Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

47 Pages · 2012 · 2.32 MB · English

  • Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

    Lighting for Digital Photography:




    Great Shots

    Syl Arena Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

    Syl Arena

    Peachpit Press


    To report errors, please send a note to [email protected]

    Peachpit Press is a division of Pearson Education

    Copyright © 2013 by Syl Arena

    All photography © Syl Arena except where noted

    Editor: Ted Waitt

    Production Editor: Lisa Brazieal

    Interior Design: Riezebos Holzbaur Design Group

    Compositor: WolfsonDesign

    Indexer: James Minkin

    Proofreader: Stephanie Provines

    Cover Design: Aren Straiger

    Cover Image: Syl Arena

    Cover Image Color Production Specialist: Marco Ugolini

    Back Cover Author Photo: Vera Franceschi

    Notice of Rights

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any

    means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written

    permission of the publisher. For information on getting permission reprints and excerpts, contact

    [email protected]

    Notice of Liability

    The information in this book is distributed on an “As Is” basis without warranty. While every precaution

    has been taken in the preparation of the book, neither the author nor Peachpit shall have any liability

    to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or

    indirectly by the instructions contained in this book or by the computer software and hardware products

    described in it.


    All Canon products are trademarks or registered trademarks of Canon Inc. All Nikon products are trade-

    marks or registered trademarks of Nikon and/or Nikon Corporation.

    Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed

    as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and Peachpit was aware of a trademark

    claim, the designations appear as requested by the owner of the trademark. All other product names

    and services identified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such

    companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or the use of any trade

    name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book.

    ISBN-13 978-0-321-83275-7

    ISBN-10 978-0-321-83275-2

    9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    Printed and bound in the United States of America DeDication

    For Amy, the proverbial girl-across-the-street. This page intentionally left blank acknowleDgments

    No book is written or photographed in a vacuum —especially this one. Thanks are

    owed to many.

    First, to Amy and our three lads, Tom, Vin, and Tony—heartfelt thanks for accommo-

    dating my uncountable requests for you to serve as impromptu models, grips, fixers,

    etc. You may not have felt like you had a choice every time I asked, but you did.

    Sincere thanks are also owed to my many friends at Maine Media Workshops. Most of

    the second half of this book was written and shot during my extended stay in Rockport.

    Thank you for providing a beautiful house in which to write, a studio in which to

    shoot, and lobster dinner every Friday night. Without the support of MMW, I likely

    would still be finishing Chapter 5.

    Teaching is a privilege and an invaluable opportunity to learn from those I teach.

    So, thanks are owed to the workshop programs that invited me to teach during the

    past year—Maine Media, Santa Fe, and Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai—as well as to the

    amazing team at B&H Photo, who let me teach in their NYC Event Space every time

    I asked.

    Thanks are also owed to every student I’ve met in a workshop, seminar, or random

    meet-up, as well as to those who got in touch after watching me on Kelby Training

    or listening to me on This Week in Photo. Your questions and comments formed the

    foundation on which this book was written.

    Finally, every word in this book was first read, considered, and sometimes polished

    by my editor—Ted Waitt. Despite my affection for the sounds that deadlines make

    as they go whizzing by, Ted patiently coaxed me along as the vision for this book

    came into sharp focus. So thanks, Ted, for shepherding me through the creation of

    Lighting for Digital Photography.

    Syl Arena

    Paso Robles, California

    October, 2012


    acknowleDgments This page intentionally left blank Contents

    chapter 1: the Five characteristics oF light 1

    Photography Begins with Looking at Light

    Poring Over the Picture 2

    Poring Over the Picture 4

    Start Your Obsession with Light 6

    DICCH—That’s a Curious Word 7

    Direction 7

    Intensity 13

    Color 15

    Contrast 21

    Hardness 24

    Lighting Lessons Are Everywhere 26

    C hapter 1 Assignments 27

    chapter 2: Your light-capturing machine 29

    Using Camera Settings Smartly and Creatively

    Poring Over the Picture 30

    Poring Over the Picture 32

    Whole-Stop Increments 34

    Shutter Speed: Slicing Time Thick or Thin 35

    Aperture: Controlling Depth of Field 37

    ISO: Keeping Shutter and Aperture in a Desired Range 40

    Equivalent Exposures—Tying Shutter, Aperture, and ISO Together 43

    Camera Modes—Who Sets What 46

    White Balance 48

    RAW vs. JPEG 49

    Post-Processing 51

    C hapter 2 Assignments 53


    contents chapter 3: using the light arounD You 55

    Getting Started with Natural Light

    Poring Over the Picture 56

    Poring Over the Picture 58

    Light: Natural, Artificial, Available, and Ambient 60

    Deal with the Ambient Light First 60

    The Daily Cycle of Sunlight 61

    Shooting in Direct Sunlight 66

    Skylight—Shooting in Open Shade 73

    Deep Shade—Shooting Under Trees 75

    Clouds—Nature’s Diffusion Panels 76

    Windowlight 77

    C hapter 3 Assignments 79

    chapter 4: creating Your own light 81

    Getting Started with Artificial Light

    Poring Over the Picture 82

    Poring Over the Picture 84

    Shooting Under Home and Office Light 86

    Photographic Lights: Continuous 91

    Photographic Lights: Flash and Strobes 94

    Flash Basics 99

    Moving Your Flash Off-Camera 112

    C hapter 4 Assignments 116

    chapter 5: lighting For tabletop anD

    macro photographY 119

    Learn to Light by Starting with Objects

    Poring Over the Picture 120

    Poring Over the Picture 122

    Quick Look—Shoots and Concepts 124

    Getting Started with Lighting on a Small Scale 125

    Make It Look Like Cloudy Weather 125

    You Don’t Have to Light Everything 127

    Define Shape with Rim Light 130

    Embrace the Power of Backlight 132

    Throw Light Everywhere 135

    If It’s Shiny, Light What It Sees 140

    C hapter 5 Assignments 143


    lighting F or Digital photographY : From snapshots to great shots chapter 6: lighting FunDamentals For portraits 145

    Getting Started with Portraits

    Poring Over the Picture 146

    Poring Over the Picture 148

    Quick Look—Shoots and Concepts 150

    Think About the Ambient First 151

    Be Lazy, When You Can 156

    Open Light 159

    Big Equals Soft 164

    Shutter and Flash Synergy 173

    Finding Light in the Shadows 178

    Dancing with the Sun 182

    Accuracy Matters 188

    Over Under for Beauty 194

    Sync About It 198

    C hapter 6 Assignments 203

    chapter 7: aDvanceD lighting For portraits 205

    Adding Depth and Drama to Your Portraits

    Poring Over the Picture 206

    Poring Over the Picture 208

    Quick Look—Shoots and Concepts 210

    Concealing and Revealing 211

    The Firing Line 218

    Three Heads Are Better Than One 224

    Syncing in Broad Daylight 229

    Family, Friends, and Strangers 235

    A Circus of Color 238

    Creating Sunset 242

    A Field of White 248

    C hapter 7 Assignments 257

    appenDix: the gear i use 259

    Kit Recommendations 260

    Camera Gear 261

    Flash Gear 263

    Strobe Gear 267

    inDex 269



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