Top positive review
63 people found this helpful
Hot Shoe Diaries
on 7 November 2009
After reading some of the previous reviews, I do wonder what some people expected when they bought this book...it's well known this guy exclusively uses Nikon kit, so it was always going to feature that company's products. I use Nikon at work (as a Crime Scene Examiner) and I've just gone over to Canon (EOS 5D MkII) and Metz for my private stuff, so I feel I can give an unbiased opinion.
I bought the book because I wanted to know more about the capabilities of Speedlight lighting, as recent years have seen a lot more accessories available through companies like Interfit (their Strobist range). In the old days you had bulky studio kit or weedy little underpowered on-camera units. That's all changed now.
The author's use of American "slang" can be a bit irritating, but it's just his writing style. He's an American so get used to it. His pictures aren't perfect either (whose are?) but he doesn't say they are. It's all a matter of taste, after all, and if his clients liked them then who are we to criticize?
Where this author excells is in his huge well of experience using this type of lighting. In many cases, it's a case of using the kit to get a picture or not getting the picture at all, and for this you can thank the guy's background in journalism.
I really liked the case histories for each picture, with sketches and detailed notes to show you how he achieved the results. Some are really simple. So simple in fact you're left feeling quite inadequate, as there's always a temptation to over-light things and lose the atmosphere in a scene.
The author seems to have the knack of knowing exactly how much light to use, and where to put it, to achieve natural-looking effects under challenging situations. That's exactly why I bought the book in the first place, as I aspire to this myself.
So don't get hung up on the Nikon branding thing...just transfer the techniques to the kit you use.
And don't get hung up on the author's style of writing. He's American OK?
Additionally he's enthusiastic about what he does, and this comes over in the book.
So if you want to expand your knowledge about using Speedlights, get it.
And if you think you can write a better book on the subject then go ahead and do it.