Light, Science & Magic 4th Edition by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver and Paul Fuqua – Focal Press

I have used the 3rd edition of this book when I teach. The 4th Edition improves on the earlier version and brings one “up-to-date.” This is a text I’ll continue to recommend.

The authors introduce the book with some basic information on the physics of light. If you really want to know the how and the why of lighting, this information is important. In my opinion, too often photographers know some basic lighting formulas such as for lighting portraits but they don’t know why these formulas work. The why becomes very important when one encounters a situation that varies from the usual.

As everyone knows, a photographic image is two dimensional. The proper use of lighting is critical to provide an illusion of three dimensions. Another important facet of lighting is the avoidance of unwanted reflections, particularly when photographing a shiny object. Do you ever photograph a black object on a black background? How to do well in all of the preceding situations, and in many more, are explained.

This is a book that all photographers should have in their library.