Reddit Reddit reviews Light Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

We found 40 Reddit comments about Light Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Digital Photography
Photography & Video
Arts & Photography
Light Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
light, science, and magic an introduction to photographic lightingfourth edition
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40 Reddit comments about Light Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting:

u/VideoBrew · 35 pointsr/photography

Light-Science and Magic by Fil Hunter is fantastic if you are interested in studio lighting, especially if you're photographing reflective surfaces.

u/vkan · 11 pointsr/photography

Chapters 6 and 7 of Light, Science & Magic 4e deal with metal and glass surfaces. If you can deal with lighting a polished metal sphere, most other problems seem trivial by comparison.

u/brianmerwinphoto · 9 pointsr/AskPhotography

I posted a response to someone else recently who had the same exact question (although he was trying to shoot bongs, not shoes ha).

First: Buy a copy of Light Science and Magic

What you're trying to accomplish falls into the category of "Some of the most technically difficult lighting challenges a photographer can have" so the solution is equally technical. That book contains the foundations you need - and frankly there are no quick solutions.

Second: Definitely DO NOT use a green background. It's murder for stills and fixing the color kickback you get if you don't light things perfectly is awful.

Last: Understand that glass is clear so more light doesn't help. For reflective objects, treat it light a mirror that the camera is looking into. Show the mirror the things you want the camera to see.

Want it to see a reflection? You've got to place the lights so the mirror bounces the reflection into the lens. Most likely you are not appreciating the fact that the rounded reflective surface sees entire world, so your light source needs to be much larger than you think in order for the reflections to show up the way you are hoping for. (product photography always seems to require about 5x more working space than people expect).

Good luck!

u/thebringer84 · 8 pointsr/photography

There is a phenomenal book called "Light: Science and Magic" and I cannot stress the importance of reading it. There is so much information contained in this one volume, that it would take years to find it all on the internet. This will not only help you with your strobe photography, but it will also vastly improve the way you analyze natural lighting situations, the use of reflectors, how you control light spill, and even the angles you choose for your photographs.

Read Strobist. While it focuses on getting the speedlight off of your camera, it will still show you some invaluable lighting tricks that you can use all the time. There is some phenomenal work to be seen, and some great knowledge to be had here.

Finally, practice. Put yourself into some tricky lighting situations, put the speedlight on, and learn how to bounce the light off of objects around you to achieve the effect you desire. Remember that the zoom setting on the speedlight will control the spread, and the higher the millimeters of zoom on the strobe, the narrower the beam of light will be.

Go outside on a nice sunny day with your speedlight, practice using it at low power to provide fill for a backlit photo. Use the sun to light the back of your subject, and the flash to fill in the rest.

If you overpower your flash, you will lose all the subtle texture of your subject. It is irrelevant how small your aperture is at this point, the light just becomes too overpowering. It is about balance.

If you mess around with these basics, you can't lose. Just keep practicing.

u/rogue · 8 pointsr/photography

For a collection based book I'd recommend either Magnum or The Great Life Photographers. Either one will introduce her to important names and photographs in the craft. Instruction books are a bit more difficult since I can't imagine anything beyond what she'll already learn in the course of her studies... perhaps Light Science and Magic will give her a competitive edge.

u/dasazz · 7 pointsr/photography

Stobist 101 and if you want to dive deeper, look for "Light, Science and Magic".

u/Arttherapist · 7 pointsr/photography
u/literal · 7 pointsr/photography

Light: Science and Magic, a highly instructive book on lighting.

u/Oilfan94 · 6 pointsr/AskPhotography

To really figure this out (and or realize the limitations of what can be done), you may need a bit more education than a reply to a reddit post will get you.

In a nutshell:

Objects have different properties of how they react with light, reflection being the most important to us. Two main types of reflection are diffuse and direct. Something with mostly diffuse reflection will not show glare (think of a white piece of paper). The thing that most exemplifies direct reflection, is a mirror.

Another property is absorption, which is how we get/see colors & black etc.

