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Lighting Digital Field Guide

Book Description

Essential lighting guide for users of compact cameras and dSLRs

One of the most important aspects of photography is lighting, but getting the lighting right is tricky. When should you use flash? Are a camera's automatic settings dependable? Should you use reflectors or diffusers and where do you place them? This handy, portable reference will show you when, where, and how to create and capture perfect light, every time. The book includes a color checker card to help you maintain true color, as well as examples of stunningly-lit photos of people, wildlife, and landscapes to inspire you.

  • Walks you through the essentials of lighting for digital photography

  • Helps beginning and intermediate photographers leave the safety of automatic settings and confidently control lighting themselves

  • Shows how to evaluate natural light, decide when to use flash, and how and when to use diffusers or reflectors

  • Includes a tear-out color checker card to help you maintain true color in your photographs

  • Comes in the handy, portable Digital Field Guides size, perfect for camera bags

Create and capture the perfect lighting every time, with Lighting Digital Field Guide!

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Credits
  4. Dedication
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
    1. Seeing Light
    2. What You'll Learn from This Book
  7. 1. Understanding Light
    1. 1.1. What Is Light?
      1. 1.1.1. Ambient light
      2. 1.1.2. Hard light
      3. 1.1.3. Soft light
      4. 1.1.4. Diffusion
      5. 1.1.5. Diffraction
      6. 1.1.6. Lens flare
      7. 1.1.7. Luminance and efficiency
      8. 1.1.8. Specularity
    2. 1.2. Direction of Light
      1. 1.2.1. Front lighting
      2. 1.2.2. Side lighting
      3. 1.2.3. Overhead lighting
      4. 1.2.4. Backlighting
    3. 1.3. Color of Light
      1. 1.3.1. Color temperature (Kelvin scale)
      2. 1.3.2. White balance
      3. 1.3.3. Daylight
      4. 1.3.4. Tungsten
      5. 1.3.5. Fluorescent
      6. 1.3.6. Neon and special light sources
      7. 1.3.7. Setting a custom white balance
  8. 2. Camera Controls of Light
    1. 2.1. ISO
      1. 2.1.1. ISO and light sensitivity
      2. 2.1.2. Digital noise
      3. 2.1.3. High ISO noise reduction
    2. 2.2. Shutter Speeds
      1. 2.2.1. Fast shutter speeds
      2. 2.2.2. Medium shutter speeds
      3. 2.2.3. Slow shutter speeds
    3. 2.3. Aperture
      1. 2.3.1. Large apertures
      2. 2.3.2. Medium apertures
      3. 2.3.3. Small apertures
    4. 2.4. Camera Exposure Modes
      1. 2.4.1. Programmed Auto mode
      2. 2.4.2. Shutter Priority mode
      3. 2.4.3. Aperture Priority mode
      4. 2.4.4. Manual mode
    5. 2.5. Camera Metering Modes
      1. 2.5.1. Scene metering mode
      2. 2.5.2. Center-weighted metering mode
      3. 2.5.3. Spot metering mode
    6. 2.6. Exposure Compensation
    7. 2.7. Bracketing Exposures
    8. 2.8. Using the Histogram
      1. 2.8.1. Brightness histogram
      2. 2.8.2. RGB histogram
    9. 2.9. File Formats
      1. 2.9.1. RAW
      2. 2.9.2. JPEG
      3. 2.9.3. TIFF
  9. 3. Controlling the Light with Shutter Speed
    1. 3.1. Choosing a Shutter Speed
    2. 3.2. Freezing the Action
    3. 3.3. Time Exposures
    4. 3.4. Panning the Camera
  10. 4. Controlling the Light with Aperture
    1. 4.1. Choosing an Aperture
    2. 4.2. Depth of Field
      1. 4.2.1. Selective focus
      2. 4.2.2. Controlling depth of field
      3. 4.2.3. Shallow depth of field
      4. 4.2.4. Midrange depth of field
      5. 4.2.5. Maximum depth of field
    3. 4.3. Variable and Constant Aperture Lenses
      1. 4.3.1. Variable aperture lenses
      2. 4.3.2. Constant aperture lenses
    4. 4.4. Macro Lenses, Aperture, and Depth of Field
  11. 5. Working with Flash
    1. 5.1. Flash Systems
      1. 5.1.1. Pack-and-head system
      2. 5.1.2. Monolights
      3. 5.1.3. Speedlights
    2. 5.2. Flash Techniques
      1. 5.2.1. Direct flash
      2. 5.2.2. Bounce flash
      3. 5.2.3. Fill flash
      4. 5.2.4. Camera and flash settings
      5. 5.2.5. Setting lighting ratios
    3. 5.3. Using Flash for Outdoor Locations
      1. 5.3.1. Remembering light theory
      2. 5.3.2. Setting power output
      3. 5.3.3. Balancing for the ambient light
    4. 5.4. Flash Exposure Settings
      1. 5.4.1. Guide number
