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Light: Science and Magic


Title: Light: Science and Magic
Authors: by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua
Publisher: Focal Press; 3rd edition (March 21, 2007)

The book "Light: Science and Magic" demystifies lighting with well-written text and illustrative examples that enable the reader to grasp the concepts. When we make photographs, we have to consider the quality of the light source, the reflective and absorbent characteristics of the subject, and the distance and angles between the light, the subject, and the camera.

This book goes into great detail to describe each of these areas. It first describes each of them separately, then goes into how to combines them to make photographs they way you want them. It uses both graphic illustrations and photographs to demonstrate all of the concepts. After all of these concepts are studied, the book then takes you into the studio where more common shooting situations and subjects are studied in depth. The authors methodically approach each subject and setup. They start with a simple lighting setup for each scenario, then move incrementally towards more complex setups, describing and illustrating at each step of the process how each added component enhances the resulting photograph.

The authors demonstrate using fill lights, background lights, hair lights, scrims, gobo's, barn doors, polarizers, colored gels, etc. With this book, the authors effectively provide a thorough course on lighting that teaches photographers how to light different kinds of subjects, in different settings, and with different reflective and absorbent characteristics. The photographer learns how each of these tools can be used to effectively portray subjects in the manner the photographer desires.

Rating: Highly Recommended.