Weeks ago I rounded up yet another book on lighting. Kevin Kubota released the “Lighting Notebook,” and I had to get a look at it. What I found was pure gold!
As regular readers know, I’ve been on a quest for well over a year now. Off camera lighting, portrait work, composites…….all new stuff to this hardcore landscape photographer. And all in response to seeing one too many bad portraits come through my print shop. That’s what started this oh so long ago, and it’s still not finished. You should always be learning, and always challenge yourself whenever possible. Portrait work is just one of my new challenges. And the “Lighting Notebook” has definitely inspired me more!
The main part of the book is the lighting notebook itself. 101 images with extremely detailed information on how the shot was achieved and what it took. Some of the setups are ever so simple, and a review for me at this point. Other setups involve higher end lighting, a few assistants, some snow (in one case) and other interesting features. Many also include some cool post processing work.
In addition to each of the images and explanations there are also several earlier chapters talking about light, photography, and post processing. They’re the build up to the notebook itself, and every chapter is worth the read. The post processing explanations from Kevin were also very cool and inspired me to try doing a few textured images of my own.
Of course, the book left me curious about other things Kevin Kubota is working on. I checked out his main website where he sells training DVDs and different action sets, and in the end purchased his Lightroom Workflow and presets (Vintage Delish is pretty cool). Now I know what you’re saying, “Rich, you teach a Lightroom HDR workflow, right?” I sure do. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to learn more about one of my favorite programs, Lightroom. The Lightroom Lightspeed Set was put on the home system the other day. I’m still checking out all the presets, and I’ve watched the RAW Workflow For Lightroom once now. I’ll be rewatching as I found a few gems I didn’t know about in Lightroom (always learning).
What I like about this set is pretty simple. The more I can do in Lightroom only, the better.
Bottom line? If you’re learning more and more about photography, are interested in lighting and portrait work, and are wondering about post processing work with portraits then I’d say this is a book you want in your library. I’m putting it up there with Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Diaries, & The Moment It Clicks. I’ve also done Zack Arias’ One Light DVD course, and this book is right in the same league when it comes to useful information. Kevin Kubota’s blog is now on my RSS feed. Another photographer / instructor well worth following. Now if only his Digital Photography Boot Camp book was available for Kindle……ah well, I’ll grab a copy sometime I’m sure!