Thursday, May 10, 2012
A readers reviews "Off-Camera Flash"...
The follow review is provided by one of our readers, Nick Van Zanten.
Take it away Nick...
"Off-Camera Flash" by Neil van Niekerk could not have come to me at a better time. Lately, I have been fiddling with my single flash and a reflector, and if not for that experience, I might not have appreciated this book as much as I do.
If you would enjoy lighting wherever and whenever your subject needs it, you should read get Off-Camera Flash.
Overall, the information in Off-Camera Flash flows logically. The book avoids lengthy discussions of gear, offering a basic overview, and then presents concise yet comprehensive explanations of flash concepts. Successive chapters answer common questions about such topics as balancing flash with ambient light, positioning the flash; and most intriguing to me, over powering the sun with your flash. The author provides a clear description of the differences between manual flash and TTL along with the reasons for using one or the other. Neil also explains why soft boxes are so helpful, as well as describing how to use/place them.
The greatest strength of Off-Camera Flash is the final chapter where sample sessions demonstrate specific lighting techniques. The information is accurate and easy to follow, making the book a helpful companion to photographers who want to learn and perfect their off-camera flash techniques.
Although Neil claims to address skill levels from beginner to advanced practitioner, it is extremely helpful to have a basic understanding of shutter speed and apertures, especially when the discussion is about whole stops and fractional stops. I enthusiastically encourage folks to pick up your camera and follow along, practicing as you go. As Joe McNally says, “No pixels have to die!”
My only serious criticism of Off-Camera Flash is that several photo captions did not match the text, I suspect that later editions will correct these annoying misprints.
Off-Camera Flash inspired me to attempt to reach a higher bar for my photography than I would have previously imagined. Many of my questions about this topic were answered, and the book affirmed that my trials learning off-camera flash are typical.
Nick Van Zanten started in photography a long time back while in the US Navy. After a long hiatus, he is once again a serious amateur photographer. A spouse with a closet full of Nikon lenses and the accessibility of digital equipment re-ignited in him a little flame of desire to make art. So, little by little, Nick ventures out to realize that end.
Much thanks to Nick for taking the time to read the book and share his thoughts with us.
And thanks to you for being a reader.