Photographic lighting is a topic that will never go out of style, no matter how sophisticated cameras and other technology get. Even with the most high-tech gear, photographers still need to put a lot of thought and vision into lighting their photographs in order to get great results. This key skill has the power to dramatically and quickly improve photographs.

Light Science and Magic provides you with a comprehensive theory of the nature and principles of light, with examples and instructions for practical application. Featuring photographs, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions, this book speaks to photographers of varying levels. It provides invaluable information on how to light the most difficult subjects, such as surfaces, metal, glass, liquids, extremes (black-on-black and white-on-white), and portraits.

This new edition includes:

  • All new chapter titled "Setting Up Your New Studio"
  • A re-vamped and expanded chapter 8 now titled "Making Portraits"
  • New appendix of reliable photo gear sources
  • Over 100 new photographs and informational sidebars
  • Updated information about advances in flash equipment, LED panels and fluorescent lights

Styles of lighting continue to change, but the nature of light will always remain the same. Once photographers understand the basic physics of lighting, they can apply that knowledge to a broad range of photographic styles.

chapter |2 pages


chapter 1|16 pages

Light: the Beginning

chapter 2|23 pages

Light: the Raw Material of Photography

chapter 4|30 pages

Surface Appearances

chapter 5|38 pages

Revealing Shape and Contour

chapter 6|46 pages


chapter 7|36 pages

The Case of the Disappearing Glass

chapter 8|42 pages

Making Portraits

chapter 9|51 pages

The Extremes

chapter 10|44 pages

Traveling Light

chapter 11|21 pages

Setting Up Your First Studio