So if you have something that is highly reflective, it has lots of direct reflection, and if it's black like a Darth Vader helmet, then it probably has plenty of absorption (and thus less diffuse reflection).

So when it comes to lighting something like this, we need to consider what type of reflection we want to (or have to) use. If the item is mostly black, then it probably doesn't have enough diffuse reflection or the direct reflection properties are going to be dominant.

So when lighting something that is dominated by direct reflection, we need to understand the family of angles. Basically, you will see a reflection of the light source (usually glare) when the angle between the lens, object and light all line up.

When the object is flat (or has flat sides etc) it can be easy to 'hide' the lights by placing them (or the object) where the reflections won't be visible to the camera. Of course, if the object is rounded, your family of angle will essentially be anywhere in front of the object, which can make it impossible to 'hide' the light..

However, if the object is mostly direct reflection, you may need to use that reflection glare, because there is nothing else.

So the task for the photographer then becomes getting the best looking reflection, to achieve what they want for the photo. So we would find/create the right size and shape of light, and place it carefully. A good example is wine bottles. Using a square or round light would leave a square or round glare on the bottle, which doesn't look good. So a photographer may use a strip light and align it with the bottle, so that the reflection shows up as a vertical line on the bottle.

Sometimes, the solution is to make your light source as big as possible (relative to the object). So getting something big and/or getting it really close. This is why we might use a light tent, it basically puts the light source all around the object.

So what you will likely have to do, is experiment by moving the lights around (while viewing the object from the camera position). You may find a position that makes for better looking reflections. Changing the size & shape of your lights may also help.

Read this book... Light: Science & Magic.

u/ame-foto · 6 pointsr/photography

"Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting" is a definite read, it breaks down really tricky lighting situations (glass, metal, people, etc) and explains WHY you light things a certain way. It really teaches you to see the differences in how things are lit.

u/dcormier · 5 pointsr/photography

You're not photographing the object itself, you're photographing the reflections/refractions. Check this out. And this. If you want a book, Light Science and Magic is the one.

I photographed a gem a while back. You can see how I did it, here.

u/rideThe · 5 pointsr/photography

That lens is made specifically for the Nikon 1 series of smaller cameras—it's kinda odd that you would have honed in on this lens in particular, since it's a bit more niche, we don't hear about that often. In any case, it is not compatible with the Nikon D3300 body.

Anyway, you don't need something remarkable for the camera/lens, considering you're doing still subjects (easier to work with stuff that doesn't move) of medium-sized objects (that is, not "small" that would require a special lens). What you will want, in terms of hardware, is a tripod.

So the equipment is not a major concern here. Product photography is a rather technical expertise, so you'll want to learn about the tricks of the trade—how to light things, especially in this case many will have reflective surfaces galore. You may want a good size sheet of black plexi for that sweet reflection under the computer case...

And then these rays of light above the case, that's added in post.

u/Informationator · 4 pointsr/photography

The technical term is polarized reflections. ...vs. direct reflections (which will not be reduced by a polarizer). This is a fantastic book if you want to know some science behind what you're seeing.

If you understand the science, it bolsters your artistic control, because you'll know how to effectively capture the vision in your head or manipulate what you're already seeing with your eyes.

u/danecreekphotography · 4 pointsr/photography

Buy a copy of Light Science and Magic. It'll walk you through exactly how to do it.

u/LorryWaraLorry · 3 pointsr/photography

For photographic lighting, check out Light: Science and Magic. I am still in the process of reading it, but I already learned plenty half-way through.

u/Posimagi · 3 pointsr/photography

It's mostly about lighting. When you have complete control, the camera and lens become nearly irrelevant. You'll get the greatest return from learning how light interacts with objects, regardless of whether or not it's in a studio setting. Personally, I highly recommend Strobist's Lighting 101 and Lighting 102, and Light Science and Magic by Fuqua et al. They helped me greatly.

u/silence7 · 3 pointsr/photography

What you want is this book.

