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1. Christopher Grey's Studio Lighting
2. Motion Picture and Video Lighting,
3. Set Lighting Technician's Handbook,
4. Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction
5. Master Lighting Guide for Portrait
6. Lighting Their Fires: How Parents
7. Lighting a Lamp: A Diwali Story
8. Minimalist Lighting: Professional
9. Photographic Lighting Equipment:
10. A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting,
11. 50 Lighting Setups for Portrait
12. The Complete Guide to Light &
13. Lighting for Digital Video and
14. Interior Lighting, Fourth Edition
15. Digital Lighting and Rendering
16. Lighting Photo Workshop
17. Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable
18. Lights, Camera, Capture: Creative
19. Lighting Out for the Territory:
20. The Nikon Creative Lighting System:

1. Christopher Grey's Studio Lighting Techniques for Photography: Tricks of the Trade for Professional Digital Photographers
by Christopher Grey
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$20.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584282711
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Taking the guesswork out of lighting, this invaluable examination provides tools and techniques from an accomplished expert. The most essential principles for photo shoots are presented through lengthy image sequences, considering different finishes for reflective surfaces, types of light sources, light modifiers, and even light placements. From creating fundamental looks to the effect of fine-tuning placement and setting, this detailed guidebook enables photographers to maximize productivity on any shoot. Concluding with the most effective solutions for solving lighting problems, this study is an excellent resource for both active professionals as well as intermediate to advanced students of photography.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Practical and Easy To Understand
It's hard to decide on a book anymore. It's not like I can go to the corner and browse. I finally decided upon Studio Lighting and am very pleased with it. I wanted something that showed basics of different lighting and didn't stray from the subject light a lot of photography books do. This book seems to have hit the mark.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brief, but useful
This book makes up in useful information what it lacks in comprehensive coverage.You won't find everything you wanted to know about studio lighting techniques here -- there are plenty of other books that do that -- but you will find pithy nuggets that you can use immediately to improve your studio results, whether you are a seasoned pro or an amateur who is still learning the basics.Match this book with an introductory guide, and you'll be well on your way to lighting proficiency.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chris is a great educator!
I really like this book.Even though I'm pretty well versed in portrait lighting I always buy Chris's books because learning one or two more tricks is worth a bunch more than the cover price.And this book is no exception.For the person who wants to compete in the portrait market this is a valuable resource and one I would buy before the next lens or camera body.He knows his stuff, the illustrations are great and the tone of the book iseasy going and easy to understand.My only slight criticism is that the title should make clear that the book is really aimed at Portrait photographers and not at general commercial photography.He is resolutely a people shooter and it shows in his easy rapport with the subjects and his total control of the lighting.I recommend this book to most of my assistants.

4-0 out of 5 stars Secrets that one should know: from amateur to professional
This is a basic book... Saying that, there are some basic principles that most of the professionals do not know.
I believe that some of the concepts explained in the book will be always in my background when using artificial lighting in a photo. Besides these conceptual lessons, there are also some interesting "tips and tricks" that everyone can repeat. Definitely a book that deserves a reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must in your gear boxDefinately improve your photos rivchin
This book is a must have in your studio.(ron)I have seen photographers greatly improve their photos in the studio. I highly recommend Sculpting with Light: Techniques for Portrait Photographers alsorivchin ... Read more

2. Motion Picture and Video Lighting, Second Edition
by Blain Brown
Paperback: 272 Pages (2007-09-19)
list price: US$46.95 -- used & new: US$29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0240807634
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Motion Picture and Video Lighting, Second Edition, is the indispensable guide to film and video lighting. Written by the author of the industry bible Cinematography, this book explores technical, aesthetic, and practical aspects of lighting for film and video. It will show you not only how to light, but why. Written by an experienced professional, this comprehensive book explores light and color theory, equipment, and techniques to make every scene look its best.

Now in full color, Motion Picture and Video Lighting is heavily illustrated with photos and diagrams throughout.

This new edition also includes the ultimate 'behind the scenes' DVD that takes you directly on a professional shoot and demonstrates technical procedures and equipment. In addition, 20 video clips include lighting demonstrations, technical tests, fundamentals of lighting demos, and short scenes illustrating different styles of lighting.

* The definitive book on film and video lighting
* Now in full color, with hundreds of illustrations and diagrams
* NEW ultimate DVD including "behind-the-scenes" video, lighting demonstrations, technical tests, fundamentals of lighting demos and so much more ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great.
This lighting book is amazing.It offers exactly what you need if you are trying Robert Rodriquez's 10-minute film school approach.Blain Brown's Lighting book explains proper techniques and terminology which the film industry relies heavily on.He also has a Cinematography book that offers great insight into framing and awesome methods of camerawork.I have paired this book up with Steven Katz's book Shot by Shot.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book on the creative technique of lighting for video and film
This is a fantastic book the talks about the history of lighting but also provides practical and creative lighting techniques. The book also comes with a DVD that allows you to see parts of the finished video and film productions that are discussed in the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Resource
This is a fantastic book. As someone who has shot a limited amount of both film and video, I wanted to learn more specifics about lighting, exposure theory, color theory, and so on. Brown's book is PACKED with highly useful, very practical information, and comes at a much better price than some competing books which are not nearly as good. Plus, it includes a DVD with lighting demonstrations, technical tests, and short scenes illustrating the lighting principles covered in the book. Also, I really like the section of Brown's book that lists all the major types of lights used on professional shoots (from Fresnels and HMIs to PARs, Dino's, MaxiBrutes, FAYs, Soft Lights, Space Lights, fluorescents, and so on). Yes, Brown's book is a bit more technical than some, but he also covers the basics very well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must read for amateurs and professionals alike
Very comprehensive coverage - initial chapter on the history of lighting may not interest many, though it is necessary to have an understanding of how lighting evolved. As the book progresses into subsequent chapters there are pearls of wisdom that capture the author's life experience in this profession.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Thorough!
I don't read a lot of books, but this one is definitely worth the time. It's extremely detailed and in-depth. If you're a beginner, this book will give you the complete knowledge you're looking for without going over your head. If you're a seasoned pro, you'll find this helpful as a reference, or to fill in the gaps of things you might have missed.

At any rate, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! ... Read more

3. Set Lighting Technician's Handbook, Fourth Edition: Film Lighting Equipment, Practice, and Electrical Distribution
by Harry Box
Paperback: 615 Pages (2010-08-16)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$31.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0240810759
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Comprehensive. Detailed. Practical. Set Lighting Technician's Handbook, Fourth Edition, is a friendly, hands-on manual covering the day-to-day practices, equipment, and tricks of the trade essential to anyone doing motion picture lighting, including the lamp operator, rigging crew, gaffer, best boy, or director of photography. This handbook offers a wealth of practical technical information, useful techniques, as well as aesthetic discussions.

The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook focuses on what is important when working on-set: trouble-shooting, teamwork, set protocol, and safety. It describes tricks and techniques for operating a vast array of lighting equipment including LEDs, xenons, camera synchronous strobes, black lights, underwater units, lighting effects units, and many others. Since its first edition, this handy on-set reference continues to be widely adopted as a training and reference manual by union training programs as well as top university film production programs.

New to the fourth edition:

* More coverage of the aesthetics of lighting
* Detailed information on LED technology and gear
* Material is harmonized with industry safety and skills training curriculum
* More coverage than ever before about setting up and running DMX512 networks and DMX512 enabled devices, including wireless DMX512 networks
* Completely revised and updated sections of HMIs, tungsten light fixtures, and fluorescent technologies
* Additional information on dealing with current harmonics, working with portable generators.
* New section on using 480V power
* In addition to previsualization software, new material provides a primer on creating professional light plots and using computer aided design software
* New additions to the arsenal of electrical distribution equipment that make our sets safer and easier to power
* More rigging tricks and techniques
* Written in the same friendly, easy-to-read style that has made this book so popular
* Companion Web site contains exclusive articles written by the author, illustrations, and an indispensable resource center with key industry links. Please visit http://www.booksite.focalpress.com/box/setlighting/

* An indispensable on-the-job reference for tens of thousands of film lighting technicians
* Includes professional-level procedures that save time and promote safety and efficiency
* Written by a lighting technology expert with 20 years of experience as a gaffer and director of photography. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wealth of information.
I purchased this book based on other reviews that I read on Amazon; I'm glad I did because it's exactly what I was looking for.

I've read other books on this subject; they were OK, but they tended to focus on the same indoor and studio lighting situations. This book goes into every professional film lighting situation that you're likely to encounter, with relevant historical and real world anecdotes along the way.

I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a comprehensive guide, reference and generally an interesting and informative text.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for ETCP Electrical Test
Although this book is basically about Motion Picture production, the later electrical chapters are a must read to study for the ETCP Electrical Certification Test. Break-a-leg.

5-0 out of 5 stars SO MUCH INFO
If you're even looking at this page and thinking about whether or not you should get it, YOU NEED IT! So much to know, so much to learn, this is a mega-stepping stone.

5-0 out of 5 stars A true "must have"
This is by far one of the greatest books on the subject I have ever read. If you are new to film or have been doing it for years, you WILL love this book. The author presents the information in such a way that it is easily understood by rookies and will not bore seasoned cinematographers. Not to mention that it serves as a great refference source. Do yourself a favor, buy this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Amazon's order forms are very easy to use. They are very good at keeping you informed on your order status.
My package arrived very quickly.
Thanks Amazon! ... Read more

4. Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua
Paperback: 320 Pages (2007-03-21)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$27.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0240808193
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
An amazing (and some would say magical) resource on photographic lighting that has been talked about in the community and recommended for years.This highly respected guide has been thoroughly updated and revised for content and design - it is now produced in full color!It introduces a logical theory of photographic lighting so if you are starting out in photography you will learn how to predict results before setting up lights. This is not primarily a how-to book with only set examples for you to copy. Rather, Light: Science and Magic provides you with a comprehensive theory of the nature and principles of light to allow you to use lighting to express your own creativity.

