Encyclopdia of Photographic Lighting?

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews & Shows' started by Fragomeni, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

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    Hi all,

    Looking for encyclopedic or otherwise great reference books on lighting and lighting techniques. I really enjoy having reference books that I can keep on a shelf and forever retreat to in order to refresh my mind and come up with new ideas. I still have many of my old View Camera Technique and similar books that sit on a shelf and every once in a while I'll retreat to them and without fail I always get something useful out of them still to this day. Now I'm wondering if there are any books that people recommend as a solid reference for lighting. I've never had many lighting books and everything I know has been learned either on my own or through observation of other photographers and I'd like to bury myself in a good lighting reference book if it exists. I think I'm looking for something more of a large reference as opposed to instructional. Looking at some of my old view camera books, they cover everything including theory, equipment, technique, approach, examples of the results of using different techniques and tools, etc. Does something like this exist for lighting? Any and all recommendations are greatly appreciated.

    To clarify, no real restrictions here. I'm interested in all kinds of lighting that applies to all types of photography. Thank you!
     
  2. fotch

    fotch Member

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    One of the books that I enjoy refering to is "Set Up Your Home Studio" by the Kodak Library of Creative Photography.
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Although I don't think this recommendation is by any means Encyclopedic, I do think it offers a very interesting take on lighting that, coupled with other books, would give you a really valuable perspective.

    William Mortensen's Pictorial Lighting.

    The book revolves around the use of 2 lights and a background, to create a variety of different effects. He compares the Western world's use of lighting (in painting) to the Eastern world, particularly Japan. How many other books go into a more general aesthetic of pictorial lighting?

    Like I said, it's a totally unique take on it!
     
  4. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

    Explains a lot and has some assignments in it as wel. Interesting read.
     
  5. John NYC

    John NYC Member

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    Until you feel like you can get no more from a single light (with or without a single reflector) I would not worry about getting a catalog of techniques. This advice from Christopher Broadbent on the large format forum was the best I have ever received. A year into portrait photography on various formats, and I am still working with ideas with one light. I now have several modifiers with grids and what not, and a huge high power strobe instead of a Speedlight, but it is still one light. Still learning. Amazing what you can do with one light.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    amphoto has a great series of lighting books,
    like most of them there are images, and diagrams

    the pro-lightening series books have really easy to understand diagrams.

    good luc k !
    john
     
  7. sionnac

    sionnac Member

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    A second vote for Light - Science and Magic: an introduction to photographic lighting by Fil Hunter and Paul Fuqua.
     
  8. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    A third for Light: Science and Magic

    - Leigh
     
  9. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Ross Lowell of Lowell lights puts out an extremely entertaining book "Matters of Light and Depth" ISBN0-96625404-0-0.
    If you want a truely encyclopaedic book see "Lighting for Portraiture" by Walter Nurnberg from Focal Press in many printings 1948 to at least 1969
     
  10. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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  11. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Hot Shoe Diaries, McNally
     
  12. John NYC

    John NYC Member

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    And now a fourth vote. I bought this book because of the suggestions here and have read about half of it in the last day. It is great because it talks about principles instead of just providing random examples of techniques. I am finding that I have learned many of these through trial and error already, but it is nice to have the language to talk about them like they present here. And I wish I would have read this BEFORE my studio portrait lighting journey began!

    Thanks folks.