Craft & Vision just released their newest photography ebook titled Great Light, Easy Light. In a work subtitled “Strobe Techniques that Don’t Look Lit”, author and photographer Kevin Clark walks through a variety of scenarios using strobes to portray a variety of subjects in impressive light. I’ve read a variety of material on various forms of strobe lighting and wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a great read (especially for the price).
Who is it For? What Will You Learn?
Let’s set the stage and expectations: my gut says this book is probably aimed at a beginner- to intermediate-level photographer who wants to make more realistic photos using artificial light. The author starts off with an analysis of the cover photo before even providing an introduction, and that provides a good setup for the book. It’s all about example photos and then details of how they were made. The author’s goal, as stated in the introduction is
…to figure out how to create fabulous natural looking light anytime, anywhere, with strobes.
The book is divided into four major sections based on the lights used. First the author devotes quite a bit of time to using a single strobe and exploring the various possibilities. You’ll find that he’s liberal with lighting diagrams, showing the position of his light, model, and modifiers (Clark is a big fan of using 4×8 sheets of foam board as reflectors and light blocks). For each photo he explains in detail what gear was used, how it was positioned, and how even small changes in the lighting can have a significant difference in the resulting image. I enjoyed the fact that the author gave plenty of examples and encourages the reader to experiment. In his words:
After various single-light possibilities, additional sections explore using two or three lights at a time. Again Clark presents a variety of options including a detailed comparison of the results from using a 7-foot octabank (around $900) vs. using a few sheets of foam bard (around $50). He demonstrates that the resulting images are very similar and that great light can be created on a budget. The final section of the book covers Clark’s “bounce light off of whatever he can” setup and he explores ways to throw light into situations where one might not otherwise have full control.
I started out a bit skeptical that this book would be like the various other similar books I’ve read about strobe lighting, but was surprised to see that Clark went into much more detail than expected. If you’re the type that can read an explanation, look at an accompanying diagram, see the resulting photo and then go out and try something similar on your own you’ll find this to be a great learning tool. I would definitely recommend this for someone wanting to get into the world of flash photography.
Great Light, Easy Light is available from Craft & Vision; the usual price is $5.