Numerous photographs and illustrations provide clear examples of the theories, while sidebars highlight special lighting questions.Expanded chapters on available light in portraiture, as well as new information on digital equipment and terminology make this a must have update!

*New four color art package with contemporary lighting examples
*Based on the behaviour of light
*Theory book for serious photographers ... Read more

Customer Reviews (154)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginners or experts
This book is simply amazing. The thing is, whenever you start learning about lighting, you experiment a lot, and reading a lot of blogs you kinda get a lot of the tricks on your own you start to feel you dont really need much knowledge from books.

The beauty about this book is that it's not the "this setup for this situation" type of books, instead it teaches you how the setups were done in the first place. It's easy to search blogs and websites for rim light or high key light, but this book will teach you why this light was made this way.

Also, it will teach you when and what to use in order to get a certain look from your subject. For example, if you want to shoot a leather item it will teach you exactly how to shoot it in order to show it's actually a leather item! and it gets more interesting when it shows mixed materials with different textures and how to show each and every one of them in your photo. And it teaches you also how to show the tone, shape, texture, material etc. Even if you dont use lights or dont have a studio, you can benefit from it in natural lighting by the sun and some reflectors or even street lights. It teaches you the origins.

I can't recommend this book enough, I've read many photography books and this is by far the best lighting book out there. I've read both McNally books and they are good but the typical "I did this to get that" and does not get into deep like this book does.

Seriously, anyone serious about learning lighting should get this one, beginner or expert, both will benefit.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good but needs serious UPDATE!
There is much to learn about the science of light in this book and most of it will never change so the basic science of the subject will always be important. However, with all the good information I was surprised at how poor the examples were using line drawings instead of real world shots of camera and light set ups. Since the original was made for film I think much of it can be updated now that the world is digital. While the science of light does not change the tools we do use change and this book needs an update, better pictures and more detailed descriptions of what they were discussing.

I did learn a great deal but finished thinking this could have been so much better with some more detail!

3 1/2 stars would have been my choice if I could figure out how to give half a star!

5-0 out of 5 stars great resource!!!!!!!!!!!
great tips..well informed and taught me much about studio lighting and painting with light in general..a must have

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for your reference collection
The combination of theory and practice makes this a totally useful and valuable addition to a photographer's knowledge base. Well worth the money! I highly recommend it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Kindle version not usable
I have both printed copy and kindle version, to be fair printed version is 5 star the kindle edition is 1 star. The printed copy is great no probs about that.Kindle version has one big problem, all the pictures inside are in B&W.With this kind of book it is essential to see in color, else you would not understand the concept being discussed.I do not mind seeing image in B&W for the Kindle device, but I expect to see images in color in the Kindle PC and other devices.Unless they change this to color getting the Kindle version just does not make sense. ... Read more

5. Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers
by Christopher Grey
Paperback: 128 Pages (2004-04-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$20.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584281251
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Time-tested lighting strategies that will improve the quality of a portrait are detailed in this book for beginning photographers. Terminology used by industry pros is explained, the equipment needed to create professional results is outlined, and the unique role that each element of the lighting setup plays in the studio is explored. Photographers learn how color, direction, form, and contrast affect the final portrait. The concise text, photo examples, and lighting diagrams enable photographers to easily achieve traditional lighting styles that have been the basis of good portraiture since the advent of the art. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (79)

1-0 out of 5 stars Kindle version: Smurf edition
I just purchased the Kindle version and, unfortunately, it is unusable, and I can't review the content, as the color images all have horrific color shifts rendering everyone's skin as blue.I've requested a refund and will likely be staying with (used) print copies of photo books for future purchases.Doesn't anyone check these after they're converted?

5-0 out of 5 stars Mastering made easy
Great pictures with diagrams.Would definitely recommend this to the beginning photographer.Good info from the author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best lighting book that I've read,
Best book on portrait lighting. Very good and detailed explamation of setups and lighting ratios.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent kick-off
If you wish to go into portrait photography a bit more seriously, this is a tremendously good book to start. It's starts from the very basic, and goes thouroghly through the first steps necessarry for understanding studio lighting. After the basic lightings, it gives a brief outlook to some more advanced techniques.

The step-by step instructions and the wide variety of example photos also make this book a must for a professional wannabe.

3-0 out of 5 stars so so
I agree with another poster who noted that the images selected for the book are rather dull.If you don't like the photos, why would you want to copy the technique?Another complaint is that the images used to show progression of lighting set-ups are often so different from one another, especially in poses and attire it becomes difficult to discern the subtle changes in lighting -- when the subject of the photo changes from image to image, it is difficult to see exactly how the lighting has changed and to evaluate effect.And finally, watch out for errors in the diagrams -- I spotted a couple like where a shoot-thru is shown and it was really just an umbrella.It seems minor but when careless stuff like that comes up it makes me question the accuracy of the rest of the diagrams and content.

To be fair, this is one of the better lighting books out there still today.This is the way they should be written and diagrammed out, but it falls short of its very real potential.
... Read more

6. Lighting Their Fires: How Parents and Teachers Can Raise Extraordinary Kids in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World
by Rafe Esquith
Paperback: 208 Pages (2010-06-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143117661
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The New York Times bestselling author of Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire shares his proven methods for creating compassionate children

During twenty-five years of teaching at Hobart Elementary School in inner city Los Angeles, Rafe Esquith has helped thousands of children maxi­mize their potential-and became the only teacher in history to receive the president's National Medal of Arts. In Lighting Their Fires, Esquith translates the inspiring methods from Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire for parents. Using lessons framed by a class trip to a Dodgers game, he moves inning by inning through concepts that explain how to teach children to be thoughtful and honorable people-as well as successful students-and to have fun in the process. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Teaching skills made easy!
I bought this book for my daughter who is a teacher.I read it before giving it to her and found it an amazing insight into teaching and pitfalls of complacency.I had heard the author on NPR and was instantly interested in his story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Right On!
Rafe's book is about the hard work of parenting and teaching. To quote the author, "There are no shortcuts." His approach is deliberate, realizing that teachable moments with children are constructed, they don't just happen. His approach answered my question, "How do we maintain high standards?" He also admits what didn't work and what was learned from mistakes. I just can't rave about this book enough!

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
How lucky these children in Room56 are! I am touched by the devoted and passionate teacher who tries his utmost to make a difference in every child.I recommend this book to whoever shows thier concern for education!

5-0 out of 5 stars Motivation for any teacher
What a motivational book.A quick read that will inspire you back to work with a positive attitude.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rafe Esquith is an inspiration for all
I am a teacher and mother of two boys. I have read his books in the past for inspiration in my teaching career.This newest book is wonderful not only in providing ideas and insight in ways we can grow with our children so they may be thoughtful and loving humans - it's also a little frightening in highlighting just what kind of people they could become, if we do not take the time and energy to do so. I also really liked his plan for teaching kids how to make good choices for themselves.Where was this when I was growing up?:)He tells it like it is, straight up with no fluff and loads of humor. It's a great book. ... Read more

7. Lighting a Lamp: A Diwali Story (Festival Time)
by Jonny Zucker
Paperback: 24 Pages (2004-09-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764126709
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Books in the Festival Time series describe the activities of typical families as parents and children celebrate some of their culture?s major holidays. Attractive color illustrations on every page will appeal to younger children. The simply yet delightfully told stories describe the festivities while giving children background information about holidays in many different cultures.A two-page spread at the back of each book contains information for parents, and includes suggestions on ways to communicate the holiday?s meaning to kids. Diwali is the Hindu five-day festival of lights that welcomes in the lunar new year. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the dark fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashwin, or Aasho, which occurs in October or November, depending on the lunar calendar. During the festival, tell stories that relate to the holiday, exchange gifts of sweets, light candles, and attend elaborate fireworks displays. The holiday is marked by an abundance of lights displayed in homes and businesses. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Easy but informative reading
My kids had watched the cartoon movies of the Ramayana and did have an idea about Divali but they really enjoyed reading the book.At first they thought the book was for little kids but after reading it they said that they would love to visit India during Divali!

5-0 out of 5 stars lighting a lamp: diwali story
This book is a wonderful reference. My kids, 2 and 4 years old, teachers asked me to do a Diwali presentation for their respective class. How do you present such an intricate holiday to such young minds and keep their attention? With this book! I read it as a supplement to other activities. The kids loved the simple narration and the beautiful pictures.

Dimple - Florida

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book about Diwali
This is a good entry for providing some Diwali 101 for a child.The pictures and story are nice enough, nothing spectacular.When we went looking for a book, there were not very many choices.This worked well and we'll read it each year for a few more to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good for Introducing Young Children to Hinduism
Geared for younger children (4-8), this book introduces the Hindu festival of Diwali by walking through one family's celebration of the day. It is part of the Festival Time series, a collection of books introducing holidays from all the major religions. Good for introducing this age group to Hinduism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lighting a Lamp
Its a great book and worth the money.
I hope the writer does more books like this simple for kids to understand. ... Read more

8. Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography
by Kirk Tuck
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-04-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$20.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584282509
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Photographers learn how to create amazing photography with this simple, basic, money-saving approach to working in the studio. While exploring available lighting and equipment, this reference tackles the concerns of studio photographers regarding too much gear, not enough space, and a strict budget and offers alternative techniques for photographing subjects. Tips for how to set up a studio in a limited amount of space, what kind of equipment works best for different effects, and finding great tools for budget prices make this a truly comprehensive reference.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read cover to cover
This was the first photography book I have actually read cover to cover. It's also the first time I have ever reviewed a product (I believe). That's how much I liked this book.

