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Picture Perfect Lighting

Book Description

Roberto Valenzuela is a photographer and educator who has a talent for identifying areas where photographers regularly hit roadblocks and a passion for developing clear and concise systems that allow photographers to break through those barriers and become better, more confident practitioners of their craft. His two previous books, Picture Perfect Practice and Picture Perfect Posing, shattered the mold of instructional photography books as they empowered readers to advance their composition and posing skills. Picture Perfect Lighting, the third book in the Picture Perfect series, brings that same spirit and approach to teaching lighting. With it, Roberto empowers photographers to embrace lighting as a source of creativity and expression in service of their vision for the image.

In Picture Perfect Lighting, Roberto has created a truly original system for understanding and controlling light in photography. After discussing the universal nature of light, Roberto introduces the five key behaviors of light, which are essential to understand in order to improve your knowledge of light. With those behaviors established, Roberto introduces his concept of “circumstantial light,” an ingenious way of examining and breaking down the light around you in any given situation. Providing a detailed analysis of circumstantial light, Roberto develops the top ten circumstantial light elements you need to know in order to fully harness the power of the light around you to create an image that is true to your vision.

But how will you know if the circumstantial light is enough? The final piece of the Picture Perfect Lighting system is Roberto’s “lighting benchmark test,” a brilliant method for determining the quality of the light in any given situation. It is with the lighting benchmark test that you will determine if and when you need to use “helper light,” the light that is needed or manipulated in order to “help” the circumstantial light so that your vision comes to life. Helper light is created with diffusers, reflectors, flashes, strobes, and light modifiers. Picture Perfect Lighting covers all of this in depth.

