: Lighting


5.0 out of 5 stars Best Lighting Book Ever, May 4, 2009

Lighting by David Prakel is simply the best of the approximately 20 books I have on this subject. I do a lot of table top shooting in the form of product shots that I use for magazine articles I write and this includes a lot of PC boards that I design. I was never pleased with the lighting as I am a perfectionist, but with this book it solved many unresolved problems. As an example, many books cover filters but this book does so in an absolute minimum number of words allowing superb illustrations and photos to clearly demonstrate these otherwise abstract even obtuse principles. The drawings are so detail and allow you to clearly understand and clearly see the effects of various placements of lighting, and how variations will affect the subject.

I never really understood what the KR numbers meant on certain filters, such as those made by B&W, but now I know, plus the section on filters shows their equivalents and how the light source and filter combined will yield a certain color temperature. The section on color theory is also just so clear and the manner in which it is illustrated and presented is simply nothing short of the best imaginable. Many books try to skimp on printing costs and it the end it shows, but this is not the case here, the book publisher obviously worked closely in concert with the author and did not tell him “sorry, that would be too expensive to preset in that manner.” If you buy this lesser known that that popular book by sheer number of volumes sold, you will not be disappointed.

Incidentally, I also bought Prakel’s book on Composition and it is equally as good as this book. If you see David Prakel’s name on any book, you might give it a look as his thorough style and ease with words makes difficult things seems simple. As an electrical engineer and technical writer I strive to do the same, and the jury is still out on my results, but they have already returned a most favorable critique on this book.

Customer review on amazon.com

Basics: Photography – Lighting


Having recently read Composition, the first book in the Basics: Photography series from AVA, I had high hopes for this second title – and I wasn’t disappointed. Written by David Prakel, part-time lecturer on the BA Hons Photography degree course at Cumbria Institute of the Arts, the book mixes practical advice with inspirational imagery, resulting in a successful and well-rounded effort.

Aimed at photography and design students Lighting is divided into six parts: natural light, available light, photographic light, controlling light, using light and a section on what light is. Each part uses enough science to get the point across, without overcomplicating things.

The main aim of this book is to raise awareness of the possibilities of light, allowing the reader to make the most of any given lighting situation. A photographer once said to me, ‘There is no such thing as bad light; it’s all about matching your subject to what’s available,’ and, looking at this book, I have to agree. Light is, quite obviously, the fundamental ingredient of every photograph, but understanding and controlling this force is an entirely different matter. Sit yourself down and read this little gem from cover to cover; when you’ve finished, you might just, well, see the light. Tracy Hallett, Outdoor Photography, June 2007

Photo answers review

Photo answers rating rating is 5

Technique books can be dull and lifeless affairs – too many tables and charts, not enough actual photography. Lighting totally eschews this tedium and, thankfully, is illustrated with images that back up the strength of its content. This is the second in a series of ‘Basics – Photography’ books, and is as comprehensive an introduction to its subject as any serious enthusiast could ask for. Author David Präkel keeps the tone light and the captions and diagrams are full of useful nuggets of info. This is a great reference book and future additions to the series are highly awaited. ISBN 2-940373-03-5

Lighting – learn the basics of lighting with this illuminating read.

Every good photographer will tell you that for a great shot you need great light. But to the untrained eye, finding the perfect light for your photography can be a challenge. This book is an ideal reference for those wanting to learn more about the subject of light and improve their photography as a result.

Set out in an easy-to-follow format, the book is an ideal learning tool with plenty of diagrams to explain camera and lighting positions. It covers essential colour theory as well as in-depth information about exposure. No doubt the best thing about this book is the dramatic imagery, which offers inspiration to any aspiring photographer. Every chapter leaves you wanting to go out and try new techniques.

This is the second book in the Basics Photography series with other titles including Composition, Capturing Color, Post Production Color and Post Production Black and White. It’s a great buy for anyone wanting to improve their source imagery and in turn improve their Photoshop creations. Well worth a read. Photoshop Creative Issue 22


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