This book is written in such a straightforward manner and filled withy practical examples that it was easy to get through. I really appreciated the author's emphasis on simplicity. For a beginning studio photographer like myself the information was invaluable. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good details
Good coverage of studio lighting for people on a budget or shopping for their first studio setup. Concise writing and explanantions of the why's and how's. Clear information on reasons for picking certain types of equipment based on your budget.

2-0 out of 5 stars Low on Info, High on Ego
This book gives some sporadic information of worth.Too much time is spent by the author congratulating himself on his approaches to lighting and too little time actually showing the lighting setups.If I wanted to read self congratulatory writing, I would search for Orsen Welle's interviews.I want to see the lighting arrangement that created the shot.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mostly Portraiture
This book has some useful information on the basic types of lighting and the products available from low to high-end. It is heavily weighted to an audience that might be considering a career in portraiture. If this is what you're interested in, this book would be a good place to start and would deserve 4 or 5 stars. The book fell way short for me, however, as I was more interested in still life and macro lighting instruction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Minimalist Lighting
Great book with practical applications for lighting in a professional manner without breaking the bank! ... Read more

9. Photographic Lighting Equipment: A Comprehensive Guide for Digital Photographers
by Kirk Tuck
Paperback: 128 Pages (2010-03-26)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$20.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584289937
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

From flashlights and top-of-the-line studio electronic flashes to light stands and battery/inverter packs, this all-encompassing survey evaluates the vast array of lighting and equipment options available to professional photographers. Beginning with a basic history of the role of lighting equipment and the interplay between advances in capture and lighting technologies, the emphasis then shifts to advances made within the past five years that have enabled photographers to consider more low-powered and cost effective options than ever before. In addition to identifying the wide range of gear currently on the market—as well as those photographers may devise on their own—this reference examines the pros and cons of the various technologies and provides suggestions for their most practical use. Photographs of the equipment surveyed as well as real-life images created with the different pieces of equipment are interspersed throughout the text. Other helpful hints include tips for maximizing versatility, investment in each piece of equipment, and a “Top-Ten Must-Have List.”

... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Just OK!
This book was not as good as I was hoping.Also, there were a lot of spelling errors, which was distracting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive guide for lighting equipment
I found this book to be very resourceful and would be beneficial to any photographer from amateur to professional.Not only does it cover a vast array of lighting equipment but it also asserts practical uses for each.It is this quality that differentiates this book from others on the same subject.Its nice to know all about equipment and specifications but even nicer when their use is explained in real life situations.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Instant Classic
Kirk Tuck's "Photographic Lighting Equipment" is his latest book on how-to photography. The book is a distillation of his considerable experience as well as a showcase of his considerable talent.

The book starts off with a short section on the history of lighting, quickly leading to the first major section (and the largest in terms of printed pages) on electronic flash. You should realize at this point that Kirk wrote two prior books on minimalist lighting for location and studio work based primarily on flash; thus, his emphasis in this book on flash equipment as well. The next section after electronic flash is on continuous lighting. While shorter than the section on flash, its coverage is adequate and emphasizes current lighting technology, such as fluorescent (CFL) and LED panels. One interesting example in continuous lighting uses the light from two Mac Powerbooks and an LED flashlight that needs to be seen for its beauty and appreciated for its inventiveness.

The next three sections cover accessories such as reflectors and other light modifiers, backgrounds, stands, and other important equipment, large and small, that helps to tie it all together. The last section covers what to include in that 'perfect' kit based on the kind of work you'll be doing. The last section isn't a hard-and-fast list so much as a set of recommendations; it's a starting point that will change with you over time.

But the most valuable feature in this book are the many equipment placement charts scattered throughout the book. Kirk shows you what he used and how he used it, followed by one or more example photographs he took with a given setup. If you've ever wondered how a similar photograph was taken and/or what it was taken with, then this book will give valuable insight into the setup before the shot.

While the book stands alone as an excellent learning aid and reference, you should also consider one additional book he's written, "Minimialist Lighting Professional Techniques for Location Photography." Far too much is spent on gear, far too little on learning aids such as this book. If you're interested in photographic lighting (or expanding your understanding of lighting) then buy this book. It will be one of the best investments you'll make.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Students
Photographic Lighting Equipment by Kirk Tuck is a great overview of the myriad of different tools that are available to working professional photographers.For students and emerging professionals who are at the point of choosing what equipment to buy, this book is invaluable.Tuck does a great job of not only explaining how the equipment works, but also why and how you would use it.What are the differences between continuous lights and electronic flash?Tuck explains with his own thought process, giving the viewer the benefit of his twenty five plus years of experience and wisdom.Throw in a little photo history, specifically, the history of the equipment, beautiful example photos, of both the equipment and its usage, and you end up well informed and unbiased.In conclusion, Tuck's Photography Lighting Equipment is a great addition to the photographic bookshelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish it were longer, but what would he say?
Kirk Tuck's newest book, Photographic Lighting Equipment, takes the reader through a smorgasbord of solutions for the photographer's age-old challenge of "what I see in front of me is not the light I need to make this picture happen."

Tuck was first a writer, then a photographer; this shows through in his elegant writing.Instead of squarely marching from point A to B to C, he instead weaves a gentle path, urging the reader along.

What I found best in this book was that he did not present the lighting equipment as just ingredients to a recipe.Instead, the end-goal of the actual photograph is considered - where are you, who/what are you photographing, and how do you want it to look?

The book covers all of the various types of lighting equipment, and outlines the pros and cons of each, along with modifiers, reflectors, and more.

I especially enjoyed the "war stories" that were in the book.They serve as both lessons of guidance, and as a way for the reader to get to know Tuck.With knowledge, comes trust.Instead of the "sage on the stage" feeling of a professor lecturing to his students, the tone of the book is more of a (slightly) older friend, sharing tips and stories over a light lunch at a streetside cafe.You look forward to the next meeting!

When the book was completed, I found myself disappointed - not in the content itself, but that there was no more to the story.And therein lies the true skill of the writer - enough to tell the story, but don't bore the reader.

I highly recommend this book, and ALL of his others - they hold a place of honor on my bookshelf.They are in the category of "I show these to my photographer friends, but I do NOT loan them."(Less critical and less-liked books get loaned and lost.)

For those that love the stories behind the wisdowm, and want more of Kirk's photographic and personal musings, you can get your fix over at: [...] ... Read more

10. A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Second Edition
by Steven Louis Shelley
Paperback: 488 Pages (2009-10-05)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$27.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0240811410
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Construct and Implement Your Own Lighting Designs with the most trusted guide to stage lighting!

An entertaining and educational read, author Steven Louis Shelley draws from his 35+ years of diverse experience to bring you the step-by-step technical tools for getting the job done along with real-life examples of projects from start to finish.  Learn why some techniques are successful while others fail with 'Shelley's Notes' and 'Shelley's Soapbox,' all with a humor that guides you through complex problems and concepts.

Some of the topics covered:

* Deduction of the research, production meetings, and personal choices that result in evolution of the core lighting design documents
* Chapters analyzing technical specifications, advancing production facilities, and turning that information into accurate draftings
* Illustrated step-by-step construction of some of the systems in the preliminary light plot
* Examination of the processes involved in construction and submission of shop orders, and reacting to bids, cuts and changes that affect the light plot
* Discussions about preparations prior to the load-in, including prepping the lighting rental package, creating truck packs, and watching run-throughs

This enlightening reference is a necessary addition to anyone serious about stage lighting.

* Over 60 new topics and forums, including creating and negotiating contracts, Technical Rehearsal Tactics, and working with stage managers, assistants and others during rehearsals
* Learn what you'll need to have for each phase of the project, from the load-in and programming the lighting console through the focus session to the cueing session, the tech rehearsals and (finally!) the performance
* Get the trouble shooting tips you need quickly with 'Shelley's Notes' and 'Shelley's Soapbox'
* Know what you're getting into--Understand what affects your lighting design, such as the contract, the budget, the size of production, the schedule, and the performance facility
* Learn from others' mistakes--Real-life examples show you what working in an array of productions is actually like

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Textbook
The perfect textbook for anyone entering the professional lighting world.It is thorough and detailed in all aspects of lighting, from getting the job, to your responsibilities as designer during the run.I found the "Shelley's Notes" sidebars invaluable, especially when he mentions respecting the production team as well as the crew and their time.His treatment of the design process and collaboration should be taught in all theatre classes, including directing and choreography.I highly recommend this as a textbook, as well as good inspiration for any lighting designer.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Second Edition Casts More Light.
Let me give Mr. Shelley a big round of applause for improving what was a great book to begin with.It is a textbook that has value for the beginning and the experienced practitioner of stage lighting.I have used this book in classes for 10 years and appreciate the checklists, notes, tips, rules and tales from the road.His process and opinions are well founded, providing a great foundation for all students of the art/craft of lighting.

5-0 out of 5 stars You realize that you need to read Steve Shelley, right?
In the lighting industry, there are a handful of things you need to do when you are studying to work as a professional.In no particular order:

1.Read "The Dramatic Imagination" by Robert Edmund Jones
2.Learn how to use CAD
3.Read a lighting book by each of: Steve Shelley, Jim Moody, Richard Cadena, and Richard Pilbrow.
4.Learn how to operate a lighting console
5.Learn how to be pleasant

Steve Shelley's book "A Practical Guide to State Lighting, Second Ed" is one of the texts that you just need to read.Steve understands lighting and management, and his experiences on the road as a dance LD/SM are like life guides for young designers to follow.Steve understands the way our industry operates - and for students to learn the standard ways through Steve's explanations and analogies makes their education pertinent and relevant.

Order Steve Shelley's book if you want to learn the right way in the entertainment lighting industries.It's even priced well.What other convincing do you need?

