“Making Light” by Piet Van Den Eynde – e-book review

The author

“Making Light” is the second Craft and Vision” e-book by Piet Van Den Eynde. “Power of Black and White” broke the length record of e-books with 100 pages of great advice on creative transformation your images into black and white using tools available in Lightroom. Piet Van Den Eynde is a Belgium based photographer, running a mostly English blog “More then words” and offering Lightroom and Photoshop training in addition to showing his amazing travel photographs.

The e-book

Somehow, the studio photography- food or portraiture, is dependent on studio lights or flashes. It is the travel photography where flash is used the least. Unfortunately. I can envision a photographer just strolling the streets of town or village, snapping a pictures of everybody and everything in whatever the light happens to be. Midday harsh sun, or deep shadows of the courtyard. And yet, just adding a flash or two and few simple accessories, this photographer would not have to rely on the “available” light. He would be able to lit the subject to match the feeling, to create and render the perfect scene regardless of light conditions. Take his travel images to the new level.

“Making light. An introduction to off camera flash” by Piet Van Den Eynde is a starting point to learn about small lights. Assuming that you took the fist step, and that flash is not attached to your camera!

“Making light” is just a first in the series of e-books to follow on the subject of using off camera flashes. It is 62 pages long and has a lot of basic information. It even includes a series of mathematical formulas which probably would scare many, if simple words summary of what it means in practice did not follow right afterwards. There is a great chapter on the gear, with tips which parameters matter for making the purchasing decision. What I do like about this e-book is that not only camera-brand flashes are described, but also some inexpensive alternatives are provided. The non-camera brand flashes might not offer all automatic options available in Nikon or Canon strobes, but in skilled hand they would perform just the same.

The gear chapter continues with description of most often used and needed light modifiers and accessories. It is possible to use just the bare flash, but adding an umbrella or a soft box will make a huge difference and will expand creative capabilities. Also, the colorful gels, often provided with the brand-name flash, are useful to either make sure all the lights in the picture have the same color, or to change the color and by that- the mood of the scene.

And after most of you will make up your mind that there is just no way you can take all this stuff with you for your travel photography outing, or photowalk around town- Piet Van Den Eynde shows you how to pack it all in a small Think Tank Speed Racer bag, fitting perfectly on a belt or bike.

Next two chapters is what I think a great advantage of “Making Light”. Because it is not an e-book just for Nikon shooter, nor it is for Canon shooters. It is for both, so the steps to set up your camera-brand flash are provided for both major manufactures. Followed by a simple summary chapter, where all the knowledge from previous pages is collected in just 9 easy to follow steps.

The e-book finishes with nine case-studies, images described in detail how they where lit with flash, for some practical advice and tips. It has also my favorite image in the e-book- the Stoned Cyclist. The flash was used on the image to overpower the midday sun and create more interesting, dimensional image with play of light and shadows.

The value

The “fresh off the press” e-books typically have the discount, introductory price of $4. This is also the case of “Making Light”. Use the code LIGHT4 at checkput to purchase the e-book at the introductory price, or code LIGHT20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF e-books from ever growing Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST August 21st, 2011.

But before heading off to Craft & Vision site, tell me what do you think about using a flash photography? Answer the poll below or expand your opinion in the comments.

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