      2. 5.4.2. Aperture
      3. 5.4.3. Distance
      4. 5.4.4. Guide number รท distance = aperture
    5. 5.5. Flash Sync Modes
      1. 5.5.1. Sync speed
      2. 5.5.2. First-curtain sync
      3. 5.5.3. Second-curtain sync
    6. 5.6. External Light Meters
    7. 5.7. Gray Cards and Exposure Targets
  12. 6. Working with Speedlights
    1. 6.1. Overview of Speedlight Flash Units
      1. 6.1.1. Using on-camera flash
      2. 6.1.2. Using off-camera flash
      3. 6.1.3. TTL exposure mode
      4. 6.1.4. Manual exposure mode
      5. 6.1.5. Using wireless Manual flash
      6. 6.1.6. Using stroboscopic flash
      7. 6.1.7. Setting flash exposure compensation
    2. 6.2. Using Speedlights with Remotes
      1. 6.2.1. PocketWizards
      2. 6.2.2. RadioPoppers
    3. 6.3. Speedlight Accessories
    4. 6.4. Close-up Photography with Speedlights
  13. 7. Lighting Equipment
    1. 7.1. Light Modifiers
      1. 7.1.1. Umbrellas
      2. 7.1.2. Softboxes
      3. 7.1.3. Octagonal softboxes
      4. 7.1.4. Beauty dishes
      5. 7.1.5. Ring lights
      6. 7.1.6. Reflectors
      7. 7.1.7. Diffusers
      8. 7.1.8. Gels
      9. 7.1.9. Grids and snoots
      10. 7.1.10. Cookie cutters
      11. 7.1.11. Flags
    2. 7.2. Backgrounds and Background Stands
      1. 7.2.1. Seamless paper backdrops
      2. 7.2.2. Muslin backdrops
      3. 7.2.3. Canvas backdrops
      4. 7.2.4. Background stands
      5. 7.2.5. Light stands
    3. 7.3. Space Considerations
      1. 7.3.1. Setting up for indoor shoots
        1. 7.3.1.1. Portraits
        2. 7.3.1.2. Small products
      2. 7.3.2. Setting up for outdoor shoots
    4. 7.4. Traveling with Your Lighting Equipment
  14. 8. Action and Sports Photography
    1. 8.1. Preparation and Considerations
    2. 8.2. Practical Pro Advice
  15. 9. Concert and Event Photography
    1. 9.1. Preparation and Considerations
      1. 9.1.1. Daylight events
      2. 9.1.2. Low-light events
    2. 9.2. Practical Pro Advice
  16. 10. Landscape and Nature Photography
    1. 10.1. Preparation and Considerations
      1. 10.1.1. Essential filters
      2. 10.1.2. Shooting landscapes and nature in natural light
        1. 10.1.2.1. Presunrise and sunrise
        2. 10.1.2.2. Early morning to midday
        3. 10.1.2.3. Presunset, sunset, and twilight
    2. 10.2. Practical Pro Advice
  17. 11. Night and Low-Light Photography
    1. 11.1. Preparation and Considerations
      1. 11.1.1. Using high ISO settings handheld
      2. 11.1.2. Using large apertures handheld
      3. 11.1.3. Long shutter speeds
    2. 11.2. Practical Pro Advice
      1. 11.2.1. Shooting infrared images
      2. 11.2.2. Shooting High Dynamic Range (HDR) images
  18. 12. Portrait Photography
    1. 12.1. Preparation and Considerations
    2. 12.2. Practical Pro Advice
      1. 12.2.1. Studio portraits
      2. 12.2.2. Outdoor portraits
      3. 12.2.3. Night portraits
      4. 12.2.4. Group portraits
    3. 12.3. Portrait Lighting Placement
      1. 12.3.1. Broad and short lighting
      2. 12.3.2. Front lighting
    4. 12.4. Portrait Lighting Styles
      1. 12.4.1. Butterfly/Paramount
      2. 12.4.2. Loop
      3. 12.4.3. Rembrandt/45
      4. 12.4.4. Split
      5. 12.4.5. Modified split/rim
      6. 12.4.6. Shadowless
  19. 13. Still Life and Product Photography
    1. 13.1. Preparation and Considerations
      1. 13.1.1. Shooting commercial products
      2. 13.1.2. Shooting for online auctions
      3. 13.1.3. Shooting food and beverages
    2. 13.2. Practical Pro Advice
  20. 14. Wedding Photography
    1. 14.1. Preparation and Considerations
      1. 14.1.1. Packing your gear bag
      2. 14.1.2. Getting ready with the bride and groom
      3. 14.1.3. The ceremony
      4. 14.1.4. The reception
    2. 14.2. Practical Pro Advice
  21. 15. Wildlife and Pet Photography
    1. 15.1. Preparation and Considerations
    2. 15.2. Practical Pro Advice
  22. A. Rules of Composition
    1. A.1. Keep It Simple
      1. A.1.1. Silhouettes
      2. A.1.2. Limiting focus
    2. A.2. The Rule of Thirds
    3. A.3. Field of View
    4. A.4. Leading Lines and S-Curves
    5. A.5. Symmetry
  23. B. Resources
    1. B.1. Informational Web Sites and Blogs
    2. B.2. Sharing and Storing Images Online
    3. B.3. Online Photography Magazines
  24. C. How to Use the Gray Card and Color Checker
    1. C.1. The Gray Card
    2. C.2. The Color Checker
  25. Glossary