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Teaching Book!!!
I have used the first edition of this book in my classes in the past, but the 2nd edition is like a whole new world.This quarter my students have used it cover to cover and it is blowing their minds...and mine.I love the layout and the "real world" experience that it offers them.For my advanced students, I can easily direct them to a page number and tell them to use it as a springboard for their paperwork...saving me a ton of time.I can't recommend it enough and look forward to using it as the basis for all of my lighting classes.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting -- An Incredible Resource
The second edition of Steven Louis Shelley's A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Second Edition is a substantial upgrade from the first edition. In pages alone, that's about 200 pages or a 65% increase. Given the amount of useful information packed onto each page of this book, I would suggest that owners of the first edition add the second edition to their libraries.

In the Introduction, Shelley notes that his book is not only written for students, that it also intended as a useful reference for practicing professionals. I agree. Shelley also notes that he uses his own text as a reference. I think I will also certainly be using A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting as a regular reference.

Buy this book and/or read more on my blog at [...] ... Read more

11. 50 Lighting Setups for Portrait Photographers: Easy-to-Follow Lighting Designs and Diagrams
by Steven H. Begleiter
Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-12-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$20.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584282428
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

This cookbook-style guide to portrait lighting contains all the ingredients necessary for a successful photo shoot. With 60 two-page spreads highlighting the techniques used to create stunning portraits alongside the portraits themselves, aspiring photographers will have a clear sense of both the "how" and the "why" of good lighting. Difficult questions such as How can I downplay a double chin and dark shadows under the eyes? and How can I produce a soft, romantic feel in a woman's portrait? Are addressed and resolved in this no-nonsense guide to good lighting.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars My opinion
I was okay with this book. I am looking for more ideas and this was informational. It is well written and very explanitory. I just already know most of the material covered and was hoping for better information. Great for beginners.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just photos and two plugs for his other books.
I echo many of the complaints here that this book is not fifty case studies in any detail. While there are diagrams there is nothing that explains why Begleiter chose that lighting design or why it worked. In fact many of the "case studies" use exactly the same lighting set up with no explanation other than they resulted in good photos. It's up to the reader to examine the photos and speculate how the lighting contributed to their success. After a while I got the feeling that even Begleiter himself doesn't know why certain light designs had worked so well and would rather talk about his subjects and how he posed them. Fun info but certainly not the information the title would lead you to believe you would get.

Begleiter admits that the introductory section is too brief, so he recommends you purchase his OTHER book "The Portrait Book: A Guide for Photographers" if you want to know more about fundamental lighting design. OK, maybe one plug for another book is not that bad, but in one "case study" he took an infrared photo that was so ugly that the publication chose the natural light photo instead. Why did he include this unpublished photo? Only to plug his OTHER book on color infrared photography.

This self-promotion along with the lack of useful lighting information makes this book seem more like a professional photographer's diary than an "Easy-to-Follow" lighting design guide.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great case studies to help you.
This is not a basic lighting book.Instead, it's a series of case studies showing some specific lighting situations and how the photographer approached them.If you already understand lighting basics, you'll be able to study the examples shown and derive lots of insight that can be applied to your own work.This one is better for the pro and advanced photographer than for beginners wanting to learn the simplest lighting techniquesss.

5-0 out of 5 stars 50 Easy Setups
Just like it says:easy setups.Great diagrams with pictures on every page.Photos look a little dated but they give the beginning photographer great ideas on how to get started.Would definitely recommed this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Setup Diagrams marred by washed out dated images
The format of this book is fantastic. However, the problem is that the author is stuck in the past and nearly all the images feature shots taken with his Hasselblad 503c film camera. As a result, the images look bland and washed out by today's standards. While I'm confident that if you applied the techniques Steven describes in the book with modern day cameras and equipment, that you'd get fantastic results, I think many readers are going to be turned off by the dated film-based images portrayed in the book. With that quibble aside, the fact still remains that the properties of light haven't changed and the diagrams are indeed helpful and applicable to modern day equipment. If you were to scan the case studies and find a shot that is similar to what you are trying to shoot, you'll be thrilled to see the setup diagram and read the notes on how the shot was accomplished. You may want to ignore some of the camera settings used as digital cameras face different challenges (i.e., diffraction) and advantages (RAW images that support +/- 2 stop exposure adjustments after the fact & of course Photoshop) not found in film cameras. I applaud Steven and Amherst for releasing this type of book - it is sorely needed - but I'd love to see future efforts ditch the film camera work and focus strictly on using the latest gear (the latest Canon or Nikon cameras and flash systems as well as the latest studio lighting from Elinchrom, Profoto, etc... and their modifiers). In short, I'd like to see gear that people can go out and buy rather than stuff that you can't even find on eBay anymore. I'd also like to see a little more variety in the shots presented (ala Joe McNally's fantastic variety of shots in The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes (Voices That Matter) and The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world's top shooters (Voices That Matter)).
[...] ... Read more

12. The Complete Guide to Light & Lighting in Digital Photography (A Lark Photography Book)
by Michael Freeman
Paperback: 224 Pages (2006-10-28)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1579908853
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Michael Freeman, the author of more than 20 books on various aspects of photography, now helps digital photographers see (and understand) the light! Because good lighting is key to a picture’s success, it’s a topic of interest to anyone who picks up a digital camera…and Freeman’s comprehensive manual gives readers an essential toolbox of techniques and creative ideas. Find out how to create and manipulate lighting scenarios for professional-looking photos. Examine the many varieties of natural light, from blazing sunlight to gentle twilight, as well as incandescent and fluorescent lights. Make the most of your camera’s flash and lighting equipment, including diffusers, shades, and reflectors.

From shooting techniques to imaging tricks, this provides photographers with a solid groundwork for producing top-quality pictures.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Balance of Capture and Post Processing
This book provides an excellent balance of capture and post processing best practices.There is a good amount of information about how to light images properly using anything from simple reflectors like lastolight or california sunbounce to canon speed lights to a full on review of tons of broncolor lights and light modifiers - everything from broncolor ring flash to lightsticks, para, and satellite reflectors.Then he covers how to simply and easily perform all teh actions necessary in photo shop to create beautiful final images.This is a one stop shop reference book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
A lot of good info here. Just overlook the stuff the editor/publisher should have caught.

5-0 out of 5 stars Re-edited?
My copy has the same ISBN, but a different cover than the one pictured.

All of the editing errors mentioned in the other reviews seem to have been fixed.

1-0 out of 5 stars Useless To Me
I paid $30.00 for this useless book. I could have had a nice steak. I expected simple diagrams and how to's about setting up a home studio......wrong.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great instructional book and a good value.
I suppose I'll start off by saying that I had bought this book at a B&N retail store and paid MUCH more.

Some of the other reviews cover the books educational format style (bite sized chunks) so I won't be repetitive here. What I will say is that the first chapter of this book really puts the nail in the coffin for traditional film cameras. I've never seen such a well thought out analysis of all of the capabilities that Digital brings to the table. No longer will you have to field questions from digital photo skeptics.

Another interesting note is that none of the photos in this book are NOT particularly breath-taking. Don't buy this book with the expectation of seeing fabulous photos. It's true purpose is to show you how to "work" with pictures and make better use of your camera as a tool. From that perspective, this book is a real winner.

I'd suggest this book both for serious SLR beginners as well as seasoned photographers who have made the switch to digital within the last few years.
... Read more

13. Lighting for Digital Video and Television, Third Edition
by John Jackman
Paperback: 272 Pages (2010-05-10)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$24.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0240812271
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Enhance the visual quality of your motion pictures and digital videos with a solid understanding of lighting fundamentals. This complete course in digital video lighting begins with how the human eye and the camera process light and color, progresses through the basics of equipment and setups, and finishes with practical lessons on how to solve common problems. Filled with clear illustrations and real-world examples that demonstrate proper equipment use, safety issues, and staging techniques, Lighting for Digital Video presents readers with all they need to create their own visual masterpieces.

* film style techniques for digital video productions
* creating "movie" looks on a low budget
* lighting for HD
* how to maximize existing light
* how to be a grip + safety issues
* interview setups
* color correction techniques in mixed lighting situations

* Shows how to shoot in available light
* Color correction in mixed lighting situations
* Film-style lighting techniques that create realistic looks
* Specialized setups for blue screen, night shots, and product photography
* Lighting sets with fixed practical light sources
... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars All You Need to Know About Lighting
Whether you're a beginner or intermediate level filmmaker, this book is for you. It's full of detailed information and illustrations of everything you need to know about lighting for video shooting. A lot of the information is also helpful for still photography. You'll get an excellent foundation of knowledge here. Besides technical details of "how," the book talks about the "why." Author John Jackman writes, "The real key to fine lighting is not only to simulate reality, but to communicate the proper mood and feeling to the viewer. You need to know more than just basic techniques or tricks; its best to have an understanding of how certain looks will communicate to your viewers."

As a beginner myself without a lot of money to buy or rent equipment, my favorite chapter is "Lighting Low-Budget Locations." Jackman talks about ways to use CFLs, worklights, and painters sticks to get a good shot. But don't be fooled. If you can get your hands on the professional gear, then he has that covered too.

An invaluable resource for the videographer/filmmaker.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just Wish I'd Had This Sooner.....
I recently made a little promotional film for a friend's book and learned the hard way how crucial good lighting is. Your camera work can be great--or utterly mediocre--but sound and lighting really make or break your project. (And trying to fix backlighting after-the-fact just doesn't really work, not for those of us without professional studios, at least).

I really like this book (and disagree with an earlier review that it is short or very informal/casually written. Including the Glossary and index its 261 pages, 9"x7.5", perfectly reasonable size. The writer uses "I" which helps with readability, as it is rather dry subject, even when you really need to understand it. I also found the illustrations well done and helpful).

