Digital PhotoPro magazine published an excerpt from a really terrific book on lighting: Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting I've had this book in my personal library for quite some time and I recommend it to anyone looking to increase their understanding of photographic lighting, especially those hoping to make some magic with your photography. If you're interested, you can purchase a copy from Amazon by clicking on the link I just provided above.

Here's the DPP article I'm talking about: The Family of Master Angles. It's a good read with plenty of important ideas and information contained in it. The "master angles" referred to in the article's title aren't shooting angles relative to your subject, that is, your models, rather it's the shooting angles relative to your light source(s). I love the authors' statement, "Photographic lighting is primarily an exercise in reflection management. Understanding and managing reflection, for the result the photographer wants, is good lighting."

It's true: When we're lighting and photographing something, we don't directly paint with light in spite of that notion being what the word, photography, actually means. Instead, we paint our photographic images with reflected light. It might seem like there's not a whole lot of difference between painting with reflected light versus painting directly with light but there is. Why? Because it means, as photographers, we need to understand how light behaves when it's reflected.

Everything you see in your viewfinder and then record on film emulsion or a sensor is illuminated with reflected light. (Unless, I suppose, you're pointing your camera directly at the sun or whatever artificial light source you're using.) You're recording the light that's being reflected off your subject. Those reflections are the the results of direct light being reflected off your subject and/or already reflected light being re-reflected off your subject. That's why it's so important to understand how light reflects and how it behaves when it's being reflected.

While the book's title refers to light as being both science and magic, it's actually all science. The results, of course, can be perceived as magic depending on how well and how creatively you, the photographer, light and shoot your images. So give the article a read. Whether you're an experienced shooter, just starting out, or anything in between, I think you'll find if worth your time.

The pretty girl at the top is Alisha from some time ago. I lit Alisha with three lights and used a fan to provide some movement to her wardrobe.

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