Basically: you're going to want to identify the exact paths of light which are causing problems, and block them. if it's glare from the lights going directly into your camera, you need a black flag between the lights and the camera. If it's a specular highlight on the object you're photographing, you're going to need to change how you light the object; dpeending on the problem, this might be as simple as putting black tape on the background, or it might mean something more complex, like controlling the highlights with multiple layers of diffusion material.

u/adphotog1 · 3 pointsr/photography

Aye carumba, you've got quite a task ahead of you! To improve your studio photo skills, you'll need a solid understanding of lighting. When I was first starting out, I found this book extremely helpful:

In particular, it explains the family of angles--something you'll need to get a good grasp on--as well as giving you a solid foundation of understanding for things like managing reflections and lighting ratios.

u/lencioni · 2 pointsr/photography

I highly recommend Light Science and Magic. It will help you understand lighting from the ground up.

u/chrisgagne · 2 pointsr/AskPhotography

Do you have any modifiers over your bulbs or can you place the light further away? That might help distribute the light more before it hits the painting. The usual 45° advice might not be sufficient if you're trying to avoid glossy highlights and you're using a relatively wide lens.

There was a really good discussion of how to do exactly this in this book: In particular, there's some good advice on how to use rake-lighting to accentuate texture in your art.

u/Spacker2004 · 2 pointsr/postprocessing

If you're the book reading type, I can highly recommend 'Light Science & Magic'. It'll help you grasp the fundamentals of light and how it works and can be manipulated.

Non affiliate Amazon Link

u/Sleeparchive · 2 pointsr/photography

This book was a game changer for me. It was all about putting aside the camera for a bit and remember that it's all about light.

Also, being obsessed with seeing as many photos as I could find and adoring them enough to see similar situations. I think photography is like writing, imitation is part of the process of finding your own style.

u/adamtj · 2 pointsr/photography

The book "Light: Scrience and Magic" may help you to understand how to control light.

It will teach you the "how" of lighting and a little bit of the "what". Once you have those tools in your mental toolbox, so to speak, it will be much easier to understand what lighting helps with and why.

Among other things, that book talks about how the light from a softbox and a bare bulb differ and why. It also talks about the various techniques and issues with lighting glossy surfaces (like car bodies) and glass. Even the sections on lighting portraits may provide you with some techniques applicable to cars.

u/INTJustAFleshWound · 2 pointsr/intj


Anything in particular you want to know? I think people fall into two categories with photography:

  1. People who have "the eye", but lack the technical knowledge of their equipment to take full advantage of their natural ability.
  2. People who have learned technical knowledge and artistic concepts, but who lack artistic intuition.

    Of the two the first kind of people are the best raw material, but anyone can make a career out of photography with enough work, and the most important component is perhaps not how good your photography is, or how much of a natural you are, but how well you market your work.

    I, too, considered going into professional photography when I was younger. When I got my work printed for the first time I was told that it looked much better than the professionals who frequently came to get their stuff printed. I say that not to brag on myself, but to demonstrate how essential marketing is. No one knew about my work and I wasn't bothering to market it. So, does it matter if mine's better if no one knows about it? I ended up pursuing a different career path because at that time in life I knew I lacked the experience and discipline to wake up each morning and essentially run my own company.

    Have you identified your weak points/areas for growth? What are you doing to attack them? Personally, I'd say steer clear of school. You do not need to drop money on school for photography. You just need equipment, knowledge and experience/practice. Do you know how to shoot glass? Metal? In mixed lighting situations? Do you know how to work with artificial lighting to create a scene from scratch? Do you have an established post-processing workflow? Are you tagging your photos in Lightroom/Aperture so you can find them again?

    What kind of photography do you want to do? If it's wedding/portrait, there's money in that, but some of us (me) hate those types of photography. If you want to do nature/macro, then it'll be tougher to make a living off of that. You might need to build an extremely large portfolio of very high-quality stock photography, most of which is shot at daybreak or sunset.