Chapters include "Basic Lighting Techniques", "Interview Set-ups", "Studio Lighting", "Advanced Lightning Set-ups", "Using a Light Meter For Video", "Basic Primer for Signal Monitoring", "Volts, Amps, and Watts" and the one I've xeroxed for my notebook for easy reference "Lighting Low Budget Locations"

I think this is an excellent starting point if you're making a film. Much better than "learning the hard way" how crucial lighting is (and how you can't go back and fix it--better to anticipate the problems and get it right). Very recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Basic Book on Lighting
John Jackman should be thanked for putting together his wealth of knowledge on lighting technique in this indispensable book. Although mostly comprised of the basics in lighting for digital productions this book is invaluable for beginners and seasoned video filmmakers alike.

Everything is there from how to plug in your wiring to lighting setups for interviewing people. It has plenty of photographs giving examples for various types of setups. I truly believe that beginnings and novices could all learn a lot from this great book.

4-0 out of 5 stars You really just need to go out there and do it.
I really feel the best way to learn is just to go out there and do it. Obviously, reading this book page-to-page isn't going to make you a professional gaffer.

The book was much smaller than I expected. It is more like a handbook, and it is often written in first-person casual speaking, like a professor would be giving a lecture and it got transcribed, with some humor added here and there. It feels a little convoluted/messy at times or vague/just stating the basic info (e.g.: it would briefly explain one thing and then state it would 'explain more about it later' -- but when/where?! I had to look in the Glossary) It feels like one of those text books I get assigned to read for school; made for students.

I feel someone professional would definitely want something more advanced and something more straight-to-the-point; at the same time, I feel there's still a lot of jargon used (can use more bold text on many terms on the pages) and not defined clearly or just convoluted with lots of fill-in material. It can definitely be frustrating to a total beginner too. I'm sure authors often want to reach wide audience as possible, but that can also backfire. I would say its *intended target* was more towards the beginner student, but it's really not always friendly and can often be overwhelming to read.

- The index for this book really needs work! It's really incomplete.

I definitely still find it inspiring to read, especially for students wanting to become a gaffer or taking that position in a student film.

4-0 out of 5 stars Now let this be a lesson to me.....
.... none of us know everything and there is always something to learn.

A quick read, but contains lots of information.
a leisurely reading pace took about 4hrs if you include going back over some things to make sure you have it right.

I am not a book reviewer or expert on publishing books, so excuse me if there are descriptive industry terms for what I'm trying to say but not using.
My interest is in the subject matter with this type of book, but can't help realizing when it's done well enough to increase my knowledge of a subject without making me work hard at using the book itself.

I thought it well written and laid out, goes into some areas that many might not want or need to go, but then it's done in sections so you can go straight to your area of question, or skip what you don't care to know about.

Mr Jackman does a pretty good job of not mixing more advanced things with basic ones he's trying to convey in each section.The use of blue inserts within sections with additional information is great and lets you get a bit more knowledge on that subject by reading those page sections.

This book is written with reference to video and television lighting, but holds true for still photography AND even everyday room lighting in my opinion.What makes an improvement in video or photos can also make a difference in your daily life in your home or office also.

Also a nice glossary of terms in this book, can help a lot when some of the subject is new to you.

I can and will put all this lighting information right to work to improve my results and will be watching for John Jackman's next release to see what else I didn't know about lighting a scene.

... Read more

14. Interior Lighting, Fourth Edition
by Gary Gordon
Hardcover: 292 Pages (2003-01-28)
list price: US$90.00 -- used & new: US$63.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 047144118X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Enhanced with color photos of design applications and more than one hundred new illustrations, this revised edition presents step by step the lighting design process, while incorporating lighting terminology, perception, tools and equipment, general design strategies, and much more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
This book is so helpful! One of the best lighting books I've seen. I reference it more than others.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lighting Book Review
I thought this book gave a great overview of both the physics of light and the principles of good lighting design.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource
This is an excellent reference for any designer. The text is in simple language and makes lighting concepts very easy to comprehend. I actually enjoyed reading it and will be a better lighting designer because of it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good book!
This is a great lighting design book, lots of graphical explanations, lots of useful information, a must-buy for any kind of interior designer!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Good Introductory Textbook Material
This is a required book for an introductory lighting class I'm taking.Since we are solely relying on this book and it isn't supplemented with lecture material, I find that, without familiarity with lighting terminology and concepts, it is very difficult to understand -- very cryptic with the seemingly overused language of the field.While the author may be very knowledgeable, I feel the book is not very well written and the target audience is, perhaps, not intended to be, essentially, the layman.I don't find the organization of ideas and concepts to be clearly laid out or communicated well and, as they unfold, and I come to understand what the author is trying to say,wonder why it was made so difficult -- is that all he means, geesh and why didn't he tell me that earlier.It would be easier to understand the general concept of things first, even in plain English perhaps, and then go on to a more technical description to learn the language of the field and get the details.Just seems to make simple things very complicated, especially with the language, flow of ideas, and phrasing.

I also find a lot of the graphic figures and photo examples need some clarification or more details.A picture's supposed to be worth a thousand words, not be cryptic and time-consuming to understand.

Sorry, I would not recommend this for students who are not primed first.Especially the younger ones.

... Read more

15. Digital Lighting and Rendering (2nd Edition)
by Jeremy Birn
Paperback: 432 Pages (2006-05-07)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321316312
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Crafting a perfect rendering in 3D software means nailing all thedetails. And no matter what software you use, your success in creatingrealistic-looking illumination, shadows and textures depends on yourprofessional lighting and rendering techniques. In this lavishlyillustrated new edition, Pixar's Jeremy Birn shows you how to:

  • Master Hollywood lighting techniques to produce professional results in any 3D application
  • Convincingly composite 3D models into real-world environments
  • Applyadvanced rendering techniques using subsurface scattering, globalillumination, caustics, occlusion, and high dynamic range images
  • Design realistic materials and paint detailed texture maps
  • Mimicreal-life camera properties such as f-stops, exposure times,depth-of-field, and natural color temperatures for photorealisticrenderings
  • Render in multiple passes for greater efficiency and creative control
  • Understand production pipelines at visual effects and animation studios
  • Develop your lighting reel to get a job in the industry
... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Tour of Lighting and Rendering
Much of the material Birn presents is not found in the manuals of rendering software. Although, as he rightly points out, it should be. Digital Lighting and Rendering is loaded with specific and practical advice, without being tied to specific software, as many books on this subject do, making them often miss the mark of good conceptual development and presentation. In this Birn does a superb job, including many illustrations and rendered images.

The text also includes exercises. They are not quantitative, but suggest experiments and ways to broaden a reader's experience with the phenomena that produce great lighting and rendering results. Birn's own broad experience in this field is evident here, and paysoff for the reader.

You can find dozens of discussions of each of the book's subjects on the web: academic and commercial. But the particular value of Birn's work is its comprehensiveness, internal consistency, and clarity ... all in one package!

It is one of the few texts I could rely on as a key resource for my own recent reference work: 3D Modeling, Animation, and Rendering: An Illustrated Lexicon, Color Edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be better
This book is an excelent survey of lighting and rendering in 3d. It covers a broad spectrum of topics and is useful for all skill levels. Much better than any other book I have seen on the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-have for all 3-D Modelers
In a world of software-specific manuals, Jeremy Birn's "Digital Lighting and Rendering" is refreshingly software-ambiguous. Birn begins by reviewing traditional lighting and then delves into the world of digital lighting with great detail. Birn deftly avoids providing instructions for one specific software suite (although his screenshots appear to have been captured from Maya), and is greatly successful in exploring principles that apply to any major 3-D modeling and animation suite. As an avid Blender user, I found the book very useful in providing guidance for everything from simple lighting setups to more complicated lighting setups. Birn also spends a great deal of time addressing digital lighting problems.

The book is a must have for several reasons:

1. Rather than addressing "how-to" scenarios for one specific software suite, the book begins with the fundamental issue of "why", and provides solid principles that can be addressed in a practical manner by users of every major software package.
2. Detailed colored photos fill the book from cover to cover, providing the reader with practical examples for every situation addressed in the book.
3. Every chapter ends with a review and practical exercises for the reader to complete to gain experience in the topic covered. Additionally, by visiting 3drender.com, readers can download additional scenes to light.
4. Cameras and texturing, while not necessarily falling into the lighting category, are covered in detail in the book. Birn provides tips such as texture map baking and other solutions designed to reduce render time while maintaining a scene's complexity.
5. Common errors or difficulties are reproduced and explained in depth.

This book, without a question, is a must-have for anyone serious about entering the world of 3-D design and animation. 6 stars out of 5!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must have for both novice and experts alike.
Hey People I want to share my with you my findings inside the book.

This book is a wonderful way to learn and become a better lighting artist,after all lighting is probably the most important part of any and all cg pipelines.Without proper lighting, there is no atmosphere and no mood to capture your audience.

Im happy to say that this book is the best in its class as far as understanding lighting and rendering goes.I was pleasantly surprized to find that Jeremy not only wrote the book intuatively, but also covering all the aspects of lighting setups.
i.e He takes you through the process of understading lighing and how real-life lighting occurrence can be utilized in 3d.Then he guides you through understanding of scene setup to atchieve a particular lighting condition.Most importantly for me was the fact tat he goes through the same scene with different lighting.i.e Day or Night, arch viz or creature lighting to name but just a few. He then explores all the tools you need to attchieve realism. These tools are not only on the 3d aspect of the process, but also real life tools to make the lighting process easier. He then shows you insiders info and personal experience, making this book ideal and a must have for both novice and experts alike. I mean we all want to learn the best tricks and the fastest ways to success right?
Finally he explains the Post Production process and gives you a brief understanding to take your CG scene from 3d into comping.

