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Chasing the Light–Improving Your Photography with Available Light

Reviewer Name: Helen Woods, Alaskan Apple User’s Group Member
Product Title: Chasing the Light–Improving Your Photography with Available Light
Author: Ibarionex Perello
Price: $44.99
Date of Publication: 2011
Publisher: New Riders www.newriders.comThumbnail preview

PRO: Very helpful in explaining the fundamentals of taking digital photographs; interesting exploration of light‚its impact on photos.

CON: Not a quick reference; requires a thorough read.
Rating: 5 moose

Perello does a great job of breaking down the elements that go into making a great photograph:
the technical basics: ISO; aperture; shutter speed; white balance the aesthetic aspects: brightness; contrast; saturation; sharpness; pattern.

He explores light in many situations: portraits, natural landscapes, urban landscapes, black and white.

As Perello explores the observation of light and the moments that make photographers want to capture them, he explains the ways that the camera processes information seen by the human eye, and so explains how to set the camera manually to capture the scene in the most desirable way. He also explores the different types of light‚ natural light: bright sunlight, reflected light, overcast, shade, open shade, the magic hours of dawn and dusk, as well as the use of supplementary light sources‚ flash, reflectors, scrim, and how they impact the images we snap.

I like that Perello goes into such detail about his decision-making process. Instead of telling you what to do, he tells you how he thinks, and explains what he does in given situations, so that the reader understands the theory behind the technical aspects, and can apply them to his own photographs in his own way. He has good tips on how to think about preparation for a photograph so there’s less fumbling about with the camera and missing the moment, and a much greater chance to capture a great image. He provides details regarding accessories he’s used that work well, and references for more information. He explains what goes into getting the best shots in the moment, so there is less work to do in Photoshop or Aperture.

On an artistic level, Perello challenges/encourages the reader to make photographs that capture the moment that drew him in, to do so for himself, and leave behind the agony of comparison to others’ work.

This is a $45 investment, but it handles the nuts and bolts of making a good photograph in a fresh and fundamental way. I consider myself an advanced beginner when it comes to photography. Perello’s book has inspired me to learn more about the camera I have, and has already had an impact in the way I shoot photos. I will be referring back to it often as I continue to learn.

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