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Exposure and Lighting for Digital Photographers Only (For Only) Paperback – 24 Nov 2006
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From the Back Cover
Light makes it happen.
Here′s how you can take control
In the film era, learning to manipulate lighting and exposure settings was basic to a professional photographer′s education. But in today′s digital world, the camera handles these things for you that is, unless you manually reclaim control. Now veteran photographer Michael Meadhra reintroduces you to the alchemy of light and exposure, showing you how to use these elements to create breathtaking photographic artistry with your digital camera.
- Understand the essential nature and color of light and why photography truly is "painting with light"
- Learn how lighting and exposure affect specific subjects
- Try different aperture and shutter settings and explore their effects
- Discover how to set up lighting for various shots and enhance lighting on location
- Control motion with shutter speed and use exposure creatively
- Recognize the effect of exposure on color and how to light a setting to establish a mood
- Create masterful effects with light and shadow
Find out how to select the appropriate shutter speed for action photographs
Learn when to trust your camera′s automatic exposure system and when to apply exposure compensation
About the Author
Michael Meadhra ran a commercial art studio in Nashville, TN where he built a reputation for creative lighting effects and earned several ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation. His writing career grew from the need to create training materials to share the skills he has perfected.
Charlotte K. Lowrie is a professional photographer and the former managing editor of editorial content for MSN Photos. Her photojournalism has been exhibited in a Midwest gallery. She is a member of the Professional Photographers of America, and she is the author of Teach Yourself Visually Digital Photography, 2nd Edition and Canon Digital Rebel Digital Field Guide.
Top customer reviews
I had used SLRs (not DSLRs) for a great many years before the digital age and although some models had an inbuilt exposure meter of some description and sometimes a degree of automation, I always used a separate exposure meter. There are rather few now available at prices that most users would wish to pay, and most do not use them although many professional photographers would still use them some of the time.
There are very few modern cameras that do not employ automatic exposure as one of its modes and has a means to use a proportion of the image as being seen by its sensor to assess the actual exposure. These systems go further than would have previously been possible; in the past if, in a particular situation and with a certain film loaded, the suggested exposure was 1/8 second at f/4, most cameras would allow you to take the shot but you would probably find it had badly suffered from camera shake. Not only do modern cameras have image stabilisation that helps prevent shake, but they also have automatic ISO adjustment that increases what would have been the film speed, doubling each time, until a more reasonable exposure is possible. Several cameras provide ISO speeds of 12,800 or 25,600, unheard of in the past, and some professional models go way beyond those.
This book looks at two aspects of the more technical side of photography; Exposure and Lighting. The exposure is mostly a electro-mechanical function of the camera but learning when and why to accept the camera's suggested exposure and when not to, is another issue and an important one. If, in two successive scenes you were to photograph a white cat against a snow-covered background and then a black cat in the proverbial coal cellar, both cats and their respective backgrounds would appear a mid-grey in the final image. The camera is working on 'average' or 'typical' scenes and neither fits well. Those are extreme examples and unlikely to be experienced in reality, but similar situations may occur. There are basic rules about adjusting exposure to show the cats in their true tonality and that is what the relevant section is about, and in a rather more extended way.
Most scenes encountered are less extreme and the camera will handle almost all very well. For the remainder, you will need to have read and understood the contents of this book.
Digital cameras are capable of showing a certain range of tones, it varies slightly from camera to camera, but none can show the whitest white and the blackest black at the same time. You have to select which is most important and which is not and adjust the exposure accordingly. When the camera is unable to record the lightest and darkest portions of the image, the pixels are said to have 'blown'. Any detail in those pixels will then be lost. You cannot completely avoid that, but you can learn how to deal with it. That is where the book helps.
Lighting is not always completely within the photographer's control, but it can be much of the time. You may be dependent upon the sun for light but you may use flash sometimes, or some alternative form of artificial light whether it is LED lamps, fluorescent, tungsten, halogen or some other. How you use them, or when to use them, is the scope of the lighting portion of the book.
It is a complex subject and one that requires experimentation and experience to use well. The advantage of digital cameras is that you can take as many shots as you like, subject to the available battery capacity of the camera, without needing to worry about the cost of film or processing as would once have been the case. I did that!