I hope you all found this review helpful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is *the* book if you need to make sense of all the rendering features found in you typical 3D package. The writing of this book is clear, concise without being terse, detailed without belaboring the points. It has the right amount of information to help make sense of all the issue. Clearly Mr. Birn has an intimate knowledge of the subject. This book is a must have for every 3D artist.
... Read more

16. Lighting Photo Workshop
by Chris Bucher
Paperback: 304 Pages (2007-07-10)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$9.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470114339
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A rigorous practical guide to photographic lighting techniques, complete with hands-on assignments

Offering digital photographers a complete course in photographic lighting, this book covers everything from using flash systems and studio lights to working outdoors in bright or low-light conditions. Full-color examples show how the right lighting can enhance color, improve contrast, and open the door to new creative possibilities. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great info, average printing
Bucher's explanations are clear and concise for the aspiring photographer.However, the quality of the images don't always fairly reflect the the technique being explained. The author appears to know his craft but that isn't always illustrated by his shots.One must focus on what we're being told and ignore the quality of the photos.I suspect it relates more to the printing technique as opposed to the work of the author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two thumbs up!!! Way up!!!

I highly recommend this book and feel it would be a rewarding experience for anyone who owns a camera. I can't imagine that there is a photographer (beginner or expert or someone it between) that would not benefit from this book. Everything a photographer needs to know about lighting can be found in this book---everything.

Whether you're an average point and shoot picture taker or a professional, you need to know how light and proper lighting work to take and make great photographs. This book taught me everything I need to know about lighting, and it provided practical guidance with a slight twist of theory. There are numerous examples of photos with detailed explanations and lighting diagrams, and each of them are very informative---but not to the point that it's overwhelming. The photographs in the book are just wonderful. The author does a great job of demonstrating the effects of various elements. The text has a smooth flow, and I felt like the author was showing me how to work with light rather than telling me.The entire book was very well prepared and objective. The author describes in great detail how lighting works, and how to use what light you do (or don't) have to obtain the best pictures possible.

What I really really really really loved about this book is that a novice photographer, like me, can easily understand and benefit from this book. I've read other photography/lighting books that are full of jargon, and I lost interest right away because I don't have a background in photography---I just like to take pictures. Some of the areas do get technical, but the author does it without being dry and patronizing.Anyone intimidated or confused by the subject of lighting should read this book because it's concise, informational and it all made sense. Practicing and experimenting with my camera and the lighting techniques was fun, and I looked forward to each assignment at the end of the chapters to try my newly acquired skills.

A must have book for any photographer!

5-0 out of 5 stars Lighting - A Must Have For Better Pictures
I was really excited to get this book and couldn't wait to go out and try some of the techniques.I have a decent amount of knowledge about the settings on my cameras, but this book helped me learn how the different settings can compliment each other.The book is an easy read for the weekend photographer and the terminology was not over my head.The quality and color of my landscape photos has improved now that I know the proper settings for the conditions at hand.I am having more fun taking even casual pictures because I know they are going to come out better than in the past due to the techniques I am using from the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lighting Photo Workshop
I do some teaching of basic digital photography where my emphasis is on analyzing the scene before the picture is taken. Nothing is more fundamental to this than analyzing the condition of light--its availability and quality.

This Wiley book Lighting is one of their `Photo Workshop' series that has a proven formula. The author, Chris Bucher starts with a discussion of how cameras see and measure light, and how that affects photos. The remainder of the book considers real-world lighting situations such as indoor/outdoor lighting, night and low light photography and creating dramatic photos with light. In my experience, the only way to become proficient in this kind of subject is through practice and training one's eye, so the workshop nature of the book is appreciated.

I have found a number of teaching points in Lighting which I'm including in my own course, so I'm happy to recommend this book to others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lighting Photo Workshop by Chris Bucher
I like this book! It has been a long time since I sat down and looked through a photo book. This one kept my attention. The content pages drew me in with their many detailed descriptions about what was contained there. If I was looking for a particular facet of lighting, the index was there to help me find what I was looking for. If I needed a refresher on some term used in the text, I could quickly discover what that term meant by looking it up in the glossary. The photo illustrations were very helpful because the captions told me how the photos were made. They also demonstrated the many different kinds of light. Looking at the chapters and then completing the assignments gave me a real way of improving my photography. If I chose, I could also visit the PHOTOWORKSHOP.Com web site to upload my assignments, have them critiqued and rate the work of others.

... Read more

17. Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects
by Norbert Lechner
Hardcover: 720 Pages (2008-11-24)
list price: US$115.00 -- used & new: US$55.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470048093
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
One of the leading references on the design of a building's environmental controls has just gotten better. For years, Heating, Cooling, Lighting has supplied architects and students with the strategies needed for initial design decisions for building systems. The book looks at how to design the form of the building itself to take advantage of natural heating, cooling, and lighting and how to best utilize active mechanical equipment to satisfy the needs not provided by nature. This new edition has been expanded and updated to reflect the latest codes, standards, and energy-efficiency rating systems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exact book I needed and in perfect condition!
I bought it brand new and it came in plastic wrap with no scratches at all. Oh, and it's a fun read!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Understanding for the Future of Architectural Design
Being an architecture student, I understand the future of architecture is held in sustainable design.I found this textbook to be an extremely reliable source for my Environmental Systems class.When designing, we now put a greater emphasis on sustainable techniques and how future generations are effected by how we design today.Lechner describes a wide variety of methods that can be used in modern architectural design.The textbook covers everything from basic sunlight integration to complex ventilation strategies.He develops these ideas based off precedent studies and historical influence.He goes into great detail when describing how and why past and future methods can be effective.A nice thing that Lechner does is he describes the pros and cons to many sustainable techniques. It's really nice to see what has worked, and what hasn't.He also summarizes each chapter, allowing the reader to pick up on the most essential ideas.Visual diagrams and images also assist the reader in understanding key components.All of the information presented is well thought out and executed to get the important concepts exposed. It's filled with relatively simple yet effective information anyone can understand.I would absolutely recommend this textbook to anyone, especially if they are looking to grasp a firm understanding of sustainable design strategies.

2-0 out of 5 stars Bad
I had to use this book in an Environmental Systems course.While it does a good job of listing a lot of good design methods, its EXTREMELY opinionated.Text books are supposed to tell you facts and ideas, not give you opinions.A lot of it is politically motivated, I suspect.Once and a while the author slips into the 1st person (or refers to themselves in the 3rd person) to take a jab at something.Its chapter on electric lighting literally tells you that all the standards should never be used, which is unrealistic for a student, since thats what they use in the working world.

A majority of the time, the text book is trying to convince you that global warming is a huge problem and all of that... which, regardless of your political opinion (even though I generally agree with the guy), doesn't have a place in a design text book.Phrases like "the author thinks that..." are used way too much.

That aside, it also repeats itself a LOT.I was in one of those classes where reading the entire book cover to cover was a necessity, and having done so, I think the book could have been concentrated into about half the size.A lot of the stuff it tells you is also not really possible to do in the real world economically.Things that do apply to the real world are common sense and generally common knowledge (sun makes hot) and have been used for decades, even centuries.

On learning the actual things you need to learn in an environmental systems class... it doesn't really do a good job.It does a good job of ignoring pretty important things that a student will be required to know on his/her exam, or even just on the job, and goes on about things that really only exist in the author's made-up utopian world.As a textbook for a sustainability class, I think it would be acceptable given the content. (and content ONLY).There's definitely a slant to it though, and I would definitely not recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Into book for Architects
I purchased this book for a course I'm taking on Environmental Design.The course is required for my Master's of Architecture (first professional) program.The book is very comprehensive and provides a great amount of information that can IMMEDIATELY start influencing your designs and make them more sustainable.Great book!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not very informative
So far, just a lot of words to explain a few simple points. Each chapter can be explained in a couple of pages. ... Read more

18. Lights, Camera, Capture: Creative Lighting Techniques for Digital Photographers
by Bob Davis
Paperback: 240 Pages (2010-05-03)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$23.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 047054953X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Author Bob Davis is a photographer whose high-profile clients include Oprah Winfrey and Eva Longoria, and whose work has appeared in Time, O Magazine, and People.Along with his invaluable professional advice, this beautiful full-colorbook includes a DVD featuring portions of his workshop curriculum. He covers theelements of lighting and shares his two-strobe technique that will enable you tocreate studio-quality lighting anywhere with only minimal equipment.Amazon.com Review
Learn to achieve the best possible images with minimal lighting equipment

Author Bob Davis is a photographer whose high-profile clients include Oprah Winfrey and Eva Longoria, and whose work has appeared in Time, O Magazine, and People. Along with his invaluable professional advice, this beautiful full-color book includes a DVD featuring portions of his workshop curriculum. He covers the elements of lighting and shares his two-strobe technique that will enable you to create studio-quality lighting anywhere with only minimal equipment.

  • High-profile photographer Bob Davis is especially known for his lighting techniques; this book shares his advice on lighting for professional photographers and serious amateurs
  • Covers all the key elements of photographic lighting, with informative illustrations and lighting grids
  • Details the author's pioneering two-strobe technique that reduces the amount of equipment a photographer must carry to a shoot and dramatically lowers equipment costs
  • Features professional tips and stunning full-color images
  • 60-Minute DVD includes video from the author's three-day lighting and photography workshop

Lights, Camera, Capture: Creative Lighting Techniques for Digital Photographersoffers your professional advice worth many times the cost of the book.

Top 10 Lighting Tips
Amazon-exlcusive content from author Bob Davis

1. Become a seeker of light.My lighting improved leaps and bounds once I began to notice and study light and how it creates mood, shapes, and defines textures.It’s all about light.I take mental notes when light catches my eye. I love the way the sunlight reflects off my stone counter tops and creates beautiful patterns on the kitchen cabinets.I then think of how can I emulate that.