Don’t limit yourself to using only one kind of light, and don’t depend on Photoshop actions and plug-ins to create the “wow” factor in your images. That is the job of light. With Picture Perfect Lighting by your side, you will learn to master light. With that mastery, you will finally have the ability to create that true “wow” factor in camera—and in your photographs.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. About the Author
  7. Contents
  8. Foreword
  9. Introduction
  10. Picture Perfect Lighting Reference Charts
  11. Part One The Building Blocks of Light
    1. Chapter 1 Prioritize a Lighting Vision Over a Lighting Style
      1. Lighting Vision
      2. Lighting Style
      3. The Potential That Light Has on a Photograph
    2. Chapter 2 How Light Works
      1. How the Eye Sees Color
      2. All Light Behaves the Same Way
    3. Chapter 3 The Five Key Behaviors of Light
      1. Angle Behavior
      2. Inverse Square Behavior
        1. Light Intensity
        2. Light Falloff
      3. Size Behavior
        1. Visual Explanation
      4. Color Behavior
      5. Scatter Behavior
  12. Part Two Circumstantial Light
    1. Chapter 4 Introduction to the Circumstantial Light Elements
      1. The Top 10 Circumstantial Light Elements (CLE)
      2. Gaining the Most from the Top 10 Circumstantial Light Elements
      3. The Glow Zone
    2. Chapter 5 Exploring the 10 Circumstantial Light Elements
      1. Analyzing Locations for Light Behaviors and Circumstantial Light Elements
    3. Chapter 6 Implementing Circumstantial Light
      1. Understanding the How and the Why of Circumstantial Light
      2. The Shooting-Toward-the-Shadow Technique
      3. Fill Window Light Versus Direct Window Light
      4. The Importance of the Lighting Reference Point
      5. Working in Direct Sunlight without Any Light Modifiers (Shadow Management)
        1. The Eye-Adjustment-Period Technique
      6. A Closer Look at Reflection Versus Absorption with Circumstantial Light
      7. Open Shade Done the Right Way
        1. The Ideal Open Shade Scenario
  13. Part Three The Lighting Benchmark Test and Helper Light
    1. Chapter 7 The Lighting Benchmark Test
      1. Adjusting the Light to Fit the Camera Settings, Instead of Adjusting the Camera Settings to Fit the Light
        1. The Lighting Benchmark Test: The Turning Point in My Career
      2. Lighting Benchmark Chart
      3. Understanding the Lighting Benchmark Chart
        1. Acceptable Shutter Speed
      4. Lighting Benchmark Scenarios
        1. Failing the Lighting Benchmark Test
        2. Passing the Lighting Benchmark Test
        3. Rotating the Subject’s Head Toward the Brightest Circumstantial Light Element in the Scene
        4. Moving the Subject Toward Higher Intensity Light to Achieve the Lighting Benchmark
    2. Chapter 8 Helper Light: Reflector Techniques
      1. Not All Reflectors Are Equal
      2. Direct Reflection Versus Diffused Reflection
        1. Direct Reflection
        2. Diffused Reflection
      3. Direct Reflection Techniques
        1. Time the Eyes
        2. Increase the Distance to Soften the Effects of Direct Reflection
        3. Concave Versus Convex Bending Techniques
      4. Diffused Reflection Techniques
        1. Use the White Side of the Reflector at Close Proximity
        2. Modify Your Reflector to Produce Diffused Reflection
      5. Advanced Reflector Techniques for Portraiture
        1. Reflecting Light Toward the Sun
        2. Reflecting Light Away from the Sun
    3. Chapter 9 Helper Light: Diffuser Techniques
      1. No Diffuser Outside
      2. No Diffuser Inside
      3. Using a Diffuser as a Clean Background
      4. Advanced Diffuser Techniques for Portraiture
        1. No Diffuser Used
        2. Diffuser Not Pointed Toward the Sun, Further Away from Subject’s Head
        3. Diffuser Not Tilted Toward the Sun, Closer to Subject’s Head
        4. Diffuser Tilted Toward the Sun, Further Away from Subject’s Head
        5. Diffuser Tilted Toward the Sun, Closer to the Subject’s Head
        6. Diffuse and Light
  14. Part Four Helper Light: Flash Techniques
    1. Chapter 10 Understanding the Key Capabilities and Functions of Your Flash
      1. The Purpose of This Chapter
      2. Simplified Flash Terminology and Key Features
        1. TTL
        2. FEC
        3. E-TTL and E-TTL II
        4. Manual Flash (M)
        5. First Curtain Sync
        6. Second Curtain Sync
        7. High-Speed Sync
        8. Flash Zoom
      3. Off-Camera Wireless Flash
        1. What Is a Master or Commander Flash?
        2. What Is a Slave Flash?
        3. What Is a Channel?
        4. What Is a Group?
        5. What Are Flash Ratios?
        6. What Is the Difference Between Radio and Optical Transmission?
      4. A Quick Test
    2. Chapter 11 Speed Development Exercises for Flash
      1. How to Get the Most from These Flash Micro Exercises
      2. On-Camera Flash Speed Development Exercises
        1. 1. Making Sure the Flash Is on TTL with Zero FEC Applied
        2. 2. Making Sure the Flash Is on TTL with –2 FEC Applied
        3. 3. Making Sure the Flash Is on TTL with +3 FEC Applied
        4. 4. Switching Between TTL and Manual Modes
        5. 5. Switching to Manual Mode at Full Power (or 1/1)
        6. 6. Manual Mode at 1/4 Power, Then 1/32 Power, Then 1/128 Power
        7. 7. Changing the Flash to Second Curtain Sync
        8. 8. Changing the Flash Back to First Curtain Sync
        9. 9. Activating High-Speed Sync
        10. 10. Zooming the Flash
        11. 11. Combining Different Features #1
        12. 12. Combining Different Features #2
        13. 13. Combining Different Features #3
      3. Off-Camera Wireless Flash Speed Development Exercises
        1. 14. Setting One Flash as the Master and the Other as a Slave
        2. 15. Assigning the Slave Flash to a Different Group
        3. 16. Changing the Channel and Group
        4. 17. Changing the Slave Flash to Manual Mode and Stopping the Master Flash from Firing
        5. 18. Activating Off-Camera High-Speed Sync Flash
        6. 19. Working with Two Slave Flashes
        7. 20. Setting Each Slave Flash with a Different Group So They Can Be Controlled Separately
        8. 21. Mixing Modes: Setting Slave Flash Group A to Operate in TTL Mode and Slave Flash Group B to Operate in Manual Mode
        9. 22. Working with Three Slave Flashes Assigned to Three Different Groups (A, B, and C)
    3. Chapter 12 Helper Light: Boosting Available Light with Flash
      1. The Benefits of Using Flash
      2. A Few Examples of the Value Flash Can Add to Your Work
        1. Wedding Photo with Flash
        2. Boudoir Photo with Flash
        3. Indoor Moody Portrait with Flash
      3. Flash as Helper Light to Boost Weak Natural Light
      4. A Progression of Light
      5. Changing the Shape and Relative Size of a Single Diffuser
        1. Flash Closer or Further Away from the Diffuser
        2. Short Side and Long Side of a Diffuser
      6. Giving Window Light a Boost
    4. Chapter 13 Advanced Flash Techniques
      1. Creating Separation Between the Subject and Background Through Lighting
      2. Retaining the Integrity of the Mood with Flash
      3. Controlled Light (Removing All Ambient Light)
      4. Creating Clean Silhouettes Using Flash
      5. Creating Graphic Interest with Shadows Created by Flash
      6. Creating a Low-Contrast, Dreamy, Hazy Effect Using Flash
  15. Part Five Executing Your Lighting Vision
    1. Chapter 14 Putting It All Together
      1. My Thought Process Regarding Light
      2. Lighting Case Studies
        1. Case Study 1: Helper Light (Flash)
        2. Case Study 2: Helper Light (Reflector)
        3. Case Study 3: Circumstantial Light Elements
        4. Case Study 4: Circumstantial Light Elements
        5. Case Study 5: Circumstantial Light Elements
        6. Case Study 6: Circumstantial Light Elements
        7. Case Study 7: Helper Light (Video Light)
        8. Case Study 8: Helper Light (Flash)
        9. Case Study 9: Helper Light (Reflector)
        10. Case Study 10: Helper Light (Flash)
        11. Case Study 11: Helper Light (Video Light)
        12. Case Study 12: Helper Light (Flash)
        13. Case Study 13: Circumstantial Light Elements
        14. Case Study 14: Helper Light (Diffuser and Flash)
        15. Case Study 15: Helper Light (Flash)
        16. Case Study 16: Helper Light (Video Light)
        17. Case Study 17: Pantea’s Photo Shoot
        18. Case Study 18: Peter’s Photo Shoot
        19. Case Study 19: Ian’s Photo Shoot
        20. Case Study 20: Ellie’s Photo Shoot
  16. Conclusion