7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Essential reading for photographic lighting theory (and CGI et al),
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This review is from: Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting (Paperback)
It is a little redundant reviewing this considering the praise this book has received previously (now in its 4th Edition), as such this version essentially builds upon the previous work with updated information and examples. Consequently, for an overview of various readers experiences and opinions please refer to the 3rd edition (2007) which can be found at: [...]
However, I just wanted to express that in my own opinion through reading the 4th Edition, I feel that this book is utterly astounding in every way! I say this because it deals primarily with 'lighting theory' and its 'application to the photographic process' through countless examples and illustrations of how the diverse lighting techniques covered actually effect the subject matter/composition (i.e. issues/solutions/considerations etc). In this manner, the lessons learned allow you to develop your own 'theoretical tool kit' or 'critical lens' through which to examine and consider a given situation, and thus it is a valuable learning asset as well as an extremely useful reference for difficult lighting situations or even just simply for inspiring you to be more creative with lighting!
Another important point I wished to add, is that because of the creative potential and quality of the theoretical information it contains (i.e. not just pretty portfolio pictures) this book has the potential to reach further than its intended subject (i.e. photography) and become a useful asset for application to other creative areas (lighting for Stage, Film, Art et al) as the fundamentals of lighting knowledge are essential to many subject areas; naturally. However in my case, I am also finding it extremely useful whilst considering how to compose and render scenes in 3D Computer Graphics (i.e. such as Max, Maya, XSI et al) as the information is equally relevant in the context of CGI as it is real life, and as such I simply love this book and am indebted to the authors for introducing it into my life!
*NOTE: The techniques covered in this book focus upon a studio situation (as a teaching method) for considering how light can be manipulated to affect a given subject matter (hence its usefulness to an area such as CGI which relies upon technical scene set-up). Consequently it refers to the use of various tools and equipment typically available in a studio context/scenario (but with the intention that the lessons learned can be applied outside this context also)! As such, if you are only interested in natural lighting techniques and outdoor scenarios then you might think this inappropriate to your requirements - however I would still recommend reading it regardless, because light is still light whether it is inside or outside and as such this is a valuable reference book and a must have for your collection!