The Art of Photographic Lighting by Eib Eibelshaeuser – Rocky Nook, O’Reilly

This book is really more a reference encyclopedia than a textbook.

The author is clearly very knowledgeable about light theory, the history of light, and the different types of lights that are available. I suspect much of the basic information provided on the different construction of various light bulbs will neither be of interest nor much use to most photographers.

However, there are several valuable chapters such as “Light and Shade” and “Controlling Light” that are well worth reading. In addition the sections on hard and soft light, direct and indirect light are very useful.

I feel this is an excellent supplementary text for anyone learning photographic lighting. For schools teaching photography, I’d recommend they include this book in their libraries.

Focus on Photographing People by Haje Jan Kamps – Focal Press

I consider this book an excellent introduction for anyone who is starting to do serious photography and for the occasional serious photographer who may not have previously done portrait photography.

The author opens with basic information about equipment and camera settings. I like that he emphasizes that an expensive camera is not a requisite for successful imaging. He then discusses composition including how to direct a model, elements of lighting, and some basic rules of composition. There is a discussion of the merits and techniques of street photography. The last section discusses photo editing.

In addition to my opening comment, this would be a good text for an Introductory Course at the high school or college level.

GIMP 2.6 for Photographers by Klaus Goelker – Rocky Nook, O’Reilly

This book is the complete package. It contains a DVD that provides all three versions (Windows, MAC, and Unix) for GIMP. In addition there is an introduction to GIMP 2.8 which is currently under development. And last, but hardly least, the images used in the book’s tutorials are included.

The book progresses in an A to Z fashion in teaching one about GIMP. In addition to the “how to” instruction, there is sufficient, but not overwhelming, information on theory, the “why” part of processing.

GIMP is the “high end” of free photo processing software and approaches Adobe CS 5 in its capabilities. Even if you are not on a budget, consider GIMP. And if you do, or if you are currently using GIMP, add this book to your library. You’ll be glad you did.

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.

Focus on Composing Photos by Peter Ensenberger – Focal Press

The major portion of the book covers the “Rules” of good photographic composition. The author performs competently as he progresses through the various chapters. The text is clearly written, and examples abound.

But the very best has been saved till the end; “Epilogue: Where Do You Go from Here? Like the author, I am an advocate of “having a game plan” and being prepared. In the earlier pages the author speaks of scouting out one’s subject and determining different perspectives. On pages 126 and 127 you will find six very different images of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Clearly photographic evidence of the truth of the author’s instruction.

I teach photographic composition to beginning photographers and I’ll be using this book in my next class.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.
Photographer

Photoshop Elements 10 – the missing manual, Barbara Brundage, O’Reilly Publishers

Highly recommended I have been teaching Photoshop Elements since version 7 and have used Ms. Brundage’s series of books for version 7, 8, and 9. This book is an A to Z manual on Photoshop Elements. One feature I particularly like is that the author lists a number of websites for additional material such as plug-ins. Also, she will reference a book not published by O’Reilly, an action for which both the author and publisher deserve credit.

As the author states in her introduction, this is a how and when book. The book instructs one how to use various techniques and tools, as well as when not to use them. In addition to the book content, one can go to the O’Reilly website to download additional material that is pertinent so that one can better complete various exercises in the book.

The bottom line; if you use Photoshop Elements 10, buy this book.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.

Photographer

Photoshop Elements 10 – the missing manual, Barbara Brundage

Highly recommended I have been teaching Photoshop Elements since version 7 and have used Ms. Brundage’s series of books for version 7, 8, and 9. This book is an A to Z manual on Photoshop Elements. One feature I particularly like is that the author lists a number of websites for additional material such as plug-ins. Also, she will reference a book not published by O’Reilly, an action for which both the author and publisher deserve credit.

As the author states in her introduction, this is a how and when book. The book instructs one how to use various techniques and tools, as well as when not to use them. In addition to the book content, one can go to the O’Reilly website to download additional material that is pertinent so that one can better complete various exercises in the book.

The bottom line; if you use Photoshop Elements 10, buy this book.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.
Photographer

THE SUNNY 16 RULE

A PRESCRIPTION FOR BETTER PHOTOGRAPHS

 In photography, the Sunny 16 rule (also known as the Sunny f/16 rule) is a method of estimating correct daylight exposures without a light meter. Apart from the obvious advantage of independence from a light meter, the Sunny 16 rule can also aid in achieving correct exposure of difficult subjects. As the rule is based on incident light, rather than reflected light as with most camera light meters, very bright or very dark subjects are compensated for. The rule serves as a mnemonic for the camera settings obtained on a sunny day using the exposure value (EV) system.

The basic rule is, “On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting] for a subject in direct sunlight.” For example:

On a sunny day and with ISO 100 film / setting in the camera, one sets the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 second (on some cameras 1/125 second is the available setting nearest to 1/100 second).

On a sunny day with ISO 200 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/250.

On a sunny day with ISO 400 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/400 or 1/500.

As with other light readings, shutter speed can be changed as long as the f-number is altered to compensate, e.g. 1/250 second at f/11 gives equivalent exposure to 1/125 second at f/16.

An elaborated form of the Sunny 16 rule is to set shutter speed nearest to the reciprocal of the ISO film speed / setting and f-number according to this table:

Aperture 

Lighting Conditions 

Shadow Detail 

f/22 

Snow/Sand 

Dark with sharp edges 

/16 

Sunny 

Distinct 

f/11 

Slight Overcast 

Soft around edges 

f/8 

Overcast 

Barely visible 

f/5.6 

Heavy Overcast 

No shadows 

f/4 

Open Shade/Sunset 

No shadows 

Add One Stop 

Backlighting 

n/a 

from Wikipedia

 

CHARLES HEISTERKAMP, III, M.D.

 

 

A PRESCRIPTION FOR WHAT’S ON THE NET

LESS ORDINARY – http://www.lessordinary.org.uk/

“By taking the time to browse through the posts here, you’ll find plenty of beautiful photographs, thoughtful reflections and inspirational content, as I communicate my deep passion for specialness.”

Photography, Books, an unusual Blog. Worth a visit. You might be inspired.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D. – Photographer

A PRESCRIPTION FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Vincent Versace
 
To quote Vincent,
“The belief is once you own a camera you are a photographer.

SO that means if I buy a cello…

then I own a cello.”

And to quote from his biography,

Vincent Versace is a recipient of the Computerworld Smithsonian Award in Media Arts & Entertainment and the Shellenberg fine art award, is a six-time nominee to the Photoshop Hall of Fame and is the best selling author of Welcome to Oz a Cinematic Approach Digital Still Photography with Photoshop and. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History.

Visit his website – http://versacephotography.com/

There is an extensive gallery posting – my recommendation is look at the set “People You Know”   Then go on to the rest.

CHARLES HEISTERKAMP, III, M.D.