    Going back to education for a moment, knowing how to recreate very specific lighting scenarios is nice (Rembrandt lighting, "high key" lighting, "butterfly" lighting, soft vs. hard lighting), but the most important thing is understanding how to identify and control light itself. So, when looking for books, it's arguably more important to find books that explain the nature of light (polarized vs. unpolarized, angles, reflections, shadows, etc.) than it is to find books that show you a photo and tell you exactly how to recreate that specific scene. If you know the concepts and techniques, you don't need to know how to recreate a scene step-by-step; you can figure it out yourself. This book does a better job of explaining light than most formal education will and for a very reasonable price.

    Try to build your portfolio however you can. This might involve shooting for free. I worked at a summer camp for pennies on the dollar to build mine, but ended up with a robust array of kid shots to fill out that area of my portfolio. You could shoot music shows to learn how to deal with low-light and unpredictable lighting... You might be surprised how thankful some starving artists would be to have someone shoot 'em with nice equipment. Just try not to let people take advantage of you. If you're doing it for you, great. If someone needs some headshots and it's not going to help your portfolio, consider setting the precedent of getting paid.

    Oh yeah, and get insurance for your gear. Some lowlife can literally steal your business by taking your stuff. My 40D and 24-70mm f/2.8L got stolen out of my house a few years ago. Took me about a year and a half to save up and get new equipment.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I can't speak much about photography as an industry as I've never done it "professionally", but I have done a lot as a hobbyist, and as someone who, at one point, considered going pro. Finally got a 6D recently to replace my stolen gear. Might get into a little astro or night photography down the road now that I've finally joined the full frame club.

    Wish you the best
u/Eponym · 2 pointsr/photocritique

I'd recommend reading Light Science and Magic, as the book talks about how to properly shoot black on black product photography. Basically you need rim/kicker lighting. The black tube blends right into the background.

The odd thing though, it appears you composited a reflection with rim lighting into your final image?

u/prodigitous · 1 pointr/photography

I like Light, Science, and Magic, by Fil Hunter. Here's a link to the upcoming 4th edition on Amazon

u/tim_lingley · 1 pointr/photography

Hmm, in my opinion, these are the ones I'd pull: 9 (too much light behind), 13 (great moment, the sharpness and detail just aren't there), the two dancing/wedding photos, 21 (guy on the far left is creeping me out, no clearly defined subject), 25 & 26(need better lighting), 30, 34, 35, 36 (snapshots).

39 - I know what you were going for, I think you should go back and try to get the shot again, but try it from different angles. The posts in the water are blown out and your composition is unbalanced (too much stuff on the left, nothing to really offset it on the right).

If I might make a recommendation for lighting, check your local library to see if they have a copy of Light, Science and Magic for you to read through. It can teach you how to light everything.

u/ts52 · 1 pointr/photography

If you don't mind buying a book, this is one of the best I've seen:

u/tonivuc · 1 pointr/cinematography

So browsing the web since creating this post I've come across the following non-introductory options:

u/idevastate · 1 pointr/photography

Get this book if you get the chance to:

There's PDF's of it floating around the internet too. It'll be a really good tool.

u/BlueYeti2 · 1 pointr/photography

A book that will help a lot with understanding lighting is Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

For Instagram, your cellphone is good! A large portion of it is the lighting.

u/anonymoooooooose · 1 pointr/photography

> Is that a textbook available online ?

Not that I know of, but it's the best 30 bucks you (your company?) could spend, a little technique can save a lot of time.

u/westin1 · 1 pointr/photography

If you haven't already, you should read Light Science and Magic. It's all about light and how it affects your photos.

u/HappyonaShelf · 1 pointr/photography

I'm looking throught my new book "Light Science and Magic" by Hunter, Biver, Fuqua (Focal Press) that's been highly recommended in r/photography.

Every example I see of high contrast situations has a large, close diffuse light source (soft box or LED plate?) at a 90 degree angle with the camera. This book really is a fantastic resource. Amazon link.

Found this article that says when shooting high contrast to use the B&W camera setting because it doesn't waste range on color mids. I have no idea whether that works in practice.