2. Take visual notes using your cell phone camera.I love using my iPhone for this.Most people have a camera on their cell phone; it’s great for capturing those wonderful moments when the light catches your eye. Later, practice recreating that light with any type of light source, flashlight, shop light, strobe or video light.

3. Practice, practice, practice… I use a teddy bear and a flashlight to see how the light and shadows change as I move the light around the teddy bear.Then, I try to create that same look using an off-camera flash.

4. If you find using an off-camera flash a challenge because you can’t see the light, try using a flashlight as a modeling light.Point the flashlight in the same direction as your flash head.For a long time, I used a Mag light rubber banded to my Speedlight until I became comfortable using my flash.

5. Use a diffuser over your flash and, if at all possible, bounce your flash.Even the pop-up flash on a point-and-shoot can be diffused using facial tissue.If your flash has an adjustable head, try bouncing it off the ceiling by pointing the flash head upwards, or even to the side if there is a wall near by.Review your results, and make a mental note.

6. Whenever possible, get your flash off-camera.You can create depth and dimension by getting one flash with a bounce diffuser about 45 degrees to the left or right of your camera.This creates a nice modeling light to shape your subjects, and looks more natural than direct on-camera flash.

7. Read you camera and flash manual.I know they read like bad stereo instructions written for engineers, but if you read one page, and then practice what you’ve just read with your camera and flash, soon you will master all of the functions of your flash.

8. Use fresh batteries; even better, use rechargeable high capacity batteries.This alone will greatly improve your overall flash consistency.

9. Use flash outside on a bright sunny day to fill in the shadows under the eyes, hence the term “fill flash”. Photograph people in open shade to avoid them having to squint, and remember to turn on your flash to fill in their face with light.Almost all point-and-shoot cameras allow you to use your flash outside.Give it a try, and see how it puts that sparkle in their eyes.

10. You don’t always need a flash, I love lighting people using a reflector.There are many types of collapsible reflectors.You can use anything as a reflector.I once created a reflector in a pinch by using a paper plate and covered it with aluminum foil.It works!Remember it’s all about the light.Have fun, there is no wrong way to light; there are no rules written in stone.Create the light you want!

Tips for Using Strobe Lights

Strobes give you an incredible sense of flexibility in your approach to light, largely due to the many different ways you can manipulate and adjust their output.

Your flexibility increases significantly if you are able to move the flash away from the camera's hotshoe, because you can position it exactly where you would like it. Add more flashes to the mix, and you’re straying into more creative territory… This is your cue to take control of your lighting!Create the light you want anywhere.

I envisioned a romantic taxi cab ride, but I wanted to capture that feeling of motion, twilight and love.I like to think outside the box, literally!For this picture of the newly engaged couple, I mounted a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, in aperture priority mode, with a 16 – 35mm wide angle zoom lens at 18mm, 1/8th sec with f/4.0 at ISO 160.Here’s where it gets fun, so hold on and lets go for a ride.I mounted the camera on the outside trunk deck of the taxi using a Delkin Fat Gecko suction cup mount, and triggered the camera using a Pocket Wizard remote control.I used a Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter and Radiopopper transmitter and receiver to fire the remote Canon 580EX II Speedlite, in ETTL II mode, inside the cab.The Speedlite was diffused using a Lightsphere light modifier, creating the light I wanted.I choose aperture priority because of the changing available light as we drove through the streets of Chicago.I knew the camera would choose a slow shutter speed because of the low ISO, giving that sense of motion I had in my mind’s eye.

I’m always trying to tell a story through my pictures.I did the formal, “safe” pictures of the bride and groom first, and then I asked if they were up for something a little more creative.I got the green light, so I quickly changed from soft light-modifiers, such umbrellas or Lightsphere, to hard light.Using creative hard light, you can create a dramatic mood.I was feeling a little Casablanca; you know the old, classic black-and-white film with Humphrey Bogart?I had only a few minutes to create the look.I placed the groom in the background, and put spot light on him with one Canon 580EX II in ETTL II mode in group A.I modified the light using a HonlPhoto Snoot to vignette the light: focusing it on him, not the background.Next, I gave the bride the yellow flower, and asked her to give me a little attitude.I had her look into the second Canon 580EX II in ETTL II mode in group B, modified with a small beauty dish.The beauty dish creates a softer light than a snoot.I used a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV in manual mode, with a 70 – 200mm IS II lens at 70mm, 1/250th sec with f/2.8 at ISO 200.The Speedlites were triggered using a Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter and Radiopopper transmitter and receivers.I choose the long lens to compress the space, and an aperture of f/2.8 focusing on the bride’s face for a shallow depth-of-field blurring the groom.I loved the image and so did the bride and groom.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Canon 580EXII
I love the book and video. I purchased soon after purchasing my canon 580 ex II so I needed
a more basic book at first but after getting the basic knowledge of how the flash works, this book
and video offers great info and ideas. Also,turned me on to the classes held around the country
where you can go and work with professionals and models to experiment and learn.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pretty average introduction to flash photography
If you really want to learn how to use small flashes go to Lighting 101 at [...]and then buy the DVD tutorial. If you really want to see great small flash images buy Joe McNally's books. This book covers the basics but does not give enough detail to be able to take many of the images shown. And the images themselves are often average and repetitive. It is clear he loves backlit subjects they are shown again and again. He obviously likes shots with planes; again very repetitive and often they are average quality with basic mistakes.

5-0 out of 5 stars I see the light now!!
Now I am not so dependent on the automatic features of my camera. I see the light now and I went into it, and now I am FREE!

4-0 out of 5 stars Lights, Camera, Capture: Creative Lighting Techniques for Digital Photographers
Bob Davis is not just a visual storyteller; he is also a verbal maven. The language and style of this book is extremely accessible. The content is well organized and the topics flow naturally. The written explanations are thorough and informative; furthermore, they integrate tightlywith the photographic examples. And the diagrams showing the lighting setups are invaluable. For those of us who are not disciplined enough to diagrams how our own lighting setups work, they are an indispensable resource that can be referred to again and again. Thanks, Bob!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful...
I can learn a little new from everything I read and this book helped bring a few things together for me. Nice work! ... Read more

19. Lighting Out for the Territory: How Samuel Clemens Headed West and Became Mark Twain
by Roy Morris Jr.
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2010-03-02)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$5.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416598669
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In the very last paragraph of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the title character gloomily reckons that it’s time “to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest.” Tom Sawyer’s Aunt Sally is trying to “sivilize” him, and Huck Finn can’t stand it—he’s been there before.

It’s a decision Huck’s creator already had made, albeit for somewhat different reasons, a quarter of a century earlier. He wasn’t even Mark Twain then, but as Huck might have said, “That ain’t no matter.” With the Civil War spreading across his native Missouri, twenty-five-year-old Samuel Clemens, suddenly out of work as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, gladly accepted his brother Orion’s offer to join him in Nevada Territory, far from the crimsoned battlefields of war.

A rollicking, hilarious stagecoach journey across the Great Plains and over the Rocky Mountains was just the beginning of a nearly six-year-long odyssey that took Samuel Clemens from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Hawaii, with lengthy stopovers in Virginia City, Nevada, and San Francisco. By the time it was over, he would find himself reborn as Mark Twain, America’s best-loved, most influential writer. The “trouble,” as he famously promised, had begun.

With a pitch-perfect blend of appreciative humor and critical authority, acclaimed literary biographer Roy Morris, Jr., sheds new light on this crucial but still largely unexamined period in Mark Twain’s life. Morris carefully sorts fact from fiction—never an easy task when dealing with Twain—to tell the story of a young genius finding his voice in the ramshackle mining camps, boomtowns, and newspaper offices of the wild and woolly West, while the Civil War rages half a continent away.

With the frequent help of Twain’s own words, Morris follows his subject on a winding journey of selfdiscovery filled with high adventure and low comedy, as Clemens/Twain dodges Indians and gunfighters, receives marriage advice from Brigham Young, burns down a mountain with a frying pan, gets claim-jumped by rival miners, narrowly avoids fighting a duel, hikes across the floor of an active volcano, becomes one of the first white men to try the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing, and writes his first great literary success, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

Lighting Out for the Territory is a fascinating, even inspiring, account of how an unemployed riverboat pilot, would-be Confederate guerrilla, failed prospector, neophyte newspaper reporter, and parttime San Francisco aesthete reinvented himself as America’s most famous and beloved writer. It’s a good story, and mostly true—with some stretchers thrown in for good measure. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars When even the great are young and foolish
"Sam, for his part, 'was armed to the teeth with a pitiful little Smith & Wesson's seven-shooter, which carried a ball like a homeopathic pill, and took the whole seven shots to make a dose for an adult.' The pistol, a .22-caliber 1857 model breechloader, had a four-inch barrel and was not accurate beyond a range of fifteen yards ... Thus suitably armed and accoutered, (Sam Clemens) set out for the wild and wooly West ... He was lighting out for the Territory." - from LIGHTING OUT FOR THE TERRITORY

Those acquainted with the literary output of Mark Twain, a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, or perhaps with the incomparable stage impersonation of him by Hal Holbrook, may visualize the author as an aging, white-haired man. LIGHTING OUT FOR THE TERRITORY by Roy Morris reveals that even this great American writer was once immature, foolish and directionless.

The period of the narrative is July 1861 to December 1866, during which time the young Clemens journeyed up the Missouri River then overland to Carson City, NV via Salt Lake, resided in Carson City and Virginia City while primarily working first as a miner then newspaper reporter, then visited the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) between residencies in San Francisco, and finally becoming a comedic lecturer before embarking on the trans-Atlantic trip in 1867 that resulted in the book, The Innocents Abroad. His fitful stops and starts at a variety of jobs and money-making schemes are perhaps demonstrative of any male of that age at any time and place. It wasn't always pretty, but certainly provided material for subsequent self-deprecating humor. The author's own dry wit in the telling only contributes to the enjoyment of the account.

