Technical Reference Suggestions ?

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by PJohnP, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Speaking for myself, there are things I can learn from a book, and there are other things I need to have demonstrated to pick up.

    We're exchanging ideas here, some of us are meeting or taking classes, and in the end, we can't easily reproduce a training course here. I wish that we could.

    But we can exchange information on useful technical references.

    Some ones that I find handy are :

    Thom Hogan's Complete Guide to the Nikon D100 - it's the manual that Nikon should have written, but didn't. I've also looked at the D70 version (I gave it as a gift to a friend), and it's equally usable. [e-book]

    Ron Reznick's Digital Photography - Acquisition and Processing Techniques - obvious as a book for all who've taken Ron's class [e-book]

    John Shaw's Photoshop Field Guide - some good "in the trenches" PS materials [e-book]

    Scott Kelby's The Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers - the next level, so to speak. [softbound]

    I'm looking for some good references on lighting as well as basic portrait photography, if anyone can suggest such items.

    Any other suggestions for good references (preferably including a brief explanation as why) ?

    John P.
  2. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Iliah :

    Well, I know where to go to purchase the books. Unless you're endorsing all of the books that B&H sells ? {amused glance}

    John P.
  3. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Give them a call; they are pretty good in understanding what should be recommended. Or post some sample questions you have :)

    I'm strongly opinionated against "tips and tricks"; in terms of colour correction and Photoshop I love three authors - Margulis (do not miss his new book to come out soon, processing in Lab), Fraser, Evening.

    Lighting: I found "A Practical Guide to Photographic Lighting..." by Jon Tarrant (Focal Press). Chimera and Rosco video instructions are quite interesting IMHO.
  4. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Thanks for the information.

    I too, don't like "Tips 'n' Tricks" alone. They're useful to be aware of, like, for example, that NC defaults back to a non-responsive curves diagram each time it's re-booted. But I don't think that "Tips 'n' Tricks" are the way to learn fundamentals.

    One thing I'm looking for, to give a specific sample question as you request, is a series of basic diagrams of lighting simple portraits. I'd like to understand some straightforward light placements along with basic lights. Too often, the books I've seen describe the lights in a sentence or two and then just show the photo - I'm looking at learning some more fundamental arrangements.

    John P.
  5. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    It's really hard to recommend something... These two books may worth your attention (at least my daughters found them interesting :):

    "Portrait Photographer's Handbook" and "The Best of Portrait Photography : Techniques and Images from the Pros"; both by Bill Hurter.

    Good diagrams (IMHO) are in "Portraits (Pro-Lighting Series)" by Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz. I consider this book to be very good, giving a lot if you want to experiment. It is not tips and tricks type, or a cookbook style, but rather explaining what we try to create and why we choose that particular setup.

    Multi-light setup is mostly to compensate for limited dynamic range of the material we use - we see 13 stops by eye normally. I never start with many lights - but set the main light appropriately, and add fills/modeling lights as necessary. Exposure is determined by main light. Exposure meter is my most valuable instrument in light setup; and I watch closely for distracting shadows (like 2 or 3 noses:). Outdoors I start with positioning the camera to have at least 80% of the lighting I need.
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