... one of the most informative books just buy it excellent in every...
Probably one of the most informative books just buy it excellent in every aspect
Published 1 month ago by simon hepworth
5.0 out of 5 stars A good start for newcomers
Photography is my hobby but mainly in natural light, e.g. Landscapes, Seascapes, Wildlife etc. I never considered before using flash photography until I volunteered to take some... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good introduction into on camera flash.
I found this a really pragmatic introduction into a practical method of using on-camera flash. I have taken the author's advice and found that my images improved markedly. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Happy user
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Exactly what I was looking for clear easy to read full of hints an tips, well presented examples would recomend to a friend
Published 8 months ago by Whiskey
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book!
I've been a photographer over 50 years; some of that time as full-time professional, some as part-time. I've used flashguns of various types throughout those years. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ray Street
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book highly recommend
Neil is a wealth of knowledge when if comes to flash on or off camera. You'll never fear your flashgun again, it will become part of your creative arsenal
Published 10 months ago by Jofoto
4.0 out of 5 stars Good tips on dealing with flash photography.
Good but some of the methods used were a bit limited. More exporation of other flash diffusion devices and comparisons would have been usefull. Read more
Published 11 months ago by John Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book
This book is just so well written and easy to understand. It really is a great book to get a better understanding of exposure, Don't hesitate to get hold of a copy.
Published 11 months ago by Stephen Layton
1.0 out of 5 stars Published in 2009 and needs an update.
Found this book to be of no use what so ever. If your a serious user of flash then you need to get it off camera for starters!!
Published 13 months ago by Mr Smith
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