Ok so imagine how good it would be if somebody out there would write a photography book that covered everything from the photo shoot, the equipment, settings used, the editing and all the way through to the final image?
Well, imagine no more because it’s been done and it’s available NOW!!!
Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It is the latest book from Best Selling Author Scott Kelby and having had a copy for the past week I don’t hesitate in telling you that it absolutely ROCKS!!!
This new book is made up of 13 Chapters; 12 of which cover a completely different photo shoot using a completely different lighting set up.
So let’s take a look at what makes this book destined to be such a winner…
- Chapter 1: Clamshell Lighting (3 Light Classic Beauty Setup
- Chapter 2: High Contrast Lighting (2-Light Edgy Setup)
- Chapter 3: Dramatic Glamour Lighting (2-Light Dramatic Setup)
- Chapter 4: Lens-Flare Lighting (3-Light Lens Flare Setup)
- Chapter 5: Using Ring Flash for Fashion Lighting (1-Light Ring Flash Setup)
- Chapter 6: Edgy Lighting (3-Light Sports Setup)
- Chapter 7: Full-Length Fashion Lighting (1-Light Full Length Setup)
- Chapter 8: Soft Glamour Lighting (1-Light Home Interior Setup)
- Chapter 9: Fashion Side Lighting (2-Light On-Location Fashion Setup)
- Chapter 10: Lighting for Composition (4-Light Sports Composite Setup)
- Chapter 11: Dramatic Side Lighting (1-Light Dramatic Setup)
- Chapter 12: 1940’s Hollywood-Style Lighting (2-Light Beauty Setup)
- Chapter 13: If You Use Hot Shoe Flash Instead…
Each Chapter is split into 4 sections that take you through the photo shoot and all the way to the final edited image, covering the Set Up, Gear Guide, Camera Settings and the Post Processing.
The Set Up
This is the first thing you’ll notice that sets this book apart from any other. The practice of including lighting diagrams has been in books and on the web for some time now; in fact I have been known myself to include the occasional hand drawn masterpiece when I write about a recent photo shoot, but Scott’s gone one better.
Each chapter is packed with behind the scenes photographs showing the lighting set up and the position of the model and photographer from every angle imaginable; left, right, behind and above…
Don’t get me wrong, lighting diagrams can be really helpful I know but they’re very much a case of ‘the light was kind of in errmmmmm this position’. In Light It, Shoot it, Retouch It, you see photos from every angle so you get to see every light modifier actually in position as opposed to where it was ‘roughly’ and this alone sets this new book apart from the crowded shelves of Photography books; but this is just the start…
Gear Guide & Camera Settings
With each chapter Scott shows every single piece of kit that was used from the camera, lights, modifiers, triggers and accessories.
In addition to that though Scott goes into all the settings used on the lights and the camera too…
Sure when we go off to replicate the shots the settings will vary depending on the environment we’re in but having these settings as a starting point is surely a good thing; if only to give an idea of ratios.
Talking of lights, throughout the book there are a whole mix of set ups from one light through to multiple lights and even down to using Speedlights, but more on that later.
One very important message that comes across in every chapter is that you don’t have to have the expensive kit to produce great results and if anything, rather than spending your money on the lights, spend the money on the modifiers.
Each chapter closes by covering the editing that took the out of camera image to it’s final print ready version.
This is where it all comes together as Scott goes through each and every part of the edit step by step just as he does in his previous book Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographer using Photoshop [Link]…
This previous book was a sell out in no time and created a buzz around the photography industry like no other that I can remember so having the post production section in this new book too, seriously takes it to new heights.
What if I don’t use or have access to a studio?
There may be some folks feeling that the book won’t be relevant to them because they either don’t use a studio or just don’t have access to one but Scott’s thought of everything, as the final shoot sees him on location for a fashion shoot where he talks through the setup, dealing with the ambient light, positions of his lighting gear and why, settings and so on…
Ok so what about those folks who just use Speedlights?
Well Speedlights are covered too; in fact better than you could hope for, because at the end of the book Scott repeats all the shoots but with speedlights and relevant modifers to produce the same results…
I can’t even begin to imagine how much time and effort has gone into this book that covers so much and at the same time covers it in so much detail leaving the reader in no doubt as to what to do.
Another thing I also really like is one that maybe wasn’t intentional and that’s that the majority of the studio shoots are done on the smaller sized seamless backgrounds as opposed to the full ‘studio’ size.
So why is this so important?
Well, not everyone has the luxury of a studio let alone enough room to set up a full sized seamless and stands or indeed the ability to transport such kit around. The 1/2 sized is much more portable and can be carried around relatively easy and set up in most spaces which again shows that all the setups can be replicated whether you use a studio or not.
This new book from Scott Kelby is destined to be THE photography book to own!!!
The book’s 264 pages are packed full of information and the attention to the detail is outstanding, ultimately leaving the reader in no doubt as to what to do and most importantly giving them the confidence and belief that they too can create great images.
At the time of writing this review Light It, Shoot It, Retouch is available for Pre-Order in Paperbook but available to download NOW on Kindle and Kindle for iPad
Amazon (Paperback) £16.19 (RRP £29.99) [Link]
Amazon (Kindle) £20.20 [Link]