Had it been included, a map of the Carson City - Gold Hill - Virginia City - Unionville - Aurora locale would've been helpful. The book does include a photo section of eighteen reasonably useful images.

LIGHTING OUT FOR THE TERRITORY, while not riveting, is competently done. It reminds me to view again a visual presentation of Holbrook's Mark Twain Tonight and whets my appetite for Mark Twain: A Life by Ron Powers, which waits on my bookshelf.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great
This earnest and well informed writer does his honest best by his subject.However, he is overwhelmed by his hero and material for the first 25% of his text.The first few chapters of the book read like a frantic litany of all the scrapes and misadventures Mark/Samuel found himself in while out in the Wild West.Fortunately for the reader and author, the author eventually hits his stride and the persistent are rewarded by a fine and very funny account of how Mr. Clemens became Mr.Twain.

4-0 out of 5 stars Shows influences on great writers
Prior to LIGHTING OUT FOR THE TERRITORY, Samuel Clemons was an itinerant printer and a river boat pilot. He loved piloting the Mississippi so much he may have never left the profession if it hadn't been for the Civil War.

About the most instructive thing about this book is that it shows how much Mark Twain owed to his trip out west to strike it rich. There were lots of storytellers out there for one thing, and he listened. "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," his first big success, was owed to another miner, old Ben Coon, who told the story first. Twain rewrote and embellished other stories he heard in the mining camps in ROUGHING IT. He also owed his lecture style to Artemis Ward, whom he listened to carefully and imitated. And there was a stretch where he was either fired or quit his job on a San Francisco newspaper and contemplated suicide. Brett Harte offered him money to contribute to his literary magazine which may have saved his life.

Then there was Twain's trip to Hawaii, which furnished material for the first lecture he gave. He sent back "twenty-five or thirty" letters to the San Francisco Enterprise and also gained a lust for travel and a reputation as a travel writer that continued for most of his life. He also gained his first real "scoop" in Hawaii. Captain Josiah A. Mitchell, twelve crew members, and a pair of passengers survived the wreck of the clipper ship "Hornet" and spent forty-three days in a lifeboat, coming ashore on the Big Island, two hundred miles south of Honolulu. His reworked story was published in HARPER'S WEEKLY, with the byline Mark Swain.

We also get to see Twain's famous bad luck when it came to business investments. He owned "feet" in mining stock that he was living off of in San Francisco, but after he left for San Francisco, his partners sold their shares for something like three million dollars; his shares were worthless. Perhaps if Twain had been writing today his career never would have gotten off the ground. While at work on THE ENTERPRISE, a Virginia City newspaper, he fictionalized the massacre of a man and his family he entitled "The Dutch Nick's Massacre." Apparently this was Twain's idea of satire, as the murderer was Philip Hopkins, a mine owner driven mad by bad investments and crooked bankers. But just about everybody believed it. He apologized in print, saying "I take it all back."

Mark Twain died in 1910, leaving a three volume autobiography that was not to be published for a hundred years. This is the year, folks. One should remember, though, that he wrote the thing after he'd lost his wife and two daughters, which may be why the famously cynical Twain didn't want anybody to read it quite yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Grand and Entertaining Portrait
The life and writings of Mark Twain are now very much a part of American literary and cultural history. No other native-born writer spoke with precisely his brand of down-home folksiness and cracker barrel wisdom. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are as alive today as any characters in American fiction.

We all know too that "Mark Twain" was the pen name adopted by young Samuel Clemens of Hannibal, Missouri, and that it was a phrase he picked up from his fellow pilots on Mississippi River boats in the late 1850s and early 1860s. What many do not realize, however, is that Clemens/Twain found his literary voice and his new identity during five-and-a-half years of bumming around the wild Nevada Territory as newspaperman, prospector, businessman, barfly, lecturer, travel writer and refugee from respectability.

Historian Roy Morris, Jr. has taken a look at this period in Twain's life and given us an entertaining account of his serio-comic misadventures. This is not scholarly history, nor is it a full-bore biography, as Twain's early life and his post-Nevada career are barely mentioned. Morris's focus is limited, and his touch is light.

The book begins with an account of the two brothers' epic stagecoach trek from Saint Joseph, Missouri, to Carson City, Nevada. It covered 1,400 miles, took 20 days, and is told by Morris with color and gusto. Once they were settled in the territorial capital of Carson City, Clemens, realizing that his brother Orion was an ineffectual bumbler, set about carving out a place for himself in local society. Newspapering was his choice, and he often fell back on it when other sources of income seemed insufficient.

Clemens had tried a number of pen names before settling on Mark Twain, and we all can be eternally grateful that he did not stick with W. Epaminondas Adrastus Perkins or Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass. "Mark Twain" first appeared in a newspaper in the wild frontier outpost of Virginia City, Nevada, on February 3, 1863, and has been with us ever since.

Twain built his newspaper career by a simple but effective strategy: he made things up. Always a lover of hoaxes, he delighted readers and discomfited competitors by spinning yarns that had little or no basis in fact. Morris seems to enjoy pointing this out and warns his readers that many of Twain's later biographers swallowed some of his fictions whole.

The most famous, purely literary product of Twain's western stay was the great short story "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which made him famous in highbrow circles back east. Twain heard it first in the bar of a grubby mining camp from a fellow named Ben Coon, jotted the idea down in his notebook and elaborated it into one of American literature's small gems.

But newspaper work was not Twain's only western occupation. He also got caught up in the gold rush fever that brought wagonloads of tenderfoot easterners to Nevada hoping to strike it rich. Twain had no more luck than most of the others, but his comic-opera misadventures make enjoyable reading in Morris's lighthearted retelling. This is a shortish book, though it does have a lot of padding --- anecdotes about frontier characters that have no great relevance to Morris's main subject, but that make fun reading anyway. Twain's life intersected with those of several famous Americans, including Brigham Young, Bret Harte, U.S. Grant and Charles Farrar ("Artemus Ward") Browne. Twain reported that Young himself had 72 wives but confided that "ten or eleven" was all you really needed.

Before returning back east, Twain spent four months in Hawaii, observing the local customs and making good-natured fun of them as only he could. So droll were his observations and so enjoyable is Morris's account of the time that the reader is genuinely disappointed when Twain actually returns to the respectably dull life of the east.

This is history with a light touch. Morris has transplanted much of his material from Twain's autobiography and from several of his other books, notably ROUGHING IT. Even when Twain is spinning fantasies or exaggerating effects, he is grandly entertaining, and Morris conveys him to us with deadpan good humor.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun to read
I have never read a biography of Mark Twain, so there was much I did not know about his early life. So maybe the book is more interesting to me than to those who know more about Twain.

Anyway, I found this book enjoyable to read.It was interesting not only because of Twain, but also just because of the history of the time the author describes.Twain's on and off attempts at journalism are very amusing as are his and his brother's life in politics.

The writing style is not only informative, but fun to read.I would guess anyone who enjoys Mark Twain's writing would find this book enjoyable in learning how Twain's early life shaped his later life. ... Read more

20. The Nikon Creative Lighting System: Using the SB-600, SB-800, SB-900, and R1C1 Flashes
by Mike Hagen
Paperback: 250 Pages (2009-02-05)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$21.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933952415
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Flash photography, especially advanced light modeling with modern iTTL flash systems, has become an art by itself, which should be mastered by every aspiring amateur photographer - and even professionals are often helpless when it comes to using the full potential of these systems.

Many photographers are already well versed in photography but don't have a clue about flash photography. It is a brand new world, so the book starts at a basic level and then moves up from there so that advanced users also gain insight.

The book shows a simple, step by step method for setting up and using the newest Nikon iTTL flash units. It solves people's frustrations with flash and specifically, shows them how to use their SB-900, SB-800 and SB-600 strobes. It also has a complete chapter showing system configuration so readers can duplicate the photos on their own.

The book teaches everything you want to know about using Nikon's iTTL flash system. It shows all the steps required to set up consistent and amazing flash photos.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nikon Creative Lighting System Book
Just what I needed to help simplify the use of my SB 600 flashes. The user guides are not written with eye toward a rookie user. I now have more knowledge and confidence in my set ups. Perfect for my needs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quickly gets you on track
While Nikon CLS is a really powerful system to take great, near pro level flash photos, the various flash units that fall under the "CLS" umbrella are each unique.

Each of the Nikon flashes I have, SB-600, SB-900 and R1 all have completely different controls. I am convinced these were designed in different countries and cultures as the controls for one model has ZERO to do with the others.

The Nikon manuals that come with these units are very detailed but there is often no context for the comments. That makes it hard to relate various shooting situations to the methods of how the flash can be used in that scenario.

This book is just the opposite. It takes the features and shows examples where they come into play.

After reading the sections on my flash units, my shots were clearly better and much less "snap shotish" in appearance.

I am convinced the 2 hours it took to read the sections on my flash units has reduced the learning curve by as many weeks.

I highly recommend this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Get Something Else
I was really excited to get this book but was very disappointed.I cannot believe how bad the example pictures are!I could do better with my eyes closed and I am not a pro!Also I tried some of the techniques in the book and they didn't work at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thorough & easily understandable
I never have written a recommendation before for any product, but this book was so helpful and easy to through, yet very thorough, that I wanted to be sure to give it a very favorable review. Not a rehash of the manual, but a well-organized and concise walk-through of the features.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this book
I struggled for years with my SB-800's. After reading this book they just work like they are supposed too. ... Read more

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