|Olympus E5 with Panasonic Leica 25mm Summilux lens at f8 1/250th of a second and ISO 100|
What I hope most photographers do with books like this, is to simply use them as inspiration books. For me, I flipped through Wes' book and found images that really spoke to me or that I enjoyed. I then took a look at his lighting and read the text to see if there was a little tip I could glean from it. And there were. Lots of them. But I think that if you try and replicate the lights exactly as in the book you'll be left sadly unfulfilled.
You need to use lighting a lot to really understand what different light modifiers do at different camera settings, distances from the model and at different angles. I use a lights a lot. In fact I almost never entirely use natural light. My motto is, why trust what you're given when you can just make what you want. And so, over the past four years or so I've learned a great deal about lighting and how I like lighting to look. I also know what I don't like. And that makes a book like this easy for me to digest in that I can sift through and pick out pieces of inspiration and ignore the rest.
Wes starts off this book with some short text talking about lighting tools, style and technique. He also talks about equipment and cautions you that he doesn't really give you the step by step detailed technique for replicating his images. It's more of a book filled with images, lighting styles and some technical information that can be used to inspire your lighting choices.
The book starts it's lighting setups using reflectors as a primary light source and then small flashes and single studio strobes. Like myself, Wes appears to favour beauty dishes and a lot of the later lighting setups use them. As you get further into the book the setups get more complicated, but not alarmingly so.
I think this book would be perfect for beginners that want to get an overview on lighting and might be considering studio lights. They should know however that it isn't a hand-held tutorial on ever little nuance of using lighting equipment. It's much more broad than that.
For photographers interesting in shooting models for hair stylists or hair advertisement, this book would be very helpful as it is demonstrated and talked about a great deal. I thought this was particularly helpful as lighting for hair can be pretty daunting to photographers that are used to lighting for portraits.
Lastly, this is an excellent book for use as a little inspiration starter. I like books like this, just to flip through before a shoot where I don't have a specific direction in mind. While I won't copy a setup, I will use it to get my juices flowing on a day when I'm just lacking my own creative spark. I know that in the back of my head I catalogue these little inspirations and they pop up when I'm at jobs every now and then, sometimes with great result.
Thanks again for dropping by the blog. The link to the book on Amazon can be found on the top right of the blog if you wish to see it. Also, please join me on the Photography Ramblings Facebook page. The link is over there on the right hand side of the page.