If you photograph women, “Lighting Notebook, 101 Lighting styles and setups for Digital Photographers” by photographer Kevin Kubota is a great book choice to learn about lighting.
With Kevin Kubota as author, it’s not a great surprise “Lighting Notebook” is a high quality learning resource for lighting. Personally, I have experienced Kubota as an excellent teacher of Photoshop CS5 on Lynda. Much of what I learned about photo editing, I learned from Kevin’s clear, concise and well organized instructional videos.
To preview some of the instructional editing videos Kevin has produced, explore the 7-day free trial to lynda.com for a complementary taste of the many excellent Photoshop video instructionals available on Lynda.
While the title does not say so, “Lighting Notebook” is really a book about lighting for photographing women.
Be it nude, dressed, fashion, glamour, commercial, editorial, etc. Kubota’s “Lighting Notebook” is about lighting women.
Fresh off the presses © 2011, there are two main sections to this modest sized 9.25 x 7.5 x 0.75 inch paperback book.
The first section is a how to of lighting gear and instructionals on lighting basics covering things like set ups using one, two and more lights. And, so on with other lighting basics.
This didactic section occupies the first third or so of the books 320 pages. Here we are exposed to details of specific pieces of lighting equipment by specific manufacturers. Gear covered includes the like of Modifiers, Lights, and so on.
There are pictures of the equipment and a small bit about their uses.
There is also, in keeping with Kubota’s deep knowledge of editing, a small taste about post production software and techniques. Though only just a touch.
The second section of the book comprises the ‘notebook‘ section. This notebook section is laid out in a kind of two pages per shoot format.
Each of these two page shows the final shot, production stills, lists of the gear and modifiers used, provided exposure details, as well as explanations and tips of how to get the results achieved, etc.
Wish to learn more about lighting women in a wide variety of circumstances and locals? If yes, then ‘Lighting Notebook‘ is a definite book to consider and affordable at under $20.00.
The only thing I could think to make the layout better would have been to organize the shots by some kind of method, like natural light, or nudes, or by some other categories. While the index is nice, you have to find a shot you like, and study its particulars. You cannot easily study just the light of a particular genre by going to one chapter or one small section of pages.
This said, it is an excellent tutorial, with excellent tips. Between the illustrations, descriptive text, final shots and the production stills, one gets a very good insight into how light was made to work to get the result of the finished shot.
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