You may need to use reflectors of some sort, or use objects around you as reflectors and that is where the book will help.
The book may not be the best book on exposure ever, or the best on lighting, but it is the best I know that relates to the digital camera.
I consider myself lucky that I have this book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Have found it provides the kind of principles, techniques, examples that help to increase confidence that I am taking into account the elements that need to be understood and incorporated into decision for best shot possible.
Examples. It explains the zone system in a way that makes it not only understandable but useable. I've even memorized the zones...which has increased confidence in predicting how camera will respond to exposure choices.
Other examples. You'll also find an overview of how to approach portraits...and then the details regarding various lighting approaches. That is...the basic goal is to capture the essence/personality and the expression of the person...in a way that appears to be three-dimensional...even though the photographic medium is two dimensional. (This is probably not new information...but I appreciate the clarity and simplicity that the basic guidelines are explained.)
And then examples and description of principles AND practical steps are provided regarding how to best use the main light, fill light, hair light, etc. to achieve desired results.
(NOTE: I had previously purchased one of those store-window DISPLAY HEADS...so it really has worked to apply the suggestions regarding the placement of light...and actually see how they create different types of lighting/shadow effects whereas before I felt a bit nervous about enlisting help of a live person to try out different lighting approaches. I highly recommend finding one on line.
You can get a stryofoam HEAD DISPLAY through AMAZON.
I ordered a DISPLAY HEAD from [site not possible to include here] (under the category "HEAD AND WIG"). It appears to be made of plastic of some kind. Seems more realistic than styrofoam...but what do I know.)
The reason that it's currently my favorite photography book ...is that it provides techniques and principles that directly apply to almost each and every shot I take...in ways that I have not been able to find in other books...but have longed to understand and master.
I realize the book is not for everyone. We all have different tastes and ways of learning. And of course...different levels of skill and expertise. Is probably best if you have some experience. And it may not satisfy the most advanced. But it's been the absolutely perfect book for me...providing needed information at time I needed to understand it... as I seek ways to improve my photographic eye and skills.)
Another thing I like is that the authors are not phony purists. They do not try to push "raw" down your throat as the only way to go, like most authors, but rather, recognize that jpeg works just as well in the vast majority of cases for most of us. They also recognize that the digital camera's automatic controls work just fine in most situations but stress that the photographer needs to know how to override them in those situations that require something a bit different from what the meter reading suggests. The many chapters in the book cover those situations and explain how to make critical adjustments to the camera's meter reading to get the ideal exposure.
In terms of content, the book covers everything you need to know about exposure and lighting and includes numerious sample photographs to illustrate the points made. These photos have been taken, not by the authors, but by recognized photographers. As such, the illustrations are not concocted to make a point, but rather, show how great photographs are made.
The book's greatest strength, however, is in the writing style. The authors know how to write and explain things in a way that is easy to understand. However, that's not to say that this is a basic book. Although it covers the basics, it is far from basic. It is easy to understand because the writing is clear and the explanations are thorough.
If you've read the other books on exposure and have been left feeling you need more, this is the book for you. If you haven't read the others yet, skip them and go right to this one.
In my opinion this book is geared to the amateur enthusiast who wants to take their photography to the next level.
The main difference between and average photo and a photo that just pops is lighting. So many photographers make the mistake in thinking they need the latest and greatest dSLR or a new lens or whatever.
This book shows the importance of lighting and how to achieve certain styles. For someone that has never dealt with lighting, this book is perfect for them.
This book does deal with mostly digital photography. For the person that said it doesnt...All I can say is where is the chapter on light meters? There is none. Instead the author focuses on using the histogram found in most digital cameras to determine if your exposure is correct.
Overall, I didnt learn anything new but I think its a great book for someone wanting jump up to intermediate status.
This book should be a must for newcomers to photography.
I like it very much and I learned a lot about withe balance, misuring the light, exposure and lighting.
I think that this book along with Expoaperture's discs (depth of field guide) open a very wide windows over photography world and allow anyone to learn the basics of photography.
Have a good Read.
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