The first in a series of eBooks that I like to think of more as field guides. After a lot of thought I decided that window light is probably the most universal regardless of any particular photographers bent, style, preferences, subject matter etc. It's also not too hard to be successful using windows with sky light coming through them. In the way I treat the subject - the foundation for going in just about any other lighting direction. So this is the first one. Specifically Window light - soft sky.
Each of these field guides is not meant to cover every single variation of every location. They are meant to be very focused and very deep on one thing and one thing only. The intent is to be able to take in the main topics, remember them without any sort of formal checklist, and go try them in an hour. I have also tried to provide enough nuance and minor topics that revisiting these guides will prove interesting and productive for just about any photographer no matter if you have been using a camera for decades or are just starting out. I hope to provide some insight and ideas on the timeless tradion of using windows as a primary lighting source. Maybe even shed some new light on it for most of you - sorry I just had to do that.
I have been working and re-working this as well as some other field guides in the series to be what I had envisioned them to be for quite a while. It's actually embarassing how many times I have re-invented this one to try and end up with something that I would want but isn't out there. One of the big factors contributing to the time it's taken me is that I decided to this a lot differently than how I started out. This is not me remembering in some romantic fashion my collection of greatest hits. Instead I sifted through my archive looked at things I have done in the past. Things I still do. Things that have become a bit more refined and attempted to get to the meat of just a handful of main topics. Then I wrote the first draft. After that I went out and made images just for this field guide using only the things I talked about in a location that I was not intimately familiar with. I constrained myself to only what was in the eBook and that's it. I did it like someone reading it would do it. Then I revised, re-wrote, and re-thought it some more, and went and shot some more pictures again.
Enough of that. It's a little over 10,000 words and 40 pages including images and lots of white space. I even tested it on some other people to make sure that they could get through it and remember the major variables that I discussed in an hour. It's not a bunch of recipes for making specific images. You can treat some things that way but it's far more of a thought process. I don't go into gear nor is any special gear required. I used one fixed focal length lens for shooting all the material. I do discuss exposure and choices to be made but not in a pedantic shutter speed f-stop kind of way. More in a creative process kind of way. There are a ton of asides about how I may have taken paths that I didn't take as well as what I may have done differently. Plenty of things to explore when making your own photographs.
I hope you enjoy it. I even injected a tiny sprinkling of my own strange brand of humor here and there. More importantly I sincerely hope that it gives you even just one new idea or a way of thinking about light that you haven't thought of before and inspires you to go make your own fantastic images. In any case I want to hear from you. Questions, comments, the good, the bad and the ugly. Especially any thoughts you have on the rest of the lighting field guide series - topics - treatment - tone - bigger - smaller. I am interested and love to discuss just about anything related to photography with fellow image makers.
Based on popular demand the download conatins a giant PDF with giant clear images as well as an iBooks version that's exactly the same but specifically for iPads - just like you get in the